2016-17 Commissioning Prize

[Switch~ Ensemble]

Fall 2016

The [Switch~ Ensemble] is happy to announce its 2016-2017 commissioning prize. The winning composer will be commissioned to write a new work for the [Switch~ Ensemble] for our 2017-2018 season. Additionally, pending the instrumentation of submitted works, we hope to choose several existing works to include in our repertoire for upcoming seasons.


Submission materials due December 1st, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Submission materials

Composers should submit 1 or 2 recent works of any instrumentation; however, only works matching our core instrumentation or subsets of it can be considered for performances in upcoming seasons. Ultimately, for the purpose of the commissioning prize, we encourage you to share the works that best represent your abilities and interests as a composer.

Scores and recordings must be anonymous, and may not bear the name of the composer on the score or in the file title; any such entries will be disqualified.

Although representative recordings of submitted scores are not required, they are strongly recommended. Scores and recordings should be submitted with links via Dropbox or a similar file sharing service.

While submitted works need not include a technological component, the newly-commissioned prize work should incorporate multimedia, electronics, or technology in a significant way. If your submitted works do not include a technological component, we encourage you to use the optional information field at the end of the application to tell us a little more about your relationship to multimedia/electronics. Perhaps you have a good deal of experience already and are choosing to submit other works, or perhaps you’ve been looking for the right opportunity to write your first big work using multimedia/technology; either way, it will give us a better context to review your music.

For existing works with electronics you would like to have considered for performance, please include a comprehensive description of technical requirements.

Core Instrumentation:

  • flute (dbl. picc/alto)
  • clarinet (dbl. bass/contra/E-flat)
  • saxophone (dbl. sop/alt/ten/bar)
  • soprano voice
  • piano
  • percussion
  • violin
  • cello


The [Switch~ Ensemble] is principally interested in supporting emerging composers, but we understand that “emerging” means something different to everyone—and that emerging composers come at a wide range of ages. Generally, we think of emerging composers as either (1) still enrolled in post-secondary or graduate study, (2) still seeking or only recently-appointed to full-time musical employment, or (3) still on a trajectory of development and self-renewal in musical thinking.

Members of the [Switch~ Ensemble] are ineligible to apply.

Grand prize

$500 commission to write a new work for the [Switch~ Ensemble] in their 2017-2018 season.

The newly commissioned work is due no later than December 30, 2017. Duration of the new work should be between 8 and 15 minutes.

As mentioned above, the newly-commissioned work should incorporate multimedia, electronics, or technology in a significant way. The winning composer and the ensemble will negotiate a contract for the new work before the official announcement of the prize. The [Switch~ Ensemble] reserves the right not to award a grand prize commission.

Any submitted works that match our instrumentation or a subset of it are eligible for consideration for our future programming and repertoire. Beyond awarding a grand prize, we hope to discover new works that we’ll be excited to perform on our future seasons.

Application form

Please submit scores and recordings (audio or video) with a link via Dropbox or equivalent on our online application form. Remember, they must be anonymous! No composer names or identifying information anywhere on the score, nor in the file titles. ​Questions? Please contact [email protected].