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Milwaukee, WI 53202


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Composer Institute

Composer Institute

October 23 - 25, 2014

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present the second annual MSO Composer Institute, held in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the American Composers Forum.

Five emerging composers will be selected to participate in workshops and rehearsals of their works, culminating in a public performance by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by acclaimed American conductor Jeffrey Milarsky. In addition, composers will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of professional training sessions covering a diverse range of topics, from public speaking to copyright and publishing issues.

Activities for the selected composers will include workshop sessions with the MSO artistic and executive staff, MSO musicians, board members, UWM faculty, and other industry professionals. Workshop sessions will focus on a broad array of industry topics, including career development, business issues facing young composers, copyright law, licensing, promotion, working with union orchestras, and public speaking.


The Institute is open to United States residents who will have reached their 18th birthday by July 21, 2014, but will not have reached their 36th birthday by October 23, 2014.

Applicants should submit scores and materials for consideration by mail, postmarked no later than August 1, 2014 to:

      Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
      Attn: Megan Henschel
      1101 North Market Street, Suite 100
      Milwaukee, WI 53202-3148


Submitted works should be symphony orchestra pieces. Not eligible are concertos, choral works, and works for strings, winds, or brass only. Works with electronic elements will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Works should be no longer than 15 minutes and must include a full score and a first violin part, which must adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA).

Download MOLA Guidelines

Maximum instrumentation is as follows: three flutes (third can double piccolo), three oboes (third can double English horn), three clarinets (second can double E-flat clarinet, third can double bass clarinet), three bassoons (third can double contrabassoon), four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, one timpanist, three percussionists, one harp, one keyboard (piano or celeste), and strings.

Applicants must also submit a letter of recommendation from a composition instructor or music professional, and a current resume. Recommendations need not be included with applicant’s other submission materials, and can also be mailed separately or emailed to Megan Henschel.

A recording is encouraged, though not required.

Selected composers will be decided by a panel of adjudicators by early September. Each selected composer will receive a $500 stipend and local accommodations for the duration of the Composer Institute. Composers are responsible for their own travel to and from Milwaukee and local transportation to the Institute.


As the premier classical music organization in the state of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has a responsibility to foster the next generation of composers, ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of one of western civilization’s most essential art forms.

American conductor Jeffrey Milarsky is highly acclaimed worldwide for his impeccable musicianship, exhilarating presence and innovative programming.  He has been hailed for his interpretation of a wide range of repertoire, which spans from Bach to Xenakis.  In recent seasons he has worked with accomplished groups such as the San Francisco Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, MET Chamber Ensemble, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New World Symphony, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic chamber music series. In the United States and abroad, he has premiered and recorded works by many groundbreaking contemporary composers, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and at IRCAM in Paris.


Subject to change

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Morning—Individual meetings with Jeffrey Milarsky

Afternoon—Rehearsal of selected works with the MSO & Jeffrey Milarsky

Friday, October 24, 2014

All day—Professional Sessions

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Morning—Professional Sessions

Afternoon—Rehearsal of selected works with the MSO & Jeffrey Milarsky

7:30 p.m.—Public performance of selected works



With questions, please contact:

Megan Henschel,
Artistic Operations Assistant

By phone: 414.226.7891
By email




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