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Synergy: Composer & Conductor. Application deadline: March 1, 2002
Synergy: Composer & Conductor

September 23-28, 2002
Los Angeles, California
Application deadline: March 1, 2002

In September 2002, the Los Angeles Philharmonic presents Synergy: Composer & Conductor, an intensive workshop, in collaboration with the American Symphony Orchestra League, American Music Center (AMC), and the University of Southern California Flora L. Thornton School of Music. The workshop, for up to four selected conductors and composers, culminates with a live concert performance of the participants' work on September 26.

Synergy: Composer & Conductor is a unique performance opportunity, bringing composers and conductors together with full orchestra to hone their skills in a practical setting. The program offers rehearsal coachings and composition masterclasses led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, an internationally recognized composer and the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Up to six additional composers and six conductors will be selected to participate as auditors.

During the workshops, each of the four conductors will rehearse a work by one of the four composers. The session will culminate in a public concert of the featured works by an orchestra comprised of musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the USC Thornton School of Music Symphony.

Adjunct faculty includes the Philharmonic's associate conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Philharmonic Consulting Composer for New Music Steven Stucky, and selected Philharmonic musicians. The League and AMC will offer a professional development curriculum for participating conductors and composers.

Partial funding for this project has been provided by the Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation.

Guidelines - Composers

Participating composers will be selected through competitive application by a panel administered by the AMC, with final decisions being made by Esa-Pekka Salonen.


  • Applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or non-citizen lawfully residing in the U.S.
  • Applicant should be at the early stages of his/her career, with demonstrated orchestral technique but without a significant amount of professional orchestral performances.
  • Applicant should have completed an undergraduate degree by September 2002.
  • There are no age restrictions.

Submit the Following Materials together in one package:

  • A completed, signed application form (available as PDF; download here).
  • One orchestral score. This is the primary work to be considered for workshop and performance. Restrictions on this work are as follows:
    • Length: Maximum 20 minutes.
    • Instrumentation, maximum: winds at 3,3,3,3; brass at 4,3,3,1; timpani; 3 percussion; 1 harp; 1 keyboard; strings.
    • Concertos or other works requiring soloists are not eligible.
    • Clearly label your name and title of the work on the cover.
    • Do not send originals.
  • In reference to the above work, submit:
    • One-page program note for the work
    • One-page performance history for the work, including ensembles and dates of performance
    • Recording of this work on CD or cassette (if available). Cue the cassette or mark the time on the CD label at the point you wish listening to commence. Label the recording with the names of the conductor and orchestra. MIDI or synthesizer realizations are acceptable.
  • A score of one other work, with recording (if available). For the recording, use the same guidelines as above. This may be an orchestral work or a work in another genre. The purpose of this work should be to further demonstrate your range of skills, compositional technique and breadth of style.
  • Résumé or bio, including educational background, major teachers, awards and professional affiliations.
  • A complete list of works
  • A self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of materials (AMC is not responsible for lost or damaged materials).

Deadline and Notification

  • Complete applications must be received at the American Music Center by MARCH 1, 2002.
  • Incomplete, illegible, and/or late applications will not be considered.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status by June 1, 2002.
  • Composers accepted for participation must be available for the entire duration of the project. Synergy will provide accommodations in Los Angeles for full participants only.
  • The AMC requests that interested composers submit a letter of intent to apply by February 1, 2002.

Send materials to:

Synergy: Composer & Conductor
American Music Center
30 West 26 Street, Suite 1001
New York, NY 10010

For more information, contact Philip Rothman, Manager of Grantmaking Programs at the American Music Center at 212.366.5260, x 29 or

Esa-Pekka Salonen, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October, 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the Orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, seven critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia of London from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

Each year since its founding in 1919, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been hailed as Southern California's leading performing arts institution. Today, under the dynamic leadership of Esa-Pekka Salonen, who became the orchestra's tenth music director in 1992, the Philharmonic is recognized as one of the world's outstanding orchestras. Both at home and abroad it has, as the Berliner Zeitung stated, "proved that it belongs among the best in the United States." This is a view shared by the more than one million Southern Californians who experience performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic each year. There is a 30-week winter subscription season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, where "Music Under the Stars" has been a popular tradition since 1922. But the orchestra's involvement with Los Angeles extends far beyond regular symphony concerts in a concert hall. It embraces the schools, churches, and neighborhood centers of a huge and vastly diverse community. In fact, the Los Angeles Philharmonic devotes much of its energy and resources to ensuring that its presence is felt in every corner of Los Angeles.


The American Symphony Orchestra League provides leadership and service to American orchestras while communicating to the public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League serves more than 850 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes. The League links a national network of thousands of musicians, conductors, managers, board members, volunteers, staff members, and business partners, providing a wealth of services, information, and educational opportunities to its members. Membership in the League is open to orchestras, individuals, students, other arts organizations and non-profits, businesses serving orchestras, volunteer associations, libraries, and career centers.

The American Music Center is a national service and information center for new music. For more than 60 years the AMC has been a leader in the creation of a variety of innovative new programs and services including:, an award-winning monthly internet magazine for new American music; a series of Professional Development Workshops presented across America; and the monthly Opportunity Update, a listing of opportunities including calls for scores, competitions, and other new music performance information. Each year, AMC's Information Services Program fields over 35,000 requests concerning composers, performers, data, funding, and support programs. The AMC awards over $1.5 million annually through its grantmaking programs including the Copying Assistance Program, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music programs and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust's Live Music for Dance Program.

The USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music brings together a distinguished faculty of world-renowned teachers and musically gifted students from around the globe. It is in this wonderfully diverse cultural milieu that students are offered instruction in virtually all professional and scholarly branches of music, including instrumental performance, voice, opera, composition, scoring for motion pictures and television, choral and sacred music, music education, jazz studies, early music performance, recording arts and music industry. The Thornton School is consistently rated among the top 1% of the nation's music schools and conservatories. In addition, the School produces more than 500 concerts annually on the University Park Campus and in venues throughout Southern California.




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