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Program Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commissions for Composers

How to Apply

IMPORTANT UPDATE! Please note that, for the 2018 Commissioning Program, all applicants should submit final application materials in one package on or before the postmark deadline: March 1, 2018.

  1. Read the program guidelines for instructions about the materials you must send with your proposal. Please note that late or incomplete proposals are unlikely to be funded.
  2. Complete the required application formThis form must be typed.
  3. Email the completed application form (on or before March 1, 2018) to [email protected] The subject line of this email should read: Application for [Name of Composer]. This form may be attached as a PDF file or sent as a Word file.
  4. In the body of this email, please include active links to the audio files described in the application requirements.
  5. Submit all application materials in one package to:
    Koussevitzky Music Foundation
    611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE #118
    Washington DC 20003-4303
  6. Please note: no materials submitted by applicants will be returned. Please do not send valuable or irreplaceable materials.
  7. Your application will not automatically be acknowledged, and mailroom receipt does not imply receipt by the Koussevitzky Foundation offices. If you wish to confirm receipt of your application, please email [email protected]

The Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commissioning Procedure

Although there is no set date for the announcement of commissions, successful grant recipients typically are notified by August following the application deadline.

This commissioning program is designed primarily for orchestras and chamber groups that have a record of excellence in the performance of contemporary music. Commission fees for works for chamber groups range from $12,500 to $17,500. The Koussevitzky Foundation will fund the entire commission fee in the case of a work for a chamber group. The Foundation will fund up to $20,000 for a symphonic work, of which the submitting performing organization must provide at least 50% of the amount funded by the Foundation as a minimum matching grant. The performing organization may raise the matching funds from any source available, provided that the dedication to the foundation, which is required to be printed on the score of each commissioned work, is placed in first position of all dedications or acknowledgments appearing on that score. The commissioned works will be performed by the sponsoring organizations and the manuscripts, or original computer generated scores in hard copy, will be deposited with the Library of Congress as part of the Music Division's permanent collection. We recommend that a copyright notice be placed on the submitted item.

A performing organization may propose only one composer for a joint commission each year. PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with the 2010 round, the Foundation will accept applications only for composers who have received no more than one prior Koussevitzky Commission, provided that the prior commission was not awarded within the past ten rounds of the program. Please see the Recent Grants page of this web site for a list of commissions awarded during the last ten rounds. (Note that there was no Commissioning Program during 2009.) Please consult the Foundation if there are questions regarding a composer's eligibility.

United States citizenship is not required for consideration, nor is the sponsoring performing organization required to be based in the United States.

Please use the required application form available on this web site to apply for a commission. This form must be typed. Please email the completed application form to [email protected] with the subject line: “Application for [Name of Composer].”

Additionally, all application packages must include the following materials in physical form:

  1. The name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail, and biographical information of the composer, as well as his or her written consent to undertake and complete the composition of a Koussevitzky Foundation commission if one is awarded.
  2. The proposed instrumentation of the planned work and its anticipated duration.
  3. Cover letter from the performing ensemble. This letter should include:
    • The performing organization’s firm commitment to present the premiere performance of the commissioned work in the organization’s regular concert series within two years after receiving the completed score.
    • Brief description or outline of the proposed project, if this information is available. Please include information such as anticipated date and venue for the premiere, or list of expected soloists or collaborators, if known. The Foundation recognizes that at the time of application there may be few details available about the proposed work, beyond anticipated instrumentation and duration. There is no requirement for such further information, and no expectation that these details will be available.
  4. Scores and recordings:
    • Submit up to three representative recent works of the composer. On the application form, provide the year of composition of each work, as well as the instrumentation or performing forces of each work submitted. At least two of the works must have been composed within the eight year period prior to the application date.
    • Any recordings submitted must be of the same compositions as the scores included with the application. Recordings should be in the form of CDs or DVDs. The entire work (or complete act in the case of an opera) must be on the recording submitted. Be sure to omit any preliminary non-musical materials that are part of the recording. Works on the recording must be correctly identified and labeled. Please indicate on the CD or DVD the index numbers and titles of the tracks. In addition, include a separate cue sheet with CD or DVD name or number, and the index numbers and titles of the tracks. The Foundation recognizes that a suitable recording may not be available for each work that an applicant may wish the Foundation to review. However, any application that does not include a recording of at least two of the works submitted will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.
    • In addition to the CD or DVD recordings submitted with the application package, please indicate a URL or web service (such as the composer's web site, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.) where audio files of these same recordings will be accessible and available for review. Please also include active links to these sound files in the body of the application email. These audio files should be operational and accessible during the period from March 1, 2018 to June 1, 2018.
  5. Copies of the performing organization’s recent publicity material; a listing of its programs for the past two seasons, indicating works performed; and a copy of its best available financial statement, audited if available.
  6. A firm commitment from the performing organization to present the premiere performance of the commissioned work in the organization's regular concert series within two years after receiving the completed score. This commitment may be included as part of the cover letter from the ensemble.

Incomplete applications are unlikely to be funded.

Since the Koussevitzky Foundation cannot assume responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, material submitted for consideration, only duplicate copies of all material should be forwarded. Please note the Foundation’s policy that no materials submitted will be returned.

IMPORTANT: Please note address for all 2018 applications: All submissions should be mailed to:

The Koussevitzky Music Foundation
611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE #118
Washington, DC 20003-4303.

Please do not send materials to the Library of Congress or to any address other than that provided in these guidelines. Submissions must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2018.

For questions about the application process, please telephone the Music Division of the Library of Congress at 202-707-5503 or e-mail [email protected]

Rev. November 2017

Required Application Form

The application form for the Foundation's Commissioning Program is available online in Word and PDF format:

Word - You can download this file and it should open as a word-processing document in either the Windows or Mac versions of Microsoft Word. This will allow you to complete the form in your word processor.

Portable Document Format - You can download the application to your computer as a PDF file where it can then be viewed and printed using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader.

Note: If you have trouble downloading the Word or PDF files, Windows users try clicking on the link with the right mouse button and selecting "Download to disk"; Mac users try clicking on the link while holding down the "Control" key and selecting "Download to disk".

If you need Acrobat Reader, download it here External.

Please Note Application Process for 2018

All applicants should submit all final application materials in one package on or before the postmark deadline of March 1, 2018.

Please send all application materials in one package to:

Koussevitzky Music Foundation
611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE #118
Washington, DC 20003-4303

Please do not send materials directly to the Library of Congress or to any other address.

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