Call for Scores

Since 1985, the New England Philharmonic has been one of few orchestras of its size in the country with a Composer-in-Residence program that holds an annual Call for Scores competition, receiving dozens of submissions from around the world. Winning scores are performed on one of our season’s programs. By presenting these new works in the context of pieces by established composers— including classics of the symphonic repertory—the New England Philharmonic demonstrates that orchestral music is not a finished collection of museum pieces, but a living, evolving tradition. This approach has won the orchestra excellent reviews and wide recognition, including nine national awards for programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and one of the first grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for new music.

The winner of the 2015 competition, Spectre of the Spheres” by David Hertzberg, was chosen from 133 entries from 22 countries, more than twice the number of applications received in recent past. “The quality of submissions was the highest since I’ve started overseeing the NEP call for scores,” said NEP’s Composer-in-Residence, David Rakowski who has presided over the judging for the last four years. “The six finalists were all excellent works.”

The composition received its Boston premiere by the NEP under the direction of Richard Pittman at their April 30, 2016 concert “From the Seas to the Heavens.” The 2016 winning composition will be performed by the NEP during the 2016-17 season.

Please check back in early December 2016 for details on our upcoming Call for Scores.


Scores will be accepted from emerging composers. The application fee of $40 per score must accompany each submission. The performance of the submitted score will be no longer than a 15-minute duration.

 Instrumentation may include up to the following:

3 flutes (1 doubling piccolo)
3 oboe (1 doubling English horn)
3 clarinet (1 doubling bass clarinet)
3 bassoon (1 doubling contrabassoon)
4 horns, 3 trumpets
3 trombones (3rd is bass trombone)
1 tuba
1 timpanist
3 percussion

Concertos, vocal works, and works for string orchestra, woodwind- or brass ensemble are not eligible for application.

Application Deadline: We are not taking applications at this time. Please check back in August.

Click here to access the online application. All materials (including $40 application fee) must be submitted electronically by April 1, 2016. Scores and recordings should be uploaded via a Dropbox link.

How to Apply:

Please upload the following on the online Google Form application:

  • Composer contact and biography
  • Instrumentation and program notes, including the work’s performance history
  • Dropbox link to the electronic score file in PDF format
  • Dropbox link to audio file of work in mp3, aiff, or wav format (if recording is available)
  • $40 application fee in US dollars via PayPal – pay here

All materials must be received by the New England Philharmonic by April 1, 2016.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email