2022 Classical Commissioning FAQs

Below are preliminary questions for Classical Commissioning. After reading the FAQ’s, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the program Guidelines prior to beginning an application.


Who may apply to this program?

U.S.-based ensembles and U.S.-based not-for-profit presenters are eligible to apply.


May composers submit an application?

Only ensembles, or presenters working with ensembles, may apply to this program. Individual composers must work with an ensemble or presenter applicant.


Does the composer need to have a certain residency status?

Yes, the composer must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Those with residency applications in progress are not eligible.


Is non-profit status required?

Non-profit status is required of presenter applicants but not of ensembles. 


Is Chamber Music America membership required? 

Presenter applicants and ensembles, whether applicant or appearing on a presenter’s application, must have a CMA Organizational-level member through June 2022. CMA membership is not required for the composer.


Our ensemble is fiscally sponsored. Does CMA make payments to fiscal sponsors if we are awarded a grant?

No, CMA does not make payments to fiscal sponsors; rather, payments are made to the ensemble contact person that is administering the grant award. 


We currently have a CMA Classical Commissioning Program grant. May we apply for the 2022 grant cycle?

You must complete your current project. However, if your composer has finished their commission and has submitted the score to CMA, they are eligible to be part of a 2022 grant application.


We now have funding in another CMA program; may we apply to Classical Commissioning as well?

If you have an open New Jazz Works grant, you may not apply to Classical Commissioning. However, current Ensemble Forward, Artistic Projects, Performance Plus, or Presenter Consortium for Jazz grantees are welcome to apply, if they have a current Organization-level CMA membership and meet all the program criteria.


The composer has already composed the work and seeks funds to pay for the piece. Is this eligible? 

No. This program funds the composition of an entirely new piece.


We are a composer collective that also performs. May we apply to co-compose a new work?

No. This program will only fund projects naming one individual as the composer.


Where can we learn more about ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers?

CMA’s Composers Equity Project database lists ALAANA (African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American), women, and gender non-conforming composers who have expressed interest in creating new work for classical/contemporary chamber ensembles. CMA does not vouch for a specific composer. 


How can a composer be included in the Composers Equity Project database?

Composers are welcome to submit their information here. Updates are made throughout the year.


Does one need to apply with a composer listed in the Composer Equity Project database?

No. This database is available as a resource for researching composers.

For the composer’s audio files, may we upload selections from commercially released CDs?

Yes, selections from commercially released CDs are eligible.


May ensembles also include selections from commercially released recordings?

At least one of the ensemble’s audio files must be from a live concert recording. The other sample may be from a commercially released CD.


Are music scores accepted with the audio files?

No, CMA does not need scores with the audio files and does not conduct its adjudication with scores.


Do you accept videos as work samples?

No, videos are not accepted, as the adjudication process is done solely by listening to the audio samples. CMA accepts mp3 and m4a audio files only. 


We are a large ensemble with variable instrumentation. What should we provide on our work sample?

The recording may include varying configurations of the collective or roster, but a majority of the musicians (greater than 50 percent) who will perform the proposed commission must appear on each audio file. The ensemble size of each sample may not exceed 10 musicians.


Must the composer’s audio files be chamber music only?

CMA prefers works for small ensembles, so that the panel may hear how the composer writes for this form. However, if the composer has no recordings of small ensemble writing, other types of works are accepted.


On Submittable, what is the difference between the “Save Draft” and “Submit”? 

  • Use “Save Draft” to save your work in the online form and return to it at another time. Your application will remain available until the application deadline.

  • Click “Submit” once you have answered all application questions and uploaded all required documents. You must submit on or before the deadline. 


Will I receive notification confirming receipt of my application?

Yes, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.


May I revise my application after I have clicked “submit” and received a CMA confirmation email? 

No, once you “submit” your application, your application is locked.


What is the next step after submission? 

CMA reviews the applications and contacts applicants with any questions or concerns about the application. An independent peer-review panel—musicians, composers, and presenters with broad experience in new music—reviews the applications. Representative list of recent panelists.


When will I know the status of my request?

Applicants will be notified by the end of June 2022.


Who receives payments if we are awarded a grant?

If an ensemble does not have non-profit status, the group must choose one person who will manage the grant and receive payments. If a presenter or an ensemble has non-profit status, the payments are made to the organization. 


Are grant funds taxable?

Yes, the designated contact person who manages the grant is responsible for filing appropriate tax forms. CMA issues a 1099 form for grantees’ tax reporting.


If awarded the grant, what is the composer’s deadline for completing the commission?

The new piece must be completed, and a digital copy of the score must be turned in to CMA by September 30, 2023.


When and where must the concerts take place?

A minimum of three public performances of the work for a live concert audience must take place by June 2025. CMA requires booking confirmation of the premiere by February 1, 2024. 


If granted, may we present our three performances for students and in a school?

No, the concerts must be open to the public.


Where may I find more information? 

Read the program guidelines and attend an application workshop for more information. 

Apply for this Grant | RSVP for Application Workshops

To answer additional questions about the Classical Commissioning application process, contact:

Susan Dadian, Grant Programs Officer, sdadian@chamber-music.org or (212) 242-2022, ext. 102.

Geysa Castro, Director of Membership Services, gcastro@chamber-music.org 

For technical support or problems with your Submittable account (log-in, password, etc.) and software glitches, among others, please contact Submittable directly.