Composition

Composition Fellows balance intensive on-site writing projects with classes, seminars, and discussions led by distinguished composers from a wide range of aesthetic perspectives.
Each composition fellow has at least four works performed during the summer. One will be a chamber work from their existing catalog. (As part of their application materials, composers submit at least one work which they would like to have performed at the Center, suitable for performance by TMC forces). The other three emerge from intensive, on-site writing projects, which involve producing work quickly in order to experiment, develop specific (perhaps unfamiliar) skills, and to foster close connections with TMC performers.

Each week will also include master classes, individual sessions with resident and guest faculty, and opportunities to meet with visiting composers - particularly during the world-renowned Festival of Contemporary Music. The program also includes meetings with BSO musicians and librarians; resident performance faculty who are new music specialists; and experts in the areas of publishing, licensing, and more. 

Each composer is given a studio in which to work, and a key to the Hawthorne Cottage, where most composition classes are held and which contains two computers with internet access and the latest composition software, a grand piano, and stereo equipment.

NEW IN 2017: Beginning in 2017 the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival will invite one composer from a recent Tanglewood Music Center composition class to participate in its Young Composer String Quartet Program. This will entail composing a 6-8 minute string quartet for the Flux Quartet; the commission will entail a week long residency at the Festival, during which the composer will work closely with the Quartet in a workshop and rehearsal process, culminating in a public performance on a regular Festival concert and a recording; a $1000 commissioning fee; and transportation to and from Santa Fe, plus hotel and rental car during the residency.

Composition Fellows are also considered for two TMC commissioned works, for brass and wind ensemble respectively, to be performed during the following Tanglewood season. Commissioned composers for 2018 will receive transportation to and from Tanglewood, accommodations during their stay, and a $2500 honorarium.

Faculty residents at Tanglewood will include Michael Gandolfi (Head of the Composition Program), Julian Anderson, Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, and Steve Mackey; visiting Faculty will include Thomas Ad├ęs, The Boston Symphony's new Artistic Partner.

2017 Composition Projects will include:

  • WRITING FOR DRUM SET, with project leader Steve Mackey and percussionist Jason Treuting of SO Percussion. The project will involve a presentation on what is and isn't possible, notation, and the collaborative relationship; it would culminate in sketches from the composition fellows, to be workshopped at the conclusion of the project.
  • WRITING FOR THEATER, in collaboration with Berkshire neighboring arts organization, Shakespeare & Company.
  • PIECE-A-DAY: Composition fellows write short works each day for three days, for an assigned duo, the instrumentation of each only being revealed at the start of each day; the pieces are revised, rehearsed, and performed in an open workshop setting.  
  • COMPOSER-AS-CONDUCTOR: Pre-Tanglewood, composers are asked to write a brief work for an assigned instrumentation that they will conduct in rehearsal and performance in a an open workshop setting, under the conducting instruction of the TMC's Head of Conducting, Stefan Asbury.

For application requirements and to apply to the Conducting Fellowship Program, click here.