Young Artist Summer Program: Composer 2017-02-08T10:34:07+00:00

Experience a rigorous conservatory schedule in an intimate, challenging, and supportive environment. This three-week course features personalized attention from a distinguished faculty.

Composition majors learn from daily seminar classes, weekly lessons, and collaborations with instrumental teachers. The course offers participants a performance and recording of their work played by Summerfest faculty. The elements of the composition curriculum include:

  • Daily seminar class featuring discussions about the past and future of composition; advice from performers about how to write for their instruments; and conversations about commissions, competitions, publishing, and other issues composers face today.

  • Private lessons weekly, with Jonathan Bailey Holland, chair of composition, theory and history at The Boston Conservatory; David Ludwig, head of composition at the Curtis Institute of Music; and Dmitri Tymoczko, faculty at Princeton University.

  • All-program choir and orchestral score study
  • A performance and recording of one of your works by Curtis musicians – unique to this program.

      The chamber work performed by the Curtis Summerfest faculty is written by composition participants before the start of the program. Accepted composition participants are sent specific options for instrumentation. Composers submit scores 1-2 weeks in advance of arrival. This chamber work will be performed by Summerfest faculty during the composition recitals in the second and third week of the program. Additional works written during the program may be seen by composition faculty during lessons and seminar, and workshopped by peers.


  • The composition department welcomes distinguished master-class faculty to present their work in a small-lecture format, with opportunities for questions and discussion. Past master-class faculty have included Steven Mackey, Efstratios Minakaki, and Joan Tower. In 2017 we are honored to welcome two outstanding guest artists: Missy Mazzoli, “Brooklyn’s post-millenial Mozart” (Time Out New York); and Christopher Rouse, faculty at the Juilliard School and Peabody Institute.

Composers aged 14 to 22 who have studied privately are welcome to apply.

Program Cost 2017

  • Application Fee: $65 / $125*
  • Tuition: $3,370
  • Housing and Dining: $2,487

*Application fee: $65 before 11:59 a.m. EST on January 31, 2017; $125 (January 31–March 15).
Composition applications close Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 11:59 a.m. EST.

Monday—Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning Choir Rehearsal  Composition Recital Performance class
Musical Studies class/Lessons/Individual composition time Chamber recital sound check Master class
Afternoon Composition Seminar Community meeting Free Time: Excursion
Master classes/Composition recital rehearsals Attend Chamber Recital Free Time: Excursion
Score study (attend orchestra rehearsal) AttendOrchestra Recital Score Study

All participants check-in: Sunday, July 16 between 3—6 p.m.
Mandatory Orientation: Sunday, July 16 from 7—9 p.m.
Check-out: Saturday, August 5 at 5 p.m.

Please visit the schedule page for more detail and updates.
*Schedule is subject to change.

Applicants who wished to be considered for financial assistance were asked to submit their applications for the program by January 31, 2017. If you still wish to be considered for financial assistance, please inquire at to see what possibilities may still be available.

Students and parents are urged to seek financial assistance from local sources such as school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanas, etc.); businesses; local churches; and foundations.

Visit this blog post to see an example of past participant’s fundraising.

Musicians who reside in Canada are invited to apply for the Council for Canadian American Relations Cross-Border Summer Scholarship, which covers tuition, housing and dining for those who might not otherwise have the financial resources to participate. Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance are required to submit their applications for the program by January 31, 2016. One Canadian applicant from those who are accepted into the program will receive notification of this award by e-mail. If you wish to be considered for this scholarship, contact for a financial assistance application