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Orchestral Composition Reading & Career-Development Session

Deadline for submissions: Monday, August 12, 2024

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), in collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), is pleased to offer an orchestral composition career development session for Canadian composers. The purpose of the session is to offer composers an opportunity to hear their works rehearsed in a professional orchestral setting, while gaining experience working alongside a professional organization. Selected participants will receive feedback from TSO guest composer/conductor John Adams, TSO Composer Advisor Emilie LeBel, the TSO Affiliate Composer, and TSO musician representatives. They will also have an opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue with members of the orchestra, staff, and a TSO Library representative.

The Orchestral Composition Reading & Career-Development Session will include

  • Library session for selected participants hosted by Joseph Glaser at the Canadian Music Centre on Monday, September 9, 2024 (time TBD). The session will be led by a TSO Library
    Representative and the TSO Affiliate Composer. Composers will have the option to attend this
    session in person or virtually but are highly encouraged to attend in person.
  • Orchestral Composition Reading Session on Saturday, November 9, 2024, at Roy Thomson Hall, from 10:00am to 12:30pm. The conductor for this reading session will be confirmed closer to the date. Each work will receive a reading of approximately 20 minutes.
  • Feedback session with TSO guest composer/conductor John Adams, TSO Composer Advisor Emilie LeBel, TSO Affiliate Composer, TSO Artistic staff, and representative musicians from the orchestra’s wind, percussion and string sections on Saturday November 9, 2024 (after the Reading Session). Composers will attend the Saturday, November 9, 2024, sessions in person.
  • A complimentary ticket to the TSO concert on the evening of Saturday, November 9, 2024.
  • One individual follow-up virtual mentorship session for each participant with TSO Affiliate Composer upon request.
  • Composers will receive a copy of an archival recording of their work for their personal review and/or grant application purposes.


The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is committed to the support and development of orchestral repertoire that reflects the diversity of Canada. We welcome applications from diverse cultural and regional communities. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, BIPOC persons, and persons with disabilities. Open to all Canadian composers (citizens, permanent residents), with no age restrictions.

  • Works must not have been commissioned by a professional orchestra.
  • Works that have already been performed, or that are scheduled for an upcoming performance or another workshop opportunity by a professional orchestra are not eligible.
  • We ask that all applicants disclose other professional orchestral programs in which they have participated, or are scheduled to participate (residencies, fellowships, readings, and so on).
  • Previous participants of TSO Reading Sessions are not eligible.
  • There is no duration limit, though shorter works (under eight minutes) are encouraged. An excerpt or movement from a longer work may also be submitted.
  • Submissions should not exceed the following instrumentation: timp + 3 Perc Hp Kbd Str (
  • Works requiring vocals or electronics are not eligible.
  • Concertos are not eligible.
  • The chosen composers are expected to all attend reading session activities. If a selected composer is unable to attend the reading, another composer’s work will be chosen.
  • NB: The TSO does not provide travel or accommodation costs for composers to attend either the preparatory session with the TSO Library or the Orchestral Score Reading Session. The TSO can supply composers with invitation letters to support applications to travel grants.

Submission Guidelines

Composers are required to submit materials electronically. Please use the online submission form to provide the following:

  • Score (PDF)
  • Link to streaming audio/video, if available, of the submitted work. MIDI realizations are acceptable.
  • Composer CV (5 pages maximum)
  • Short statements in response to two questions

Submission Deadline

DEADLINE: Monday, August 12, 2024 The online form will be closed at midnight (11:59 pm EST)

English Submissions:
French Submissions:

Selection Process

  • Up to four composers will be selected to participate in the TSO Orchestral Composition Reading & Career Development Session.
  • The scores for the Reading Session will be chosen by a jury consisting of a representative musician from the orchestra, the TSO Affiliate Composer, and an external composer (TBD).
  • Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday, August 27th, 2024.

Preparation of Scores and Parts for Orchestral Composition Reading Session

  • Successful applicants will have the opportunity to meet with a TSO Library Representative, and the TSO Affiliate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre on Monday, September 9, 2024 (time TBD).
  • The session will cover part preparation techniques in advance of the composer’s own extraction and printing of their parts for the reading session. There will be an opportunity to review formatting details before scores and parts are due in the library.
  • A list of requirements from the TSO Library Representative will be provided to the composer in preparation for the Monday, September 23, 2024, score and parts deadline.
  • The successful applicant must be able to deliver parts and large-format conductor scores in PDF format by Monday, September 23, 2024. Parts and scores should meet all professional standards as outlined.

Important Dates

  • Monday, August 12, 2024: Deadline for submissions
  • Wednesday, September 4, 2024: Preliminary samples of score and parts (PDFs) due with the library
  • Monday, September 9, 2024: Library session
  • Monday, September 23, 2024: Final score and parts due in the library
  • Saturday, November 9, 2024: Explore the Score Orchestral Reading Session

Additional Information

The TSO’s and CMC’s social media channels will be used to promote the selected composers. Members of the TSO’s and/or CMC’s marketing team may be at concerts, rehearsals, and in backstage areas photographing (no video or audio recording) and writing accounts of behind-the-scenes activities. Unless notified in writing that an Orchestral Composition Reading Session composer declines participation in the TSO’s social media initiative, the TSO is granted permission to capture his/her/their image for distribution on TSO social media channels, including (but not limited to) X, Instagram, and Facebook.

All inquiries should be sent to:

Marlena Pellegrino, New Music Coordinator