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Orchestral Composition Reading & Career-Development Session

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 the TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, the TSO Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, and the TSO Affiliate Composer.  They will also have an opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue with members of the orchestra, staff, and the TSO Principal Librarian Christopher Reiche Boucher.

The Orchestral Composition Reading & Career-Development Session will include:

  • Library session for selected participants led by TSO Librarian Christopher Reiche Boucher with the TSO Affiliate Composer on Thursday September 8, 2022.  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 October 22, 2022, at Roy Thomson Hall, from 10:00am to 12:30pm, conducted by TSO Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha.  Each work will receive a reading of approximately 20 minutes.
  • Feedback session with Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, TSO Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, TSO Affiliate Composer, TSO Artistic staff, and representative musicians from the orchestra’s woodwind, brass, percussion and string sections on Saturday October 22, 2022 (after the Reading Session). Composers will attend the Saturday October 22, 2022 sessions in person.
  • A complimentary ticket to the TSO concert on the evening of Saturday October 22, 2022.
  • One individual follow-up virtual mentorship session for each participant with TSO Affiliate Composer, date and time in 2023, TBA.
  • 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, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority.

  • Open to all Canadian composers (citizens, permanent residents), with no age restrictions.
  • We ask that applicants disclose other professional orchestral programs in which they have participated (residencies, fellowships, readings, and so on).
  • Unperformed works are encouraged.  Previously performed works are eligible. 
  • Works that have already been scheduled for an upcoming performance or another workshop opportunity by a professional orchestra are not eligible.
  • Previous participants of TSO Reading Sessions are not eligible. 
  • Works must not have been commissioned by a professional orchestra.
  • 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 Strings (*keyboard and harp are not available)
  • 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 TSO Library or the Orchestral Score Reading Session.

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: Tuesday August 2, 2022

The online form will be closed at midnight (12:00am PST) on Tuesday August 2, 2022

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) chosen in consultation with the Canadian Music Centre.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by August 15, 2022, at the latest.

Preparation of Scores and Parts for Orchestral Composition Reading Session

  • Successful applicants will have the opportunity to meet with TSO Principal Librarian Christopher Reiche Boucher, and the TSO Affiliate Composer at the TSO library on Thursday September 8, 2022 (time TBC). 
  • 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 Principal Librarian will be provided to the composer in preparation for the Friday September 16, 2022 score and parts deadline.
  • The successful applicant must be able to deliver parts and large format conductor scores in PDF format by Friday September 16, 2022. Parts and scores should meet all professional standards as outlined.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday August 2: Deadline for submissions
  • Thursday August 25: Preliminary samples of score and parts (PDFs) due with the library 
  • Thursday September 8: Library session 
  • Friday September 16: Final score and parts due in the library 
  • Saturday October 22: Explore the Score

Additional Information

Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this Orchestra Composition Reading Session is subject to change and/or cancellation. 

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) Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

All inquiries should be sent to:

Susana Almeida
416.593.7769 X 263