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Orchestral Composition Reading & Career-Development Session

Deadline: Monday, Jan 15, 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 the TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, the TSO Composer Advisor Emilie LeBel, and the TSO Affiliate Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. 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 Alison Yun-Fei Jiang on Friday, March 1, 2024. 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 May 11, 2024, at Roy Thomson Hall, from 10:00am to 12:30pm, conducted by TSO Resident Conductor, Trevor Wilson. Each work will receive a reading of approximately 20 minutes. 
  • Feedback session with Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, TSO Composer Advisor Emilie LeBel, TSO Affiliate Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, TSO Artistic staff, and representative musicians from the orchestra’s wind, percussion and string sections on Saturday May 11, 2024 (after the Reading Session). Composers will attend the Saturday May 11, 2024 sessions in person. 
  • A complimentary ticket to the TSO concert on the evening of Saturday May 11, 2024. 
  • One individual follow-up virtual mentorship session for each participant with TSO Affiliate Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, date and time in 2024, TBD. 
  • 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 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 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, January 15, 2024 The online form will be closed at midnight (12:00 am PST) on Monday, January 15, 2024 

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 Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, and an external composer (TBD).
  • Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, January 22, 2024, 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 Alison Yun-Fei Jiang at the TSO library on Friday, March 1, 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 Principal Librarian Christopher Reiche Boucher will be provided to the composer in preparation for the Monday, March 25, 2024, score and parts deadline. 
  • The successful applicant must be able to deliver parts and large-format conductor scores in PDF format by Monday, March 25, 2024. Parts and scores should meet all professional standards as outlined.

Important Dates

  • Monday, January 15, 2024: Deadline for submissions 
  • Friday, February 16, 2024: Preliminary samples of score and parts (PDFs) due with the library 
  • Friday, March 1, 2024: Library session 
  • Monday, March 25, 2024: Final score and parts due in the library 
  • Saturday, May 11, 2024: Explore the Score

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:

Susana Almeida
416.593.7769 X 263