composition program

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Available in both Sessions I and II

composition-program-photoIn each session of every summer, the New York Summer Music Festival offers a comprehensive two-week composition workshop for young composers. The program focuses on writing concert music and the performance of new works, as well as computer music notation, orchestration, and discussion of contemporary music. The Composition Workshop also includes advanced music courses, composition classes, and private lessons. A recorded concert featuring composition students’ works will take place at the conclusion of each two-week session.


  • Daily composition workshops as well as classes in Counterpoint and Orchestration and Arranging
  • Weekly 1-hour private composition lessons
  • Professional-level readings and performances of students’ works by NYSMF faculty and staff
  • Access to NYSMF’s computer facilities, equipped with Sibelius composition software
  • Opportunities to participate in all other NYSMF programs, classes, ensembles, etc.

Daniel Ott, Composition Program Director

daniel-ottComposer Daniel Ott’s music has been performed all over the world in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, New York City Center, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France. Ott is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the coveted Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has served residencies at the Kyoto International Music Students Festival in Japan, the Seaside Institute’s “Escape to Create” program, the Northwest Sinfonietta, and the Max Aronoff Viola Institute since 1993. Ott is on the faculties of Juilliard and Fordham University, where he serves as Artist-in-Residence. He received his BM from The Curtis Institute of Music, and an MM and DMA from Juilliard.

How to Apply

Please follow these directions to apply to the NYSMF Composition Workshop:

  • Complete the NYSMF Online Application Form and pay the Application Fee.
  • Enter COMPOSITION PROGRAM APPLICATION in the GENERAL NOTES box in section 1 of the Online Application.

Send the following additional application materials in ONE email to

  • Teacher letter of Recommendation
  • 1 to 3 PDF scores of recently written music that you feel best demonstrate your abilities as a composer.
  • Links of recordings of these scores uploaded to YouTube/Vimeo/etc. Live performances are preferred, but MIDI realizations are acceptable.
  • Short Essay (300 words of less) describing what you would like to work on and study at NYSMF.
  • List of teachers, performances, and professional recognition.

Additionally, you can also optionally add (strongly recommended):

  • Autobiography
  • Additional background information
  • Letter of recommendation from a composition instructor

Important Notes

    • Pieces must be composed before arrival and may be scored for up to four instruments. Any combination of 1 of each of the following instruments is acceptable: flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion.
    • If you prefer to use your own computer, you may bring it and connect in the labs yourself.
    • NYSMF will not accept hardcopy or piecemeal applications.
    • All applications must be compiled and send in a single message via email to
    • Please make sure any and all written attachments are in any standard text format so that we will be able to read them. (TXT, RTF, PDF, MS Word, etc.)

DEADLINE: June 1  (Early application submissions are encouraged due to the limited number of participants)

Late applications may be accepted if space remains: email for details.

COMPOSITION PROGRAM TUITION: $300 per session (in addition to all other NYSMF tuition and fees)