New York, NY – Submissions are now being accepted for the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) First Music 2020/2021 season! First Music, the New York Youth Symphony’s young composer competition, commissions America’s best emerging orchestra, chamber music, and jazz composers under the age of 30. It has been acknowledged widely as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention. Seven awards between $1,000 and $3,000 will be given this season for orchestral, jazz, and chamber music compositions, with premieres at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and TheTimesCenter. Continuing and expanding its partnership with the Interlochen Center for the Arts, three grand prize winners will be selected from the orchestra, jazz, and chamber music categories, to be co-commissioned by, and premiered at the Interlochen Arts Camp in summer 2021.

NYYS Executive Director Shauna Quill says “We are thrilled that our partnership with Interlochen continues to broaden the reach of new music, and offer career-boosting opportunities to young composers. We are particularly excited to offer three grand prizes this season, one for each commissioning genre, which furthers our goals of building a more diverse community of composers.”

Interlochen Presents Executive Director Rory Baker says “The growth of our co-commissioning partnership with the NYYS furthers our mission to foster the creativity and awareness of new music with musicians and music patrons alike. The First Music program is a wonderful opportunity for composers to have their works performed by top tier young musicians, and for those musicians to premier new works by their peers.”

The NYYS is proud to have commissioned over 160 original works for orchestra, chamber music, and jazz through First Music since 1984, all of which have been premiered by NYYS ensembles at venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. First Music commissions have been awarded to Aaron J. Kernis, David Lang, Kevin Puts, Julia Wolfe, Michael Torke, and Timo Andres, among others. NYYS is proud that First Music composers have been recognized with 12 Rome Prizes, 16 Guggenheim Fellowships, two Grawemeyer Awards, and four Pulitzer Prizes.

Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis is chair of the First Music advisory committee for orchestra and chamber music. Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and founder of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance chairs the advisory committee for jazz.

Orchestra and chamber music submissions must be received by October 18, 2019 for consideration. For more information please visit


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