Commissioning & Mentorship

Composers Now has three programs and initiatives that commission and mentor composers.

Cheswatyr Commissions was created and produced by Composers Now with underwriting from the Cheswatyr Foundation. The award commemorates Cece Wasserman and foregrounds her legacy of empowering living composers in substantive ways. Cece was a passionate arts philanthropist and untiring advocate for the composers of our time. Under her leadership, the Foundation commissioned works from a stellar list of composers including Missy Mazzoli, Arlene Sierra and Julia Wolfe.

First Commission awards young composers with support aimed at encouraging artistic potential and creative development. Pre-college-aged composers from notable New York music programs are nominated and reviewed by a jury. Selected composers receive a Composers Now commission and world premiere at the Composers Now Festival Opening Event.

Second Stage is a commissioning, mentoring and professional development initiative designed at the invitation of and with underwriting from the Toulmin Foundation. Second Stage provides an in-depth experience for a cohort of three creators that culminates with a concert of world premieres in New York City.

The Mentors were selected by Composers Now for their creativity, backgrounds, artistic practices, work as educators and extra-musical skill sets to inspire the young composers. In addition to a set of meetings between mentor and composer during the writing process, the young composers will meet with professionals within and from aligned fields to expand their knowledge.

A primary question posed by Composers Now during the early meetings was:

If chosen, the compositional goal will be for you to venture into a type, style, genre, technology or instrumentation that you have not yet had any significant exposure to. In other words, a new 'frontier' for your creative expansion and an experience of discovery.