Applications Now Open!

Workshop Dates: June 18-30, 2018

Tuition: $1,885 ($1,860 early bird)

Accommodation: UNC Charlotte on-campus apartments, $600 (2 weeks double occupancy), or $980 (2 weeks single oc.), breakfast included.

Application Deadline: before February 28, 2018 midnight.

Applications are reviewed as they are received and acceptances are on a rolling basis.


About the Composers Workshop:

The Composers Workshop is the main event of CNMF — a two-week program that selects about thirty emerging composers to work closely with world-class performers and distinguished faculty in the creation of new works for performance at the festival. Participants will hone their craft, build their professional networks, listen to a lot of exciting new music, receive valuable and pragmatic career advice, and much more.

Participation in the Composers Workshop includes:

  • Two professional performances of your music: 1) A commissioned work written for the festival. 2) A speedwriting assignment, written and performed during the festival.
  • Option to perform an additional piece on our “New Music Open Mic Night.”
  • High-quality audio and video recording of the performances.
  • Opportunity to work with guest musicians in rehearsing your music.
  • Lectures by eminent guest composers and musicians.
  • Two private lessons with guest composers.
  • Admission to all festival concerts.
  • Making new friends and being part of a supportive artistic community.
  • New professional headshot photos for portfolio/website use [optional, no extra cost].
Typical Daily Schedule:

  • 9-11:30am — Composers Colloquium (participant presentations)
  • 11:30am-1pm — Lunch
  • 1-2:30pm — Lectures from guest composers & performers
  • 3-6pm — Rehearsals & Lessons, optional seminars
  • 6-7:30pm — Dinner
  • 7:30pm — Concerts
2018 Guest Composers
2018 Guest Performers


Dance Co-Lab:

Co-Lab is canceled for 2018. We are working to bring it back for 2019.

Interested composers may choose to participate in the Dance Co-lab. As of right now, the Dance Co-Lab may not be offered this year, but in case it becomes possible to offer, we encourage you to mention your interest in your application.

This one-of-a-kind program pairs composers with choreographers with the aim of developing interdisciplinary collaboration skills. Each composer-choreographer team will work together in the creation of a new work in which the music and choreography are organically linked. Composers will learn a lot about dance. They will gain a deeper understanding of how choreographers think, see how new choreography is developed, watch how dancers rehearse, and ultimately learn what is required to write effective music for dance. Please note that only a small number of slots are available for the Dance Co-lab. Be sure to indicate your interest in this opportunity on the application.


Robinson Hall of UNC Charlotte is where the workshops will take place. Some concerts will be on campus, other concerts will be in different types of venues throughout Charlotte. Locations will be posted on the master schedule, which you will receive before the festival.

Lodging is at the UNC Charlotte dorms. Participants may carpool with each other and/or CNMF staff. Meals and transportation are not included.


Q: How long does it take to hear back about my application?

  • A: We let you know within 3-8 business days depending on how many applications we are going through.

Q: When should I arrive and depart?

  • A: Typically, everyone arrives the day before and departs the day after. For 2018, arrive June 17 and depart July 1. Lodging with our group covers these dates. International travelers are encouraged to arrive 1-2 days ahead of time to adjust and be sure they get here on time. Every year, we have had at least one international flight delayed.

Q: How will I know what I’m supposed to write for?

  • A: Instrumentation is based on your interests that you indicate in your application.

Q: Can I submit a pre-existing work?

  • A: Absolutely, although we highly recommend that you compose a new piece for the specific artists that you will be working with. If you already have a piece that would work well for your given instrumentation, though, just let us know.

Q: Do I rehearse my piece with the ensemble?

  • A: Yes, you will be scheduled to rehearse with your ensemble for an hour. Please understand that rehearsal time is tight! The ensembles will rehearse on their own as well; unfortunately, there simply isn’t time for multiple rehearsals with composers present. We present over 50 works each festival.

Q: What should I bring with me?

  • For clothes — You may want something “nicer” for concerts (i.e. when your piece is played) but overall the festival is quite casual. Summer in Charlotte is HOT and can be sporadically rainy. Otherwise, the expected items: toiletries, laptop, thumb drive, scores (for lessons), staff paper (etc.).

Q: Is Charlotte safe?

  • Charlotte is quite safe, but with any large cities, normal precautions should be made. We are a big group, so you won’t have to travel alone. The dorms and most of the workshop will be on University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus, which has its own police department in addition to the city police.

Testimonials from 2016:

Jeff Young (Atlanta, GA): I will always look back on CNMF 2016 as a critical milestone in my life as a composer. Words cannot do justice to Elizabeth Kowalski’s vision in founding this venue for emerging composers to share their work in an open and supportive environment, and have it publically performed by first rate professional musicians. Kudos also to Adam Scott Neal and the other staff for their hard work and organizational skill, and to the excellent visiting lecturers and musicians – all dedicated teachers. I have stayed in touch with colleagues I met at CNMF and hope I have the good fortune to work again with many of them.

Joseph Adams (Tuscaloosa, AL): I left the Charlotte New Music Festival with many new friends and colleagues. Meeting Bent Frequency and having them premiere my piece was invaluable, and it was an opportunity to share my music with different composers and gain valuable feedback. I highly recommend it!


Testimonials from 2015:

Lydia Pugh (Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK): “It has been an absolutely incredible two weeks at ‪#‎CNMF2015‬ – I’ve learned and experienced so much, been to a part of the world I never thought I’d want to go (and of course would now love to go back to), and of course, I’ve made so many amazing new friends. Being around you incredibly talented people for a fortnight has re-ignited a spark that I thought might be dwindling, and given me fresh perspective and ideas galore.”

Lansing McLoskey (Miami, FL)“At the Charlotte New Music Festival following a SUPERB performance of “Yellow.” One of the best performances of the piece, ever. Had a wonderful (though too brief!) time there. Great batch of students, and they had the Beo String Quartet, loadbang, and Great Noise Ensemble in residence this year, so the performances were TOP notch and the students had a ton of personal, one-on-one interaction with the performers.
Students out there looking for a festival to attend next summer, I can highly recommend CNMF!”

Bill Heinze (Chicago, IL): “The lessons were great, the city was beautiful, and the music was beautiful.
Thanks to the Great Noise Ensemble and the Beo String Quartet for performing my music. The concerts were astounding.”

Matt Magerkurth (Kansas City, MO):“The chance to work with and hang out with the amazing loadbang, Beo String Quartet, and Great Noise Ensemble has really been sensational. Excellent music. Excellent people.”

Trey Makler (Kansas City, MO):“Words aren’t good enough to express what the Charlotte New Music Festival has done for me as an artist and as a human. CNMF staff worked so hard every day to make the festival come to life and they more than succeeded. I met some of the most incredible people on earth there and was surrounded with people who completely understood who I was and what it meant to be a composer.”

Richard An (Los Angeles, CA):“Had premieres by the wonderful Great Noise Ensemble and the Beo String Quartet! I would recommend this festival to composers in any stage of their careers.”

Ian Guthrie (TX):“In addition to great performances of my music, this festival provided me with big connections with important composers, performers, and organizations. That is exactly what a composition festival should do.”


Testimonials from 2013:

Kaito Nakahori (Japan):   “Great music festival!!  Had a great time!!  Two of my pieces were performed so beautifully.”

Garrett Hecker (Gainesville, FL):  “Amazing performance of my piece Mesh Interior by the IKTUS percussion/piano duo.  Congrats to all that had works performed at the Charlotte New Music Festival!”

Haerim Soek (Korea):  “Had a private lesson with Dr. Allemeier.  It was great.  More than great.”

Kyle Simpson (Pittsburgh, PA):  “Thank You Charlotte New Music Festival, it was a great experience.  I feel incredibly inspired from hearing the other composers at the festival, and I am so honored to have such wonderful musicians perform my music.  Thank you everyone and thanks for a great two weeks!”

Dale Sakamoto (Mission Viejo, CA):  “Wow Iktus Percussion/Piano duo did a fabulous job on all the student compositions and the Stochkausen piece.  I’ve never heard an electronic piece I’ve enjoyed so much.”

Hong-Da Chin  (Malaysia):  “The premiere of my string quartet ‘…the clock is ticking…’ by the awesome Freya String Quartet was a success.  Thanks Freya String Quartet and Charlotte New Music Festival!”


Testimonials from 2012:

Drew Dolan:  “Hodges-Taylor Ensemble is slated to perform the premiere of the full finished version of the piece I wrote for the workshop, Soyuzmultfilm. Feb. 10, 2013 at Providence Chamber Music Series.”

Ian Good:  “I really gained from the private lessons, each one has “stuck” with me for one (good) reason or another.”