Deadline: Friday, November 5 at 1pm EST

Notification by November 29, 2021

[button color=”yellow” size=”normal” alignment=”none” rel=”follow” target=”_blank” url=”″]Apply Now[/button]
The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with the Ontario Region of the Canadian Music Centre, announces its Composer Fellowship Program for the 21-22 Season. The HPO’s Composer Fellowship program is tuition-free training opportunity aimed at connecting early career composers with professionals in the orchestral world to nurture and develop new skills through mentorship and the creation of a new work.One Ontario-based composer will be selected to participate in the program, which includes a number of mentorship activities with Music Director Gemma New, Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte, and HPO musicians and staff. The Composer Fellow is expected to attend orchestra rehearsals as well as engage in pre-concert talks, community and donor events as well as education for students and seniors. The 21-22 Season features in-person concerts as well as livestreamed concerts and outreach events.In addition, the Composer Fellow will write a 5-6 minute orchestral work to be premiered by the HPO on a Mainstage concert in March 2022. The Composer Fellow will be provided with an archival recording of the performance. The HPO will offer a $4000 CAD honorarium in support of a new work and travel expenses. It is highly encouraged that applicants are close enough to travel to Hamilton (by car or public transit) to take full advantage of the opportunity.Accommodations and adjustments to expectations will be made as a result of evolving public health requirements and risk-mitigating strategies. 


This is a training program for emerging composers on the edge of a professional career who seek real world advice and experiences. There will be assigned tasks, expectations and time commitment. This program is not intended for composers who have substantial orchestral experience or those interested solely in a commission.

There is no age limit for this opportunity, as the HPO acknowledges that emerging composers can be of any age.

This season, applicants from equity-seeking groups will be prioritized. The HPO acknowledges our role in the development of future generations of orchestral musicians, conductors and composers and in fostering a more equitable future for our industry.



  • Completed application form
  • Brief Biography and CV (PDF, 2 pages max.)
  • Two 2-minute excerpts from past works. Please provide a link to streaming audio/video and scores in PDF format with title pages and excerpted portions only.
    • Please try to match chosen excerpts to the project: please submit at least one large ensemble or orchestral work.
    • MIDI is only acceptable for one work if necessary.
  • A short written statement outlining your interests in the program, and the ideas you would like to explore in a new piece for this program.

Due to the HPO concert schedule, the Composer Fellows should be available for most of the following dates (please comment if unavailable) in addition to five flexible days TBD. These specific dates involve concert, rehearsal and event attendance as well as participation in community outreach. Aside from artistic mentorship, the position will also include content on orchestral protocols, library expectations, music direction for video, marketing, audience engagement and public speaking. There is flexibility in the program to accommodate skills and interests. The Canadian Music Centre will highlight the Composer Fellow through the CMC website.

Please contact Marketing and Communications Manager Megan Nourse at the email with program and application questions. 


2022 Dates

January 28, Daytime
January 29, Evening
March 17-18, Daytime
March 19, Daytime and evening
May 13, Daytime
May 14, Evening
June 22-23, Daytime
June 24, Evening
June 25, Daytime
June 26, Daytime and evening

Please allow for 5 additional flex days to engage in community and education programming



Program support by

The RBC Emerging Artists Project supports organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, performance, literature and film.





Past Composer Fellowship Recipients