Deadline: Thursday, December 22 at 5pm
Notification by: January 20, 2023

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with the Ontario Region of the Canadian Music Centre, is seeking applicants for the Composer Fellowship Program for the 22-23 Season and 23-24 Season. The HPO’s Composer Fellowship program is a 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. 

We are currently seeking one composer fellow for the 22-23 Season and two fellows for the 23-24 Season. The program includes valuable mentorship activities with Music Director Gemma New, Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte, HPO musicians and administrative staff. Participating composers have a unique opportunity to enhance their skills in composition and audience engagement while gaining a comprehensive understanding of how to successfully write for a professional orchestra. Composer Fellows attend orchestra rehearsals as well as engage in pre-concert talks, educational events and audience engagement activities, providing a deeper understanding of the opportunities for composers in the Canadian orchestral music industry.

In addition, the Composer Fellow will write a 5-6 minute orchestral work to be premiered by the HPO. The Composer Fellow will be provided with an archival recording of the performance. The HPO will offer an 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 mentorship 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.

The HPO recognizes our role in the development of future generations of orchestral musicians, conductors and composers, and acknowledges inequalities in access to training and development opportunities. We are an equal-opportunity employer and are committed to maintaining a work atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds may grow personally and professionally.

Composers and artists who identify with communities which have been marginalized within orchestra music education and the wider industry are invited and encouraged to consult with program organizers in order to support the preparation of application materials.

22-23 Composer Fellowship (1 Position)
For this position, we are seeking an early-career composer with some experience writing for orchestra who will write a piece for our Mainstage concert on May 13, 2023 (note that score and parts will need to be provided six weeks in advance, please note in your application if this timeline is achievable). This Composer Fellow will be aged 26 or over and receive a $4,000 honorarium.

23-24 Composer Fellowship (2 Positions)
We are seeking two fellows for this season, one aged 25 or younger and one aged 26 or older. The younger composer will write a new work for our Intimate & Immersive series and receive a $3,000 honorarium. The older fellow will write a new piece for our Mainstage series and receive a $4,000 honorarium


  • Completed application form
  • Brief Biography and CV (PDF, 2 pages max.)
  • Two 2-minute excerpts. Please provide a link to streaming audio 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 Joseph Glaser ( for application support or with specific program questions.

22-23 Composer Fellow Dates

Due to the HPO concert schedule, the Composer Fellows should be available for most of the following dates in addition to five flexible days TBD.

  • Friday, March 24, 2023
  • Saturday, March 25, 2023
  • Friday, April 14, 2023
  • Saturday, April 15, 2023
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2023
  • Thursday, May 4, 2023
  • Thursday, May 11, 2023
  • Friday, May 12, 2023
  • Saturday, May 13, 2023
Attendance dates for the 23-24 Composer Fellows will be shared at a later time