The Composers Forum is geared towards individuals who are pursuing the craft of composition and receiving professional performances of their works, attending masterclasses, and immersing themselves in the compositional world of Vienna, Austria and all that it has to offer. Interested participants can apply to one of two categories: Instrumental Composition and Opera Composition. Each admitted composers will receive a performance of their new work.
Dates: June 7 - 21
A major highlight of this festival is our participants having their music performed by world class contemporary performers such as PHACE and Irvine Arditti.
Composition students will take private composition lessons with Viennese composers and attend lectures/masterclasses on contemporary music and advanced theory topics.
Amongst the guest faculty, prominent composers such as Lei Liang, Pierluigi Billone, Beat Furrer, Oliver Weber, Ulrich Drechsler, Reinhard Fuchs, Clemens Gadenstätter, and other visiting guests will join the festival.
Participants will have their pieces performed by PHACE, a professional contemporary music ensemble residing in Vienna. Participants can write for any combination of instruments including: flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. PHACE will perform the new pieces at the VSMF: Contemporary Music Concerts.
Students will also work with Irvine Arditti, from the Arditti Quartet, who will workshop and record selected student pieces for solo violin or string quartet.
Dates: June 1 - 21
We at the Vienna Summer Music Festival are proud to announce that we will be producing new opera works as part of the festival. We will admit four individuals who have specialized interest in composing for opera and who show promise as a 21st century opera composers. These individuals will have the opportunity to have their opera premiered in Vienna and work closely with music directors, stage directors, and singers. Composers will work closely with their assigned director to discuss the details of the production including props, costumes, and expression. Each work will be premiered on the same night in one Vienna’s premiere concert halls, culminating in the VSMF Contemporary Opera Night.
Submitted works should not exceed 20 – 25 minutes and can comprise of any number of voices. The work can also be in progress, however the work should be completed and piano reductions of the works should be submitted by December 15th with a complete score/parts must be submitted by April 15th. A list of available instruments will be announced January 1st for each participant admitted to the VSMF Composers Forum – Nano Opera.
Composition students will receive private composition lessons with prominent Viennese composers. All participants will work on a project that will be developed during their stay in Vienna and presented for a discussion amongst their peers and faculty.
Composers are obliged to attend all rehearsals of their compositions and are expected to work closely with the ensemble and music director in order to ensure a successful performance of their work.
Composers will have the opportunity to have their works critiqued by visiting guest artists. Master Classes will be conducted with visiting guest artists and are open to all festival participants to observe.
Seminars will be given by our visiting guest faculty on their particular area of research and will consist of advanced topics in composition and compositional processes chosen by the professors.
VSMF Provides professional opportunities for all admitted participants
Meet the VSMF Composition Faculty
Our world-class faculty have major careers working as composers and performers championing new music
Born in 1978, Czech composer and chansonnier Šimon Voseček studied composition at the Prague National Conservatory under Otomar Kvĕch following early lessons taken in piano and organ.
Applicants for the Composers Forum should submit two original scores that best represent their skill as a composer; there are no stylistic restrictions. If applying for the Opera Composition Program, please submit one aria from your opera, it can be a work in progress. Should you be selected for an interview, we ask that you describe to us the nature of your opera and casting.
All application materials including YouTube links, audio files, and scores should be submitted via a single link to an approved file sharing site such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud, or by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding submitting via file sharing visit the application section of the FAQ page.
Scores should be submitted in PDF format, and recordings of these works should be submitted in MP3 or MIDI files. Files names should include the applicant’s first and last name, program of interest, and the creation date of the score and recording.(Example: Emily Brown_Composition Forum_08/18.MP3)
All applicants should receive an initial response in 3-5 business days.
An application fee of $35 is required for submission.
Scholarships are available, and will be awarded up to €1,500 to select applicants. For those applicants that are interested in applying for scholarship, a brief scholarship application essay of no more than 500 words answering the question, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”, and a list of references should be sent in addition to application materials. The subject line should contain the applicant’s first and last name, program of interest, and the text “Scholarship Essay.” Interested applicants will receive scholarship funds based upon their submitted audition materials and essay.
Scholarship Application Requirements:
1) 500 word Scholarship Essay answering, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”
2) A list of two to three references
All scholarship application materials should be emailed to email@example.com.
Opera Composition Deadline: November 15th, 2019
Instrumental Composition Deadline: March 15th, 2020
The VSMF Composers Forum 2019 edition
Our 2019 edition had the premiere of Trimor Dhomi's opera and a set of fantastic pieces for PHACE ensemble. Participants enjoyed several tours, masterclasses, and lectures, including a guided visit to the Secession Building and a fantastic lecture by Schoenberg scholar Áine Heneghan.
The masterclasses and recording sessions with world renowned contemporary performer Irvine Arditti were a major highlight this year. Mr. Arditti was delighted to record VSMF composers' works.
The VSMF Composers Forum 2018 edition
A very talented group attended our 2018 edition, having their music performed during two wonderful concerts by PHACE ensemble. Besides attending lectures, masterclasses, and PHACE rehearsals, participants enjoyed a guided tour at the Arnold Schoenberg Center, and attended several concerts in Konzerthaus and Odeon. Irvine Arditti joined the group for a few days, giving an interview, workshopping solo violin pieces, and giving a lecture on the history of the modern violin.