NJ Symphony Orchestra Launches NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute

NJ Symphony Orchestra Launches NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a multi-faceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers, presented in collaboration with the Princeton University Department of Music and generously funded in part by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. The Institute will select up to four composers to participate in five days of intense compositional evaluations and consultations July 15-19 on the Princeton University campus; the program will culminate in a live concert performance of the participants' works by the NJSO and Music Director Jacques Lacombe on July 19 at the Richardson Auditorium.

At the Institute, participating composers will have their work rehearsed and performed by the NJSO and will participate in master classes with Institute Director Steven Mackey, as well as receive feedback from Lacombe and NJSO musicians. The Institute will also provide career-development opportunities with music-publishing industry leaders.

The Institute's application process is now open. Emerging composers-university composition students or composers in the early stages of their professional careers-must submit completed applications by the Institute's deadline, April 4. By May 1, a selection panel will identify up to four composers to participate in the Institute.

"The NJSO and Princeton University Department of Music are well-positioned to provide emerging composers with a comprehensive Institute experience that will enhance their careers," NJSO President & CEO James Roe says.

Lacombe says: "Over years of reading sessions in which the NJSO has played through orchestral works written by Princeton University Ph.D. composition candidates, the Orchestra and its musicians are experienced in mentoring and advising student composers. The NJSO has always had a strong commitment to presenting new music, and this Institute provides the Orchestra with a pipeline to exciting new compositional talent."

Mackey-a lauded composer and Princeton University Department of Music Chair and professor-says: "The NJSO has had a strong relationship with Princeton University composers for years, and we are excited to partner with the Orchestra for this immersive composition institute. This new program will foster emerging composing talent by preparing composers for both the creative and practical elements of composing works for orchestra."

By the conclusion of this laboratory experience, participants will have gained invaluable musical and practical feedback about writing for orchestra through real-time interactions with Mackey, Lacombe and NJSO musicians and advice from decision makers in the industry about how to get their music published and performed.

Up to four composers chosen to participate in the Institute will participate in daily activity that will include rehearsals of their works, followed by small group gatherings with faculty and NJSO musicians to discuss applications and variations on the possible vs. the practical in composition; one-on-one and group coaching sessions with Mackey; sessions with industry leaders, including Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., President Zizi Mueller, to broaden awareness of current practices in publishing, licensing, promotion and music preparation; and coaching on and the opportunity to refine personal presentation and networking skills. The NJSO will present the world premiere of each composer's work at a public concert on July 19 at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus; the Orchestra may program selected composers' works on future NJSO concerts. Participants will also receive access to video recordings of small-group gatherings and an AFM composer-use tape of the final performance of their piece.

The Institute is tuition-free; housing on the campus of Princeton University and on-campus meals will be provided, if needed.

The launch of the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute coincides with the NJSO's presentation of the world premiere of Cone's Symphony at a special July 18 concert/lecture at Richardson Auditorium. Cone has been a connective element through the five seasons of the Orchestra's critically lauded New Jersey Roots Project, which celebrates composers born in New Jersey or influenced by their time spent in the Garden State. Through the project, the NJSO has presented not only Cone's music but also the work of composers whose artistic identity was influenced by the late Princeton University professor. The Institute further celebrates Cone's legacy as both a composer and a teacher.


Applications will be accepted from emerging composers who must be either a U.S. citizen or non-citizen lawfully residing in the United States. Applicants must currently be university composition students or in the early stages of their professional careers. Applicants must be at least 18 years old on or before July 1, 2014.

Participating composers will be selected through competitive application by a panel administered by the NJSO. The criteria for participation will be the panel's assessment of the composer's invention and creativity in the orchestral medium, as well as a demonstrated understanding of the technical/practical requirements of the medium. Final decisions will be made by Steven Mackey and Jacques Lacombe.

Complete applications with all required supporting materials must be received by April 4. Applicants will be notified of their status by May 1. A full list of application requirements, deadlines and other information, including a link to the application form, are available at www.njsymphony.org/institute.


Steven Mackey, Institute Director and Princeton University Department of Music Chair - Steven Mackey was born in 1956 to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has composed for orchestra, chamber ensemble, dance and opera. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. He blazed a trail in the 1980s and 90s by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influence in his concert music, and he regularly performs his own works, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works. He is also active as an improvising musician and performs with his band Big Farm.

Mackey's music has been performed by leading musical institutions throughout the world, including the Los Angeles, BBC and New York philharmonics; San Francisco and Chicago symphonies; Philadelphia and Concertgebeouw orchestras and Brentano, Kronos and Arditti string quartets, among others. He has received numerous awards, including a Grammy Award in 2012 for his album "Lonely Motel: Music From Slide."

Jacques Lacombe, NJSO Music Director - A remarkable conductor whose artistic integrity and rapport with orchestras have propelled him to international stature, Jacques Lacombe has been Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivie?res since 2006. He was previously Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montre?al and Music Director of orchestra and opera with the Philharmonie de Lorraine.

Lacombe has garnered critical praise for his creative programming and leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra's acclaimed "Man & Nature" Winter Festivals have featured innovative programs, including a realization of Scriabin's "color organ." He created the New Jersey Roots Project, presenting music by New Jersey composers. The New York Times wrote, "It was an honor to be in the hall" for Lacombe and the NJSO's performance at the 2012 Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall.

This season, Lacombe's NJSO highlights include the world premieres of an NJSO commission by Geri Allen and a new work by Lowell Liebermann and the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun's Earth Concerto. He conducts the Montre?al, Que?bec and Columbus Symphony Orchestras, returns to the Ope?ra de Monte-Carlo for La Favorite with tenor Juan Diego Florez and leads Chausson's Le roi Arthus in Strasbourg.

He has appeared with the Cincinnati, Toronto, Vancouver and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa. He is a frequent guest conductor in France, Spain and Australia and has led tours and recordings with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Opera highlights include all-star productions of La bohe?me and Tosca at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, numerous productions with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and engagements with the Metropolitan Opera and opera houses in Marseille and Turin. He has recorded for the CPO and Analekta labels; he has recorded Orff's Carmina Burana and Jana?c?ek's Suite from The Cunning Little Vixen with the NJSO. His performances have been broadcast on PBS, the CBC, Mezzo TV and Arte TV, among others.

Born in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Que?bec, Lacombe attended the Conservatoire de Musique de Montre?al and Hochschule fu?r Musik in Vienna. He was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Que?bec in 2012 and a Member of the Order of Canada in 2013-among the highest civilian honors in the country.

THE NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Named "a vital, artistically significant musical organization" by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra's superb musicians.

Under the bold leadership of Music Director Jacques Lacombe, the NJSO presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra's statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include the three-ensemble Greater Newark Youth Orchestras, school-time Concerts for Young People performances and multiple initiatives that provide and promote in-school instrumental instruction. The NJSO's Resources for Education and Community Harmony (REACH) chamber music program annually brings original programs-designed and performed by NJSO musicians-to a variety of settings, reaching as many as 17,000 people in nearly all of New Jersey's 21 counties.

For more information about the NJSO, visit www.njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra's website.

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY'S DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC: Princeton University's Department of Music is at the epicenter of a musical culture that is broad and deep, reaching from edge to edge of the campus, from the classroom to the concert hall, into the community and from faculty-led groups to those run exclusively by students.