New Jersey Symphony Accepting Applications for 2024 Edward T. Cone Composition Institute

The weeklong program offers composers a chance to develop their music and careers. Deadline: February 23, 2024.

By: Dec. 08, 2023
New Jersey Symphony Accepting Applications for 2024 Edward T. Cone Composition Institute

The New Jersey Symphony is accepting applications for the tenth annual Edward T. Cone Composition Institute. This fully immersive, tuition-free program gives four emerging composers the opportunity to hear their music rehearsed and performed by the New Jersey Symphony, as well as participate in sessions with industry leaders on topics like getting their works published and performed.

The Institute will take place July 15–20 in Princeton, NJ, and culminate in a New Jersey Symphony performance of the participants' works on Saturday, July 20 at 8 pm.

Celebrated composer Steven Mackey, a music professor and director of graduate studies in composition at Princeton University who also composes works for chamber ensembles and orchestras, is the Institute Director. Christopher Rountree, a highly-regarded conductor and composer who is deeply embedded in the new music scene, will be the Institute's guest conductor. Rountree is the founder, conductor and creative director of the pathbreaking LA chamber orchestra Wild Up.

Institute composers will hear their works in rehearsal and performance, participate in coaching sessions with Mackey and Rountree, and receive musical feedback from New Jersey Symphony musicians. Career-development opportunities with industry leaders will provide the composers with insights into getting their music funded, published and performed.

The Institute is open to university composition students and composers in the early stages of their professional careers. The application form, program details, and eligibility requirements are available at

“The Cone Institute is unique,” Mackey says. “I think what separates the Cone Institute from many of its peer opportunities is its holistic vision of the composer, and how we can help participants build their reputation as orchestral composers. In addition to rehearsals of their music, feedback on orchestration from the always-game New Jersey Symphony musicians, and discussions of compositional technique and esthetics with established composers and conductors, there are sessions with industry leaders on the business side, including publishers and artist representatives who will also be important for a composer's career development.”

Designed to promote contemporary orchestral music by enhancing the careers of emerging composers, the New Jersey Symphony Edward T. Cone Composition Institute grew out of biennial reading sessions the Symphony has held with Princeton University graduate students. The Institute celebrates its namesake Edward T. Cone's legacy as both a composer and a Princeton University professor.

Composers will receive housing and meals in Princeton and the New Jersey Symphony will reimburse participants up to $250 towards travel costs.

The Symphony presents the Institute in collaboration with Princeton University Department of Music.

For more information, contact Erin Lunsford Norton, New Jersey Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning, at

The New Jersey Symphony celebrates the cultural vibrancy of our communities and builds meaningful relationships that elevate and strengthen them. We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity in our recruitment of composers. Qualified candidates of all backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply for the New Jersey Symphony Edward T. Cone Composition Institute.

New Jersey Symphony

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning New Jersey Symphony is redefining what it means to be a nationally leading, relevant orchestra in the 21st century. The Symphony is renewing its deeply rooted commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by championing new, and often local, artists; engaging audiences for whom the inspiring depth and breadth of classical music will be a new experience; and incorporating the broadest possible representation in all aspects of our organization-all to better reflect and serve our vibrant communities. Since 2021, Music Director Xian Zhang has worked together with composer, violinist, educator and social-justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain, the orchestra's Resident Artistic Catalyst, to offer programming that connects with diverse communities in Newark and throughout New Jersey.

Internationally renowned Chinese American conductor Xian Zhang began her tenure as the New Jersey Symphony's current Music Director in 2016. Since her arrival at the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has revitalized programming with an industry­ leading commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in mainstage concerts. In its second century of bringing concerts to the people of New Jersey, the Symphony will present audience favorites in 2023–24 including Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, violinist Joshua Bell leading the orchestra in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Gershwin's Concerto in F. New Jersey Symphony co-commissions include works by internationally-renowned living composers: Anna Clyne's ATLAS and Jessie Montgomery's Snapshots. Composers Rob Kapilow and Daniel Bernard Roumain will present world premieres.

For more information about the New Jersey Symphony, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra's website.