Press Room


Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 503-5474
[email protected]

Nov 2, 2022


This year’s competition looks to further identify and promote inventive Black musicians, of any music genre, under age 35; applications are due by February 1, 2023 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony, in partnership with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), announced today that applications are now open for the third annual Emerging Black Composers Project (EBCP).

The San Francisco Symphony, led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, will give the world premiere of a new work commissioned from the Emerging Black Composers Project prize winner. They will also receive a $15,000 award and mentorship from Salonen, SFCM Music Director Edwin Outwater and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, resident conductor of engagement and education at the San Francisco Symphony and chair of the EBCP selection committee. The winner will also receive career support and investment from SFCM faculty and musicians.

“It’s a real honor to participate in this ongoing project, which is needed and appropriate at this time in history,” said Bartholomew-Poyser. “We welcome a wide array of emerging voices, techniques, and aesthetics and encourage all music innovators to apply.”

“As we enter our third year, it is extremely inspiring to feel the community around this project grow,” said Outwater. “Hearing the premieres and seeing the effect this project has on our composers and our musical world is nothing short of thrilling.”

The Emerging Black Composers Project is a ten-year commitment to spotlight early-career Black American composers and their music. It was launched in 2020 with the first-place commission given in June of 2021 to Trevor Weston with additional prizes awarded to Sumi Tonooka, Shawn Okpebholo, and Jonathan Bingham. The 2022 Emerging Black Composers Project prize winner, Jens Ibsen, will have his work premiere with the San Francisco Symphony during the 2023–24 season.

The Emerging Black Composers Project set out to commission ten works in ten years, a goal that will likely be surpassed in that timeframe. To identify and highlight young artists and support their careers, the competition invites applications from composers 35 years of age and under.

“I want to say how incredibly amazing this program is because it’s a 10-year investment, and change takes time,” said inaugural winner Trevor Weston, who joins the Emerging Black Composers Project selection committee this year. “I have no idea where we will be in a decade, and how many more people will be affected.” 

All applications are judged through an anonymous process by a committee of leaders in the field that includes Carmen Bradford, Daphne Burt, Victor Goines, Blake-Anthony Johnson, San Francisco Symphony Collaborative Partner Nico Muhly, Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Jeff Zeigler, along with Bartholomew-Poyser, Outwater, Salonen, and Weston. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply today. This year’s Emerging Black Composers Project submission deadline is February 1, 2023; winners will be announced in spring 2023.

How to apply 
Black American composers (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) aged 35 or under during 2023 who have completed a degree program in composition or music performance, or have equivalent experience, are encouraged to apply. 

Applicants must submit a resume along with three scores and recordings of past or current compositions reflective of their work by 11:59pm PT on February 1, 2023. 

For further information or to apply, visit

[To view or download the full PDF version of this press release, click DOWNLOAD A PDF]

Please wait...