Bard Music West Call for Scores 2016-2017

August 1, 2016 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

Bard Music West is pleased to announce our inaugural call for scores! The selected composer will be composer-in-residence at Bard Music West 2017 and will be commissioned to write a fifteen-minute original score to Samuel Beckett’s mime play Act Without Words I, which will be premiered in a production of the play at Bard Music West in San Francisco on March 18th, 2017.

The composer’s residency at Bard Music West will include one pre-performance workshop with festival artists and a performance of the commissioned piece, as well as attendance at all other festival events. The performance of Act Without Words I will be audio-recorded and the recording will be available for the composer’s use post-performance. After the premiere, all performance, copyright, and royalty rights to the music will remain with the composer.

One composer will be selected, but all scores and proposals will be considered by the festival directors and artists.

The call for scores is open to all composers regardless of age,
nationality, or performance history. Composers will ideally be available for festival residency in San Francisco March 15-18, 2017.

Commission Fee
The selected composer will receive a commission fee of $2500 paid by the performance date. If the selected composer resides outside San Francisco, the festival will cover up to $500 in transportation costs to San Francisco in addition to housing, meals, and local transportation within San Francisco for the duration of the composer’s residency.

Important Dates
Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2016
Composer selected and notified by October 15, 2016
Due date for finished score: January 15, 2016
Date of performance: March 18, 2017

Submission Guidelines
To apply, please email Allegra Chapman at with the following materials:

1. Two relevant samples of past work. Please submit pdf scores and recordings for each work. The recordings may be in the form of an mp3 file or a link.
a. Please name mp3 files as follows: [last name]-[work title].mp3. Example: Ligeti-Mysteries of the Macabre.mp3
2. A detailed description of your proposed composition including concept and instrumentation. The description should include:
a. Instrumentation – solo or chamber instrumental (no voice) with a maximum of 4 musicians, preferably featuring clarinet.
b. Musical/structural/conceptual etc. ideas for the work. The proposed composition must be performable as a score to Act Without Words I, but it may also be performable as an independent piece.
c. Please note – the proposed composition should be no longer than fifteen minutes in length to match the play’s duration. Significant deviations will not be considered.
3. Bio and/or CV (PDF). Please name PDF file as follows: [last name]-Bio.pdf. Example: Ligeti-Bio.pdf
4. Your name, email, phone number, and location of primary residence.

About Act Without Words I
Written in 1956 by Samuel Beckett, Act Without Words I is a short mime play lasting approximately fifteen minutes. It features one male protagonist who is thrown onstage into a desert scene illuminated by a “dazzling light.” Over the course of the play, the nameless man is presented with various objects, including a carafe of water that remains just beyond his grasp. The man makes various attempts to reach the water, ranging from the absurd to the tragic. Each attempt fails and he eventually gives up. Beckett did not write specific instructions for the musical score to the play. The original score was written by John S. Beckett, Samuel Beckett’s cousin. A copy of the text to Act Without Words I may be viewed here:

About Bard Music West
Bard Music West (a project of the Bard Music Festival) is a new San Francisco-based music festival dedicated to inspiring passion among diverse audiences for the classical music of our time. Bard Music West will explore the sound world of one twentieth-century or living composer each season, delving into the composer’s eclectic inspirations and influences while crossing musical genres, time periods, and artistic disciplines. On March 17th and 18th, 2017, Bard Music West will present its first season focused around the great Hungarian composer György Ligeti. For more information, please check the festival website at

Contact Information
Please contact Allegra Chapman at To download a copy of these instructions, please visit!call-for-scores/fknno.