Submissions due November 30, 2019

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) and Eric Dudley, Artistic Director, are pleased to invite applications for
SF Search for Scores 2020. Composers under 30 are invited to submit a piece for inclusion on our ‘at the CROSSROADS’ series concert held in San Francisco in March 2020, on a program featuring the music of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen in celebration of his 80th birthday.

As part of this program, one winning composer will receive a private score reading and feedback session with SFCMP players and SF Search panelists, a public performance on a subscription-series concert, and an archival recording. In addition the winning composer will receive a $1,000 stipend. In this year’s search, composers are invited and encouraged to consider the life and legacy of Andriessen as inspiration for the submitted work, especially the multi-media work Life for chamber ensemble and accompanying film. Any submissions with a film component will be equally considered for presentation, and the equipment will be available to include that aspect in the performance.

To apply, each composer is asked to submit a score between ten and twelve minutes in length for a duo of two (2) instruments within the following instrumentation for Louis Andriessen’s Life: clarinet, percussion (*see score criteria requirements), piano, guitar, cello, and/or double bass.  

The selected composer will have the opportunity to participate in a private reading session and panel on Friday, March 27, 2020 from 4:45-5:30 pm at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At this session, the composer’s piece will be read by the ensemble, with feedback following from the musicians, Artistic Director Eric Dudley, and award-winning composer, Michael Gilbertson. The winning work will be performed on Saturday, March 28, as part of SFCMP’s subscription series concerts, at 8pm at Flight Deck in downtown Oakland, CA.


A pioneering figure in contemporary music who celebrates his 80th birthday in the 2019-2020 season, Andriessen’s background in jazz and avant-garde musical streams has originated a unique stylistic language, characterized by elemental harmonic, melodic and rhythmic materials often heard with wholly distinctive choices in instrumentation. His musical suite entitled Life, paired with a series of film clips by Marijke van Warmerdam, is a prime example of his highly specific sound color choices and pan-stylistic writing that will appear on the ‘At the CROSSROADS’ program.  


Applicants apply by submitting a completed score and parts along with a written narrative about the motivation behind the music and its connection to composer Louis Andriessen. Above all, the judges for this year’s search are looking for work with a unique contemporary musical voice that represents the adventurous and iconoclastic spirit embodied by a figure like Louis Andriessen.


  • The score must be original.
  • The score must be no longer than 12 minutes and no less than 10 minutes.
  • The score submitted will be the score performed by the Players; no revisions will be permissible after the submission date.
  • The score must be arranged for two instruments from within the instrument list for Louis Andriessen’s Life (given above). Standard instrumental doublings are acceptable e.g. piccolo, alto flute. Percussion requirements: mallet instruments may include vibraphone or glockenspiel, basic drum resources (snare, kick, toms, field, brake, small or medium bass drum, etc), cymbals, small gongs, small handhelds, etc. No large instruments such as orchestra chimes, thundersheet, tam-tam, wind machine, or other keyboard instruments.


  1. Those who are under the age of 30 before the performance date of March 27, 2020.
  2. Any composers with a permanent address in the United States of America.
  3. Optionally, those who are willing and able to be present at the reading session on Friday, March 27, 2020 from 4:45-5:30pm at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and at the concert on Saturday March 28, 2020 at 8pm at Flight Deck in Oakland, CA.


By November 30, 2019 11:59 PST. Winners will be notified by late December, 2019.


The application will ask for links to the items in the list below. To create the links, we recommend using Google Drive, Dropbox, or any secure file-sharing platform. Please have these items ready before you apply.

  1. There is a nominal application fee of $10 payable by debit or credit card. If you do not have one of these cards, contact us at the address below.
  2. Electronically-notated conductor’s score and parts with industry-standard notation (PDF format)
  3. Narrative describing the piece and the connection to or influence of Louis Andriessen on the submitted work (max 1 page, min 200 words) (PDF format)
  4. Audio file, if available (link to MP3 or hosted audio file)
  5. One high-resolution image (does not have to be a formal headshot, but does have to be high resolution, min 72dpi) (JPG format)
  6. Composer bio (max 200 words)

For questions about this application please contact Lisa Oman, Executive Director at 415-633-8802 or email



Are there available doublings?
Yes, if the playing of the two instruments is by a single player.

How comfortable are the players with alternate tunings?
If the score contains alternate tunings, the panel would like to see the score before submitting it.

Is the full ensemble instrumentation required?


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is the West Coast’s most long-standing and largest new music ensemble comprised of highly skilled musicians performing innovative contemporary music. The Contemporary Music Players nourish the creation and dissemination of new works through world-class performances, commissions, and community and education programs. The Players perform the music of composers from across cultures and stylistic traditions who are creating a vast and vital 21st-century musical language featuring the work of iconic and emerging composers while shining a spotlight on large-ensemble pieces and California artists. The Players seek to share these experiences with as many people as possible, both in and outside of traditional concert settings.

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is one of the most active ensembles in the United States dedicated to contemporary music and play an important role in the regional and national cultural landscape. The Contemporary Music Players are a 2018 awardee of the esteemed Fromm Foundation Ensemble Prize, and a ten-time winner of the CMA/ASCAPAward for Adventurous Programming. The Players have performed more than 1,200 works by over 600 composers; Over 300 of these performances have been premieres, and the organization has commissioned over 80 major works including pieces from composers such as John AdamsJohn CageEarle BrownOlly WilsonMichael Gordon, Du YunMyra Melford, and Julia Wolfe. The Contemporary Players have been presented by leading cultural festivals and concert series including San Francisco Performances, Los Angeles Monday Evening Concerts, Cal Performances, the Stern Grove Festival, the Festival of New American Music at CSU Sacramento, the Ojai Festival, and France’s prestigious MANCA Festival.


Past Awardees:

Wyatt Cannon, 2019
Adam Strawbridge, 2019
Nathan Chamberlain, 2018
John Ivers, 2018
Danny Clay, 2018
Michelle Zheng, 2017
Roger Kim, 2017
Ben Zucker, 2017