Siddharth Pant

Please join us in congratulating Siddharth Pant as the 2021 Victor Salvo Music Composition Scholarship winner. Siddharth Pant’s composition ‘Theme and Variations’ for woodwind trio shows a refreshing harmonic inventiveness, and a beautiful sense of line and contrapuntal interest. It will be a wonderful piece to explore and continue refining with our advising composer for this year, Edward Simon, whose dual experience as a consummate jazz musician with a foot in the classical composition world will afford an excellent mentoring partnership with a young composer of Siddharth’s talents.

Sponsored in part by

and through the generous support of Evelyn Nussenbaum and Fred Vogelstein


This application is now closed. Please check back soon for our 2021-22 call for applications.

Submission Deadline May 30, 2021

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is pleased to announce our 2021 Victor Salvo Music Composition Scholarship for high school students. One San Francisco Bay Area high school music student will receive five mentoring sessions with advising composer Edward Simon, a private score reading by San Francisco Contemporary Music Players of the student’s work, feedback from the musicians, and a video recording of the reading session.


Students can apply by submitting a video (2-min max) and a copy of a score that is in progress written for a trio of mixed instruments (see below). The video will describe the motivation behind the music as well as an idea for where the music is going and why the student would like to take part in this educational program.  Through five mentoring sessions, the draft score will be developed into an excerpt, a section, or a full piece that is ready for a reading session with a professional ensemble. Renowned jazz pianist, composer/improviser, and SFCMP Creative Advisor Edward Simon will work with the student as our Advising Composer on the development of the piece, notation, and print preparation. The scholarship panel is looking for a student with a passion to compose and a desire to learn.


  • The score must be written for woodwind trio: oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. 
  • The duration of the draft score must be a minimum of 30 seconds and no longer than 15 minutes.
  • The score can be any genre of music e.g. rock, classical, jazz, etc.
  • The score must be unpublished and never performed by a professional ensemble.
  • A student may include an additional part for electronics; however, if a student writes for electronics, they must provide the equipment for performance and run the equipment themself.


  • 5 mentoring sessions with the advising composer during the period of July – Aug, 2021. Mentoring sessions will be a combination of online, over the phone, and in-person.
  • A professional score reading session with SFCMP in the late summer/fall of 2021.
  • Feedback on the performed piece by the advising composer and the musicians.
  • A video recording of the reading session.
  • A pair of season tickets to SFCMP’s upcoming season concerts.


  • Students enrolled in high school during the spring term of 2021.
  • Students whose permanent address is in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA or Sacramento-Roseville Combined Statistical Areas
  • Students available for 5 hours of mentoring sessions during the time period of July-Aug 2021. Sessions will be a combination of online, over the phone, and in-person (if available).
  • Students available for a reading session in late summer/fall 2021, in person, in San Francisco, and with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.


May 30, 2021 at 11:59 Pacific. The winner will be notified by early June.


Send an email to with the information listed below.

Please provide the following information in the email:

  • Use the Subject line “Scholarship 2021 entry”
  • Address the email to “Dear Scholarship Committee”
  • Provide applicant’s information: student’s full name, grade level,  phone number, email address
  • Provide the name and phone number of the person giving a recommendation.
  • Provide the name, email address and phone number of one of the student’s guardian(s)

Please attach or enclose the following information:

  • Attach the score (duration min. 30 sec and no longer than 15 min) 
  • Attach one letter of recommendation signed by the endorsing teacher/mentor
  • Attach one high-res image of you (informal is okay!)
  • Attach or enclose a bio (max 200 words)
  • Attach one letter from a guardian stating approval of the mentoring sessions and approval to submit a video
  • Attach a video or provide a link to the video (max 2 min.)

For questions about this application please contact Lisa Oman, Executive Director at


(Q) Is it possible to submit a draft score for piano or another instrument and transcribe it during the mentoring sessions?
(A) Yes, but not encouraged. Try writing for the trio and the advising composer will help you develop the piece.

Edward Simon

Edward Simon, a native of Venezuela, has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz improviser, composer-arranger and band leader, with his profile heightening in recent years as he has explored the commonalities jazz can have with the folkloric sounds of Latin America. JazzTimes summed up his impact this way: “Simon is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them.” Based in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of the all-star SFJAZZ Collective, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow along with being awarded multiple composition grants as part of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works initiative. Simon, a Yamaha artist, has recorded 15 albums as a leader or co-leader; his latest is Sorrows and Triumphs, released via Sunnyside Records in April 2018. This follows Simon’s 2016 album Latin American Songbook, with the four-and-a-half-star DownBeat review praising its “grand and sophisticated” sound. Latin American Songbook also won Simon an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. The New York Times has praised Simon’s “light, warm touch” as a pianist, while Jazz Journal International singled out “his deep emotional statements” as a composer and improviser.


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is the West Coast’s most longstanding and largest new music ensemble, comprised of twenty-two highly skilled musicians. For 50 years, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players have created innovative and artistically excellent music and are one of the most active ensembles in the United States dedicated to contemporary music. Holding 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/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. The Players have performed more than 1,300 works by over 600 composers 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. 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 works for large ensemble and California artists.


2020 Zak Mustille and Emile Serper. Advising composers Gloria Justen and Artistic Director Eric Dudley

2019 Kellan Ta. Advising Composer, Vivian Fung

2018 Nick Main. Advising composer, Kurt Rohde

2017 Wyatt Cannon. Advising composer, Belinda Reynolds

2016 W. Alyssa Deocampo. Advising composer, Ralph Burnett