Off Stage

For Artists

6 out of 8 composer-in-residence alums have gone on to win the Rome Prize

A previous composer-in-residence for the California Symphony reads through sheet music

6 out of 8 composer-in-residence alums have gone on to win the Rome Prize

Young American Composer-in-Residence

Renowned among composers and conductors across the US, this intensely competitive residency provides an American composer with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with Maestro Cabrera and the California Symphony over three consecutive years to create, rehearse, premiere, and record three major orchestra compositions, one each season. Part of the California Symphony since 1991, every three years a new composer is selected, and every graduate has gone on to win top honors and accolades in the field.

In a record year for applications to this program, Katherine Balch was selected as the 2017-2020 Young American Composer-in-Residence.

Applications for the 2020-2023 Young American Composer-in-Residence are now closed.

Meet the current composer

The California Symphony has one of the most outstanding composer-in-residence programs in the country. They have this orchestra-as-laboratory idea, and they let the composer work in ways that almost never happen anywhere else.”
—Mason Bates, Composer-in-Residence 2007-2010

Program Alumni

Since the residency was established in 1991, eight talented Americans have completed the program:

Dan Visconti 2014–2017
2015 Winner–Koussevitsky Commission Award
Past Winner–Rome Prize
Past Winner–Berlin Prize
Past Winner–Bearns Prize from Columbia University
Past Winner–Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts
Past Winner–Barlow Prize
Past Winner–Cleveland Arts Prize
Awards–BMI, ASCAP, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of Composers, and the Naumburg Foundation
D. J. Sparr 2011–2014
BMI—Foundation/Boudleaux Bryant Fund commission (for Eighth Blackbird) 2000
BMI—Student Composer Awards 1995, 2000
BMG/Williams College—National Young Composers Competition, Grand Prize 1997
Howard Hanson Large Ensemble Prize (Eastman School of Music) 1997
Howard Hanson Orchestra Prize (Eastman School of Music) 1996
League of Composers/ISCM Composers’ Competition Winner 2009
Richmond Symphony—Composer-in-Residence 2009-2011
Mason Bates 2007–2010
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition
Chicago Symphony—Composer in Residence 2010–2015
Kennedy Center—Composer in Residence 2015–2016
Grammy Award Winner—Best Opera 2019
Kevin Beavers 2002–2005
2001 First Prize– Philadelphia Orchestra Centennial Composition Competition
2000 First Prize–ASCAP Nissim Prize
Pierre Jalbert 1999–2002
2001 winner—International Masterprize in Composition
2002–2005 Composer in Residence—Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition
2007 winner—Stoeger Prize from Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
2010 winner American Academy of Arts and Letter in Composition
Kevin Puts 1996–1999
2012 winner—Pulitzer Prize for Music
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition
Christopher Theofanidis 1994–1996
2003 winner—International Masterprize in Composition
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition
Kamran Ince 1991–1992
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition