7 out of 9 composer-in-residence alums have gone on to win the Rome Prize

Young American Composer-in-Residence

Applications for the 2023-2026 Young American Composer-in-Residence are now CLOSED.

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 Music Director, Donato 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.

Current Resident Composer

After a competitive selection process, Viet Cuong was selected as the 2020-2023 Young American Composer-in-Residence. Viet’s recent accolades and projects include:

  • Commission with the New York Philharmonic in 2020
  • Inaugural “Sandbox” Residency with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2021-22
  • Began a tenure-track professorship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Composer-in-Residence with the Pacific Symphony beginning in the 2022-23 season
  • Upcoming projects include Viet’s final commission of his Composer in Residence appointment with the California Symphony, and a symphony for the US Air Force Band

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, nine talented Americans have completed the program:

Katherine Balch

2020 Winner–Rome Prize
Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Career Advancement Award
Past Winner American Modern Ensemble 8th Annual Composition Competition’s first prize
Past winner American Conservatory at Fontainebleau’s prix du composition
Past winner Albany Symphony Orchestra’s “Composer to Center Stage” competition
Past winner Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Scholarship

Dan Visconti

2015 Winner–Koussevitsky Commission Award
Past Winner–Rome Prize (2013/2014)
Past Winner–Barlow Prize (2008/2009)
Past Winner–Naumburg Award (2010)
Past Winner–Berlin Prize (2008/2009)
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

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

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

2001 First Prize– Philadelphia Orchestra Centennial Composition Competition
2000 First Prize–ASCAP Nissim Prize

Pierre Jalbert

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

2012 winner—Pulitzer Prize for Music
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition

Christopher Theofanidis

2003 winner—International Masterprize in Composition
Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition

Kamran Ince

Past winner—Rome Prize in Composition