NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute

Four emerging composers will receive an unparalleled experience of six days of in-depth compositional consultations and multifaceted sessions with industry experts, culminating in a live concert performance of their works by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. This tuition-free Institute will take place July 9–14, 2018, in Princeton.

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The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is proud to continue the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a rich and multi-faceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers. The program is tuition free and is presented in collaboration with the Princeton University Department of Music and generously funded in part by the Edward T. Cone Foundation and Princeton University.

Held on the Princeton University campus, the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute invites promising composers to have their work rehearsed and performed by the NJSO and to participate in masterclasses with Institute Director Steven Mackey, as well as receive feedback from conductor JoAnn Falletta and NJSO musicians. The Institute will also provide career-development opportunities with publishing-industry leaders.


The NJSO and Princeton University Department of Music are well positioned to provide emerging composers with a comprehensive Institute experience that will enhance their careers. Over years of reading sessions in which the NJSO has played through orchestral works written by Princeton University Ph.D. composition candidates, the Orchestra and its musicians are experienced in mentoring and advising student composers. Through the NJSO’s commitment to presenting new music, the Orchestra has performed works not only by the late Princeton University professor and composer Edward T. Cone, but also by composers who felt the impact of Cone’s legacy as a teacher.

Mackey—a lauded composer and William Schubael Conant Professor of Music at Princeton University—says:

“The NJSO has had a strong relationship with Princeton University composers for years, and we are excited to again partner with the Orchestra for this immersive composition institute. This program fosters emerging composing talent by preparing composers for both the creative and practical elements of composing works for orchestra.”

By the end of the Institute, participants will have gained invaluable musical and practical feedback about writing for orchestra through real-time interactions with Mackey, Faletta and NJSO musicians as well as advice from decision makers in the industry about how to get their music published and performed.

Four composers chosen to participate in the Institute will participate in daily activities that will include:

  1. Rehearsals of their works, followed by small group gatherings with faculty and NJSO musicians to discuss applications and variations on the possible vs. the practical in composition.
  2. One-on-one and group coaching sessions with composer Steven Mackey.
  3. Sessions with industry leaders.
  4. Coaching on and the opportunity to refine personal presentation and networking skills.
  5. NJSO premiere of each composer’s work presented by the NJSO at a public concert on July 15, 2017, at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University.
  6. Access to video recordings of small-group gatherings.

Institute Director and Conductor Bios

JoAnn Falletta, Conductor

JoAnn Falletta Composition Institute.jpgJoAnn Falletta is internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music, an inspiring artistic leader and a champion of American symphonic music. She serves as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Falletta has guest conducted more than 100 orchestras in North America, as well as many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Her 2016–17 international guest conducting appearances include performances in Spain and Finland, as well as recordings with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony.

In 2016, Falletta was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining an esteemed roster that dates back to the Academy's founding in 1780. She has served as a member of the National Council on the Arts and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards.

Falletta is a leading recording artist for Naxos. Her discs have won two Grammy Awards and 10 Grammy nominations. Recent recordings include three recordings with the Virginia Arts Festival of Stravinsky and Mahler, a disc of the cello concertos of Victor Herbert with soloist Mark Kosower and the Ulster Orchestra and works of Florent Schmitt, Novak, Scriabin and Wagner with the Buffalo Philharmonic. For more information, visit www.joannfalletta.com.

About the Organizations

Princeton University’s Department of Music

Princeton’s Department of Music is at the epicenter of a musical culture that is broad and deep, reaching from edge to edge of the campus, from the classroom to the concert hall, into the community and from faculty-led groups to those run exclusively by students.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

The NJSO welcomes new Music Director Xian Zhang in the 2016–17 season. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement (ECE) programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People performances, NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). The NJSO’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) chamber music program annually brings original programs—designed and performed by NJSO musicians—to a variety of settings. In the 2015–16 season, REACH ensembles performed at nearly 200 events, and ECE programs served more than 66,000 New Jerseyans in nearly 21 counties.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

See photos and social media from previous years

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Major underwriting support for The NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute is generously provided by The Edward T. Cone Foundation and Princeton University.