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The annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute brings seven talented emerging composers to Orchestra Hall for a week of seminars, rehearsals and a public performance of their music.

An Immersive Experience 

Under the guidance of Composer Institute Director Kevin Puts, the selected composers will participate in seminars on musical, career and professional development topics with industry leaders in collaboration with the American Composers Orchestra, as well as sessions with Minnesota Orchestra musicians and consultations with Puts and Music Director Osmo Vänskä. At week’s end, their works will be performed by the Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä’s direction. The next Composer Institute concert, called MusicMakers, will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022.

Interested in applying?

A call for submissions for the next Composer Institute will be shared on this page at a future date.

Composer Institute History

The Composer Institute is an outgrowth of the Minnesota Orchestra’s “Perfect Pitch” program, an series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched in 1996 in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. Perfect Pitch was reformulated in 2001 as the Composer Institute, as the program’s focus broadened and national participation was invited. In 2006 the Orchestra added a public concert of the composers' new works conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Composer Aaron Jay Kernis directed the program for its first 11 seasons and was succeeded by Kevin Puts in 2015. In 2020, the American Composers Orchestra became the new co-presenter of the Composer Institute.

Composer Institute Alumni 

Since 1996, 148 emerging composers have participated in the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute and its predecessor, Perfect Pitch. Many have since gone on to impressive careers, earning prestigious commissions and high honors, including multiple Grammy nominations and two shortlists for the Pulitzer Prize. A growing number have fostered connections to the Minnesota music community