Victor Salvo Music Composition Scholarship

for high school students


Composers and Schools in Concert presents

Victor Salvo Music Composition Scholarship for high school students
2018 Call for Submissions

Deadline Jan 8, 2018
Advising Composer: Kurt Rohde
Reading by: Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

Composers and Schools in Concert is pleased to announce the 2018 Composers and Schools in Concert, Victor Salvo Music Composition Scholarship. One high school student will win 5 hours of mentoring sessions with composer Kurt Rohde, plus a score reading by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble of the student’s work.


Students enter the contest by submitting a video (2 min max) and a copy of a score that is in progress.  The video will describe the motivation behind the music as well as provide an idea for where the music is going and why the student would like to take part in this 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.  The composer will assist the student with the development of the piece, notation, and print preparation. The judges are looking for a student with a passion to compose and a desire to learn.


  • The score must be written for 2-3 instruments (it can be an excerpt or a full score). The instruments can be chosen from the following: Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano, Guitar (excluding voice, percussion, clarinet). Visit the following link to learn about the players: During the mentoring process, the final instrumental grouping will be chosen and performed by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.
  • The duration of the draft score must be a minimum of 30 seconds but no longer than 3 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  • The score must be unpublished and never performed by a professional ensemble.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, s/he must provide the equipment for performance and perform the equipment him or herself.


  • Five mentoring sessions with composer Kurt Rohde during the period of April-June, 2018.
  • A professional score reading session and feedback from Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in mid to late June, 2018.
  • Feedback of the performed piece by the composer and the performer.
  • Two season tickets to each of the remaining Left Coast Chamber Ensemble concerts in February, March, and May. Details:


  • Students enrolled in high school during the spring term of 2018.
  • 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 April 1 – June, 2018. Sessions will be a combination of online and in person.
  • Student available for a reading session in San Francisco with the ensemble in late June 2018
  • Students willing to write a one-page summary of the experience after the piece is performed


January 8, 2018 at midnight. Winners will be notified by February 1.


Send an email to with the following information:

Please provide the following information in the email:

  • Use the Subject line “Scholarship entry”
  • Address the email to “Dear CSIC 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 the recommendation.
  • Provide the name, email address and phone number of one of the student’s guardian(s)

Please attach the following information in PDF format:

  • Attach the score
  • Attach one letter of recommendation
  • Attach one high-res image of you (informal is okay!)
  • Attach a bio (max 150 words)
  • Attach one letter from a guardian stating approval of the mentoring sessions and approval to submit the video
  • Attach a video or provide website link (max 2 min.)

For questions about this application please contact Lisa Oman, Executive Director at 707-758-7350 or email


Is it possible to submit a music composition for piano or other instrument and transcribe it during the mentoring sessions?
Yes, but not encouraged. Try writing for the ensemble, and the composer will help develop the piece.



Kurt Rohde

The music of composer and violist Kurt Rohde has been described as being “filled with exhilaration and dread. It’s a mirror of our times, It’s dark music, lit up by peckings, clackings, snaps and slides. It sounds eerie, but lyrical; sustained, but skittish; free-form, yet dancing.” (San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin.)

Violist and composer Kurt Rohde is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize, and a 2015 Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received commission awards from New Music USA – Commissioning Music/USA, the NEA, and the Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations. Mr. Rohde recently completed new works for the Lyris Quartet, ZOFO Duet, the Lydian String Quartet, eighth blackbird, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Scharoun Ensemble, pianist Genevieve Lee, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. His opera, Death With Interruptions, based on the novel by José Saramago, was premiered in March 2015 by soprano Nikki Einfeld, tenor Joe Dan Harper, baritone Daniel Cilli, the San Francisco-based chorus Volti, conductor Matilda Hofman and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Kurt is currently working on a two additional opera projects: one with writer Dana Spiotta and artist David Humphrey, and another with artist Jennifer Coates for tenor Joe Dan Harper based on Cervantes’s Don Quixote. Mr. Rohde is also collaborating with artist/filmmaker Shelley Jordon on a new project following their highly successful and recently completed installation work [Lost] In The Woods. His 2012 CD, ONE – chamber music of Kurt Rohde, was released by Innova Recordings, and his 2005 CD, Oculus – music for strings with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, was released on the Mondovibe label.

Kurt was in residence at Copland House in the Summer 2014. Beginning in the Fall 2016, several new works of his will be premiered: a pick-pocket cello concerto commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition for cellist Michelle Kesler, a solo work for cellist Rhonda Rider, an ensemble piece for NY-based ensemble mise-en, and a new work for pianist Genevieve Lee for speaker, toy piano and harpsichord commissioned by the Fromm Foundation. In 2015, Kurt was guest composer in residence at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont and the Cappadocia Music Festival in Turkey during the Summer 2015, and was the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Festival of New American Music at Sacramento State University.

A Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of California at Davis Department of Music, where he was co-director of the Empyrean Ensemble until 2015, Kurt is a violist with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and was a member of The New Century Chamber Orchestra from 1994 to 2014. Mr. Rohde was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2012–13. Mr. Rohde is a graduate of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and SUNY Stony Brook, and has attended the Willapa Bay, Montalvo, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Programs.



Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble makes connections between composer and performer, performer and audience, audience and music, and between musics of all eras by staging a spectrum of imaginative programs that enchant and delight the listener, and gives diverse audiences multiple entry points for engaging with the music.

Founded in 1992, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble communicates with audiences through inspiring performances of new and old chamber music. By embracing both musics, we enrich the audience’s experience — we reawaken a feeling of immediacy in performances of familiar masterpieces and we reveal the powerful expressive intentions in the music of our time. The ensemble’s fourteen musicians, many of whom have played together since the 1980s, perform in different combinations, using strings, winds, guitar and piano to present a wide range of repertoire.

The group has commissioned over 55 new works, sponsors an annual composition contest that draws over 150 applicants each year, and carries on a tradition of performing the very best that the composers of today (whether established or emerging) have to offer.

“…like all of Left Coast’s endeavors, the evening married standard repertoire and contemporary works in provocative and beguiling ways…

— Georgia Rowe, San Francisco Classical Voice

About Composers and Schools in Concert:
Composers and Schools in Concert is a nationwide nonprofit organization that supports music education and the creation and performance of contemporary music. We aim to expose and engage high school students in the concepts, techniques, and skills underlying contemporary music composition.