CAPMT is committed to supporting the careers of California composers. The chosen recipient of the CAPMT 2023 Commission will write a new work to be premiered at the 2023 CAPMT State Conference (date and location TBA). The 2021 CAPMT Commission fund of $2000 is funded with the support of MTNA. The current Commissioned Composer’s composition will be submitted to the MTNA national competition.
Current Commissioned Composer
Nate May (b. 1987) is a versatile American composer, keyboardist, and educator whose music has been heard across four continents: in jazz clubs and DIY spaces, on national television, in museums and modern dance venues, and on mainstage classical events at New York’s Sheen Center and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. His chamber, choral, and orchestral music, characterized by textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and repurposed sounds, has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Wild UP, the Yale Philharmonia, Patchwork Duo, and Quartetto Indaco. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a “fascination, love, and respect for the people” of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State, the result of interviews he conducted with Appalachian migrants on a fellowship from the Berea Sound Archives, and “Licorice Parikrama,” a networked performance featuring West Virginians affected by the 2014 Elk River chemical spill.
Also an award-winning educator, he has served as a teaching artist with the American Composers Orchestra and taught courses at Yale University, Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, Montclair State University, the Walden School, and the Thurnauer school. In 2021 he founded Synthase, a school that nurtures musical creativity for young people through online lessons, classes, and interactive technology.
He holds a doctorate in composition from Yale, supported in part by a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also earned degrees from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (M.M., Composition) and the University of Michigan (B.F.A., Jazz and Contemplative Studies). His teachers have included Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Christopher Theofanidis, Geri Allen, Stephen Rush, and Michael Fiday.
Past Commissioned Composers
2022 CAPMT Commissioned Composer
DEADLINE: MAY 19, 2023
Composer’s submitted materials must be uploaded as part of the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form
The Commissioned Composer Selection Committee will notify the winning composer
Delivery of commissioned composition: PDF of completed score must be sent via e-mail to the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
Premiere performance of the commissioned composition at the CAPMT State Conference TBA
Deadline for CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair to submit the commissioned composition to the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award Competition
• March 16-20, 2024 (SAT–WED)
MTNA National Conference • Atlanta, Georgia
CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form will be available in the Spring
All materials must be uploaded as part of the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form
PDF of scores
Audio recording (MP3) and/or video link
Composers must also submit the following Accompanying Documents:
Introductory Cover Letter
Résumé and/or Curriculum Vitae
List of Complete Works
Composers are also encouraged to submit Supporting Documents, such as:
Links to performance videos
Any other social media sites that the Composer would like the selection committee to review
A single PDF containing all accompanying and supporting documents and links is acceptable, but not mandatory
The Commissioned Composer will be selected by a committee comprising the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair, CAPMT State President, and a third judge chosen by the Commissioned Composer Chair.
The selected Commissioned Composer will write a work 10–15 minutes in length for any performance medium. Since the commissioned composition is typically premiered at the CAPMT State Conference on a chamber music concert, a solo or small chamber work, not to exceed seven players, is preferable. CAPMT will provide a stipend of $150 per performer, maximum of $1,050 (7 performers), to engage musicians for the CAPMT State Conference premiere performance. CAPMT offers no additional financial assistance in this regard and does not offer any additional stipend for travel or lodging. The 2020 CAPMT Conference TBA.