The Piano Lunaire: Composers' Symposium 2020

The Piano Lunaire invites composers who self-identify as ​early career​ to apply to their inaugural Symposium. Looking for a quick immersion into the craft of solo piano writing? Then consider applying to this workshop!

Mentoring with composer Christopher Mayo, pianists Adam Sherkin and Stephanie Chua, participants in this intensive weekend symposium will: 1) improve technical skills for contemporary piano writing through the creation of a new piece (approx. 3 - 8 minutes in length); 2) support composers’ concepts and ideas in the development of ​best practice;​ and 3) help realize these ideas through performance.

Minimum age requirement is 18 years and up. The six selected composers will work with the mentors in three stages:

1. An individual 30-minute video session (Skype call) with Christopher Mayo to take place in late October 2019. Composers will begin to develop sketches and other musical ideas for their piece with Christopher at this stage.

2. An individual 30-minute video session with Adam Sherkin or Stephanie Chua to take place in late November 2019.

3. Intensive group sessions (Saturday) and a public performance of all works (Sunday evening), weekend of January 18-19, 2020 in Toronto.*

During the two-day weekend intensive, composers and mentors will participate in group discussions and presentations of all six new works. The world premiere performances will be open to the public and recorded live.

* ​Please note that we are unable to provide for participants’ travel and accommodation; however, we would be happy to offer a letter of support towards application of travel grants and bursaries.

Application Process:

1. Submit a document (PDF format) with approximately 100 - 150 words answering the following two questions: What is your previous experience in writing for the piano? And: How do you feel you would benefit from this workshop at this point in your studies/development/career?
2. Submit two works with scores and sound files/links. (It is not necessary to include the piano but strongly encouraged).
3. Submit a one-page C.V.
4. Application fee: $20 (CAD). This fee solely covers our jurors’ time in assessing the submitted material.
5. Deadline: Friday, September 27th at 11:59pm (EDT). Selected composers for the 2020 Symposium will be notified in early October. An $80 (CAD) workshop fee will be required at this time should the applicant wish to participate.

Submit this to the following:
Any enquiries can be emailed to:​

Biographies of Mentors:

Christopher Mayo​ (b. 1980) is a Toronto-based composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal and electronic music.
Christopher’s works have been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Crash Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Aurora Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble contemporain de Montreal and Manchester Camerata where he was the Composer-in-Residence from 2012-13.

Christopher has taught composition and orchestration at Wilfred Laurier University, McMaster University, and Royal Holloway University of London, as well as leading composition workshops for organizations including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Aldeburgh Young Musicians.

Stephanie Chua ​is an expressive and versatile pianist devoted to presenting and performing contemporary works through musical insight and innovative programming. She has performed in solo and chamber recitals across Canada, Europe and Asia. Recent highlights include a performance at Shanghai New Music Festival and as a featured performer in Soundstreams’ ’Six Pianos’ Main Stage concert at Koerner Hall (Toronto).

Stephanie has commissioned and premiered over 60 works for and with piano in her work as part of junctQín keyboard collective, in duo with violinist Véronique Mathieu, and as a soloist. She has worked as a teaching artist in Contact Contemporary Music’s ‘Music from Scratch’, Continuum in the Classroom, and given lectures on contemporary techniques and keyboard repertoire at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. Stephanie’s contemporary repertoire encompasses major solo works of Helmut Lachenmann, Franco Donatoni, and Rebecca Saunders to those with multi-media and live electronics by Nicole Lizée and Karlheinz Essl.

Pianist/Composer ​Adam Sherkin ​has performed at significant venues throughout Canada, the United States and Britain, enjoying recent premieres of his works in Mexico, The Netherlands and Vietnam. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio for over fifteen years, Sherkin has been featured as guest lecturer at Mount Allison University (Sackville), University of Guelph and the Royal Conservatory (Toronto), among others. His solo repertoire includes music from the Baroque to present-day, with a specialization in music from North America, including his own. He has worked extensively with new music ensembles, International vocalists and contemporary chamber groups on a regular basis.

In 2018, he founded The Piano Lunaire, a Toronto based, not-for-profit organization that presents monthly performances, houses a record label and collaborates with the Canadian musical community at large, in capacity of both fundraising and pedagogical platform. Follow Adam: @adamsherkin

27 Sep 2019
Canadian Dollar (CAD)