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Emerging Black Composers Project

Emerging Black Composers Project

About the Emerging Black Composers Project


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The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), in partnership with the San Francisco Symphony, announced today that applications are now open for the fourth annual Emerging Black Composers Project (EBCP), its Michael Morgan Prize and the Cabrillo Emerging Black Composers Prize.

The winner of the 2024 Michael Morgan Prize will receive a $15,000 award and have a new work commissioned to receive its world premiere with the San Francisco Symphony, led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen. The winner will also receive mentorship from Salonen, SFCM Music Director Edwin Outwater, and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the resident conductor of engagement and education at SF Symphony and chair of the EBCP selection committee. 

The winner will also receive career support and investment from SFCM faculty and musicians. This award was renamed the Michael Morgan Prize in 2023 in honor of the late maestro who served as the first chair and co-founder of the EBCP before he died in 2021. 

The Emerging Black Composers Project is a ten-year commitment to spotlight early-career Black American composers and their music. It was launched in 2020 with the first-place commission given in June of 2021 to Trevor Weston with additional prizes awarded to Sumi Tonooka, Shawn Okpebholo, and Jonathan Bingham. Jens Ibsen, winner of the 2022 Emerging Black Composers Project, had his work Drowned in Light premiered by Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony as part of the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music in November 2023. Xavier Muzik, winner of the Michael Morgan Prize in 2023, will have his work premiered with the San Francisco Symphony during the 2024/2025 season. 

EBCP set out to commission ten works in ten years, a goal that will likely be surpassed in that timeframe. To further identify and highlight young artists and support their careers, this year’s competition will invite applications only from composers under the age of 35.

All applications are judged through an anonymous process by a committee of leaders in the field that include Daphne Burt, Nathalie Joachim, Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Jeff Zeigler, along with Weston, Salonen, Outwater and Bartholomew-Poyser among others.


Application will open Fall of 2024.


How to apply
Black American composers (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) age 35 or under who have completed a degree program in composition or music performance, or have equivalent experience, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a resume along with three scores and recordings of past or current compositions reflective of their work by 11:59 PM PT on February 13, 2024.

Have questions?

Please reach out to Abbey Springer at

The Emerging Black Composers Project is underwritten by Michèle and Laurence Corash.

Tyler Taylor

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