Applications are currently closed.

Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning program provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music. Grants are provided for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers. The program supports works scored for 2-10 musicians performing one per part, composed in any of the musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The CMA Board of Directors has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. Read CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

Women and ALAANA composers have historically been under-represented as Classical Commissioning program grantees. To help applicants become familiar with these artists, CMA has compiled a database of ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers who have expressed interest in creating new work for classical/contemporary chamber ensembles. View the Composers Equity Project resource.

Composers will continue to be added to the database throughout the year. ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers are encouraged to submit their information to the Composers Equity Project.

CMA’s goal, through its panel process, is to arrive at a final slate of grantees whose composers are representative of the field in terms of race, gender and contemporary style. Applicants are presented anonymously to panelists who, through multiple rounds, review submitted sound samples only, and make their selections without knowing the identities or demographics of the ensembles and composers.

Commissions are funded by The Mellon Foundation. Additional program support is provided by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.


For more info contact: Susan Dadian, Associate Director of Grant Programs,



An ensemble is eligible if 

  • it is based in the U.S., its territories or Indian country
  • it is a CMA Organization-level member, membership must be current through June 2022 
  • it is a professional group with a commitment to Western European or non-Western contemporary classical music (as demonstrated on a submitted work sample)
  • it consists of fixed personnel and instrumentation or is part of a flexible roster or a collective that performs in varying configurations of no more than 10
  • in the case of a duo, performs as equal partners, rather than as soloist and accompanist, and consistently publicizes itself as a duo
  • the leader/primary member of the ensemble is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (non-profit status is not required of ensembles) 
  • it has no overdue reports or outstanding financial obligations to CMA 
  • it has completed any previous CMA commissioning project.



A presenter is eligible if it

  • is based in the U.S. or its territories
  • is a CMA Organization-level member, membership must be current through June 2022 
  • is a 501(c)(3) organization or otherwise eligible for charitable contributions for federal income, estate and gift-tax purposes
  • presents classical, contemporary, other music genres, and/or multi-disciplinary performing arts programs
  • has no overdue reports or outstanding financial obligations to CMA 
  • has completed any previous CMA commissioning project.



  • must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • may not have outstanding commitments to Classical Commissioning or to New Jazz Works
  • may be a member of the applicant’s ensemble
  • is an individual, not a group or collective



  • Ensembles may not appear on more than one application. 
    • Ensemble applicants may not appear on a presenter’s application or as a guest on another group’s application. 
  • A presenter may submit only one application; the ensemble on their submission must also be a current CMA Organization-level member through June 2022.
  • In a given program year, ensembles and composers may either apply for CMA’s Classical Commissioning or CMA’s New Jazz Works program, but not both.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our ensemble is fiscally sponsored. Does CMA make payments to fiscal sponsors if we are awarded a grant?

No, CMA does not make payments to fiscal sponsors; rather, payments are made to the ensemble contact person that is administering the grant award.

Does the band have to be based in the U.S. or its territories?

Yes, the ensemble must be based in the U.S. its territories, including Puerto Rico or Indian country, and the leader or ensemble contact must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder).

We are a large ensemble with variable instrumentation. What should we provide on our work sample?

The recording may include varying configurations of the collective or roster, but a majority of the musicians (greater than 50 percent) who will perform the proposed commission must appear on each audio file. The ensemble size of each sample may not exceed 10 musicians.

Who receives payments if we are awarded a grant?

If an ensemble does not have non-profit status, the group must choose one person who will manage the grant and receive payments. If a presenter or an ensemble has non-profit status, the payments are made to the organization.

We currently have a CMA Classical Commissioning Program grant. May we apply for the 2022 grant cycle?

Ensembles and presenters must complete their current project. However, if the composer has finished their commission and submitted the score to CMA, they are eligible to be part of a 2022 grant application.