This program is not currently accepting applications.

2024 program information is available on this page.

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About the Program

Chamber Music America’s Ensemble Forward program is an initiative for emerging ensembles that perform Western European classical and contemporary chamber music and are based in the five boroughs of New York City. The goals of this program are to support ensembles at a crucial time in their career development and to help them navigate an increasingly demanding cultural landscape.

CMA will provide grant funds for ensembles to work with an established chamber music coach to help them develop their distinctive ensemble sound; make career information resources available; and create networking opportunities for ensemble musicians to meet each other, as well as composers and presenters, further enlarging their professional circles. The program includes career training and advancement through CMA’s Learning Residentials and financial support for making a demo recording.

The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. CMA’s goal in this program is, through the panel review process, to arrive at a final slate of grantees that is representative of the field in terms of race and gender. Read CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

This program is supported by the New York Community Trust.

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

The year we spent coaching with Nick Revel was invaluable!! We knew this would be a valuable experience, but we didn’t realize just how much we would get from it. We got business insights, rock solid music coachings, and recordings that we were able to release! Truly, all thanks to the Ensemble Forward program. We are so glad that this program exists.
Sputter Box, 2021 Ensemble Forward Grantee

Ensemble Forward Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to the Ensemble Forward Program?

Ensembles of 2-10 musicians that perform Western European classical and contemporary chamber music based in the five boroughs of New York City and in the early stages of a career are eligible. You can review eligibility guidelines here.

What does the program fund?

Ensemble Forward funds five sessions with a chamber music coach. The program provides the coach $2,500 for a total of 5 sessions with the ensemble and each ensemble musician receives $1,000.

What are the other components of the program?

The program will provide grantees with complimentary attendance at CMA’s 2023 national conference, Learning Residentials – skill-building sessions/workshops led by industry experts, networking opportunities, $4,000 in funding support for a demo recording, and a one-year membership to CMA.

If we are not able to meet with our coach in person because of the pandemic, may we meet remotely?

Should it not be possible to meet with your coach in person for health and safety reasons, virtual sessions are possible with the entire ensemble participating as a group.

When must Ensemble Forward coachings take place?

Grant activities must take place between January 1 to December 31, 2024.

We do not have a chamber music coach. How can we find one?

CMA staff can provide names and contact information for potential coaches.

Are grant funds taxable?

Yes, the ensemble leader is responsible for filing the appropriate tax forms, collecting receipts and invoices, and completing and submitting the final report on grant expenses.

Do the musicians on the submitted ensemble audio samples have to be the same as those in the application?

Either the full ensemble or at least 50% of its musicians must be heard in the audio samples. Please note that a duo must submit works with both partners.

What file formats are accepted for the audio uploads?

Acceptable audio formats are mp3 and m4a.

How do I apply for this program?

Review the application guidelines. To apply, visit and click on “Ensemble Forward.” An application webinar will be provided. Additionally, a consultation may be scheduled, or questions may be sent to CMA staff.

Why does Chamber Music America ask for my race and ethnicity?

CMA collects data on race and ethnicity in connection to grant programs and applications; membership; and surveys with partner organizations, like funding partners. As such, CMA has developed a set of standards for keeping, collecting, and presenting data on race and ethnicity that aim to provide consistency in collecting and using this type of data.

These standards have been developed in accordance with data collection standards by other groups such as CMA’s funders, federal agencies, and agencies that track race and ethnicity data.

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