NOI+F Composition Academy



Launched in 2020, the NOI+F Composition Academy is dedicated to furthering the training and development of emerging composers, especially those historically excluded from the orchestral repertoire. Composition Academy participants receive individual mentorship from NOI+F composition faculty members and benefit from seminars, intensive score study, masterclasses, community engagements, new work readings and performance opportunities with NOI+F faculty and orchestral fellows.

  • Each fellow receives a $500 mini-commission to write a 10-minute work for sinfonietta. This will be rehearsed by two NOI+F conducting fellows under the guidance of NOI+F Music Director Marin Alsop and James Ross. Each fellow’s work will be recorded and performed twice in a concert hosted by Maestra Alsop.  

  • Fellows will take part in several one-on-one work-sharing sessions and informal coffee table discussions with visiting composition faculty.

  • NOI+F composition faculty member Nathan Lincoln De-Cusatis will host a variety of industry sessions with professionals in music publishing, programming and other pertinent areas. Past sessions have included Philip Rothman (NYC Music Services), Jessie Montgomery, Marcia Farabee (Librarian, National Symphony), Bob Neu, (VP of Artistic Planning, Utah Symphony), Allison Weissman (Dworkin Management) and Mason Bates.

  • All 2023 Composition Academy Fellows must be between the ages of 18 and 30 on June 25, 2023.

  • All NOI+F participants are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Key Dates

  • November 1, 2022: Composition Academy application opens

  • January 11, 2023: Composition Academy applications are due

  • February 1, 2023: Applicants notified of results

  • Saturday, June 24, 2023 – Sunday, July 2, 2023: Program dates

Apply + Audition

Applications open November 1st, 2023

  • Early Bird Fee (Before Dec 15, 2022): $50

  • Standard Fee (Dec 15, 2022 and later): $70

  • University of Maryland students apply with no fee! Email for further instructions.

  • Submit a résumé and two letters of recommendation

  • Letters of recommendation may be submitted directly with your application OR emailed to by your recommenders. Please have them include the subject line, "Letter of Recommendation, 'Your Name'." 

  • Submit PDF scores of two recent works along with their corresponding AUDIO or VIDEO recordings required. Live or studio performances of works are strongly encouraged, although MIDI files will be accepted. Works can be for any instrumentation but instrumental chamber or orchestral music is strongly preferred.

Fellowship & Commission

Award & Stipend

  • Composition academy fellows receive a full tuition fellowship, a $1,000 housing & travel stipend and a $500 commissioning fee for their 10-minute work.


  • Each composition academy fellow is provided with a $1000 housing & travel stipend. Composition academy fellows are responsible for finding their own housing in College Park, MD during their residency. Sublets for the duration of NOI+F Composition Academy near the University of Maryland campus can be found through a variety of websites. A list of resources will be provided to all fellows upon acceptance. Other housing options may be available through UMD Greek Life Housing.


  • Participants that wish to park their car on the University of Maryland campus will be required to purchase a parking permit from the University. Campus parking fees are set by the University’s Department of Transportation and are not under the purview of NOI+F. Discounted satellite parking options will be made available closer to the festival. More information will be made available regarding the cost and specific parking locations upon acceptance.


Each year our composition faculty include luminary composers from diverse backgrounds. Past faculty have included Vivian Fung, Carlos Simon, Anna Clyne, James Lee III, Nathan Lincoln DeCusatis, Jessie Montgomery, Mason Bates and Brian Nabors. 

A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres and is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range. A prolific Grammy Award–nominated composer with more than 70 works to her credit, she has been commissioned by internationally renowned organizations, festivals, and artists and is published in France (Editions Lemoine), Germany (Trekel), Brazil (Criadores do Brasil), and the U.S.(Virtual Artists Collective Publishing). An in-demand performer, she is a celebrated pianist and inventive vocalist who inspires and encourages audiences’ imaginations to break free of often self-imposed constraints. Assad has released seven solo albums and appeared on or had her works performed on another 34. Her music is represented on Cedille Records, SONY Masterworks, Nonesuch, Adventure Music, Edge, Telarc, NSSMusic, GHA, and CHANDOS. Her innovative, accessible, and award-winning VOXploration series on music education, creation, song writing, and improvisation has been presented throughout the world. Sought after by artists and organizations worldwide, the multi-talented musician continues to attract new audiences both onstage and off.

Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis is a jazz and classical composer based in New York City. His music encompasses a wide variety of media and styles including his jazz piano trio MOB RULE, the 10-piece improvising ensemble Micro-Orchestra, and classical pieces for orchestra, sinfonietta and chamber ensembles with a special emphasis on music evoking natural landscapes and wilderness spaces. His music has been described in Gramophone as “a dazzling, often momentous slice of life…” All About Jazz calls him “a musician that has absorbed the stylistic vocabularies of the greats and distilled them into his own personal approach both muscular and lyrical.” His music has been performed by The Utah Symphony, The National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, The Chesapeake Orchestra, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, The Atlantic Reed Consort, Balance Campaign, Corvus, and by members of the St. Louis, and National Symphony Orchestras. In June, 2021 violinist Madeline Adkins gave the premiere performance of his violin concerto The Maze under the baton of Marin Alsop at the Filene Center at Wolftrap. Since 2015 he has served as composer-in-residence for the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival in Vermont, in 2018 he was the inaugural composer-in-residence for the Jackson Hole Chamber Music Festival in Wyoming. Awards and accolades include a 2019 New Music USA Project Grant, an American Music Center CAP award, the Walsum Prize, an Atlantic Center for the Arts residency under composer/musician Henry Threadgill, and the Ithaca College Smadbeck Prize.  His music was released on the Inscape Chamber Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated release Sprung Rhythm on the Sono Luminus label. Nathan holds degrees in composition from Ithaca College (BM) and the University of Maryland (DMA). He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Fordham University where he teaches classes in music theory, jazz, and music production.

Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. She is a major figure in contemporary Classical music, receiving the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, a 2010 Grammy for her Percussion Concerto, a 2018 Grammy for her Viola Concerto and a 2020 Grammy for her Harp Concerto. In 2018, Higdon received the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University which is given to contemporary classical composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition. Most recently, the recording of Higdon's Percussion Concerto was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. Higdon enjoys several hundred performances a year of her works, and blue cathedral is today’s most performed contemporary orchestral work, with more than 600 performances worldwide. Her works have been recorded on more than seventy CDs. Higdon’s first opera, Cold Mountain, won the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and the opera recording was nominated for 2 Grammy awards. Her music is published exclusively by Lawdon Press.

Wang Jie's  stylistic versatility is a rare trait among today's composers. One day she spins a few notes into a large symphony, the next she conjures a malevolent singing rat onto the opera stage. Unveiling beauty in this world, and paving new paths for lasting public engagement with classical music are at the heart of her artistry.

For the past three years running, Jie's "Symphony No. 1" has been the most-broadcast work on the most-listened-to classical music show on public radio. A popular concert opener, her "Symphonic Overture - America the Beautiful" is adored by tens and thousands of live audiences across the United States. Her career is made possible by trailblazers at The League of American Orchestras, American Composers Orchestra, Opera America, the Toulmin Foundation, to name a few. She is a frequent collaborator with organizations that vitalize the beauty of classical music as relevant today as ever, such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival, Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, etc. She received degrees from Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music and holds a PhD from NYU. Co-founder of the Emerging Composers Intensive in CA and a serious instrumentalist herself, Jie tirelessly mentors young composers with a focus on collaborative, musicianship based approach in creativity. Born in Shanghai, Jie now considers herself a New Yorker.


  • Nathan Lincoln DeCusatis
  • Jennifer Higdon
  • Wang Jie



Marin Alsop, James Ross

Questions + Additional Information

If you have additional questions or would like additional information, contact us at or 301.405.2317.