Commissioned Composer

Commissioned Composer

Craig Johnson Richey

MTNA Commissioned Composer Program

MTNA is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by American composers. MTNA annually assists its affiliated state associations in the generation and performance of new music through the National Commissioned Composer Program.

2017 CAPMT Commissioned Composer
Alexander Elliot Miller

“Alexander’s music is instantly appealing, creative, sophisticated, and socially relevant. CAPMT is excited and proud to premiere his commissioned work at our October State Conference.”

Craig Richey
CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair

Alexander Elliott Miller


Alexander Elliott Miller (b. 1982) is a musician and educator based in Southern California whose music has been described as “wild . . . unearthly . . . lyrical . . . a voice worth listening to” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “deceptively laid back . . . inventive . . . unconventional” (Los Angeles Times – Mark Swed).

Active as a composer and electric guitarist, he has collaborated with and been commissioned by Grammy-nominated musicians including pianists Vicky Ray and Aron Kelly, and soprano Tony Arnold. His compositions have been performed by adventurous new music groups including HOCKET, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Earplay New Chamber Music, the Boston New Music Initiative, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, TEMPO New Music Ensemble, Definiens Ensemble, Quintet Attacca, and the What’s Next? Ensemble, a group for which he was Co-Director.

In 2017, pianist Vincent Craig performed one of his compositions at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has received honors including the Early Donald Aird Composers Award and a MacDowell Fellowship.

With background in rock, classical, and jazz guitar, Miller has performed extensively as a solo guitarist, and as a member of the What’s Next? Ensemble. He has been a frequent performer of his own compositions for guitar, especially his classical guitar solo Flatiron, and a new large suite, TO…. OBLIVION: Historica Landmarks Around Los Angeles, a work for electric guitar, electronics, and video that examines the constantly changing landscape of Los Angeles. He has performed as a guest guitarist with the Long Beach Opera, CSULB Chmabe Choir, the Color Field Ensemble, and appeared as a lead guitarist for singer Mikey Ferrari at Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go.

Miller teaches theory and composition at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and Chapman University. He holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Composition from USC, Master of Music in Composition from the Eastman School of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees in Composition and Guitar Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. For more information:

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CAPMT 2017 Commissioned Composer Program

CAPMT, the California State Affiliate of MTNA, is committed to supporting the careers of California Composers. The chosen recipient of the CAPMT 2017 Commission will write a new work to be premiered at the CAPMT State Conference, which will take place at Fresno City College in Fresno, CA on October 13–14, 2017 (FRI–SAT).

The amount of the CAPMT 2017 Commission is $2,000, funded by CAPMT with the support of matching funds from MTNA.

To further recognize outstanding contributions to American music, MTNA annually invites state affiliates to submit their commissioned work to a panel of recognized composers for national competitive adjudication. The winning composition is presented in performance at the next MTNA National Conference, and the composer is proclaimed the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year.

For more information and details about the national program, please see the webpage for the MTNA Commissioned Composer Program provided and embedded below.

CAPMT Rules & Guidelines


  1. The CAPMT Commissioned Composer Program serves to support the careers of professional composers and is not to be confused with the MTNA Student Composition Competitions. As such, composers currently enrolled in high school, undergraduate, or master’s degree programs are NOT eligible to apply. However, submissions from doctoral candidates are accepted.
  2. Composers must be residents of the State of California.

Submission Process
DEADLINE: May 1, 2017 (MON), 11:59 PM PDT
CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form

  1. All materials must be uploaded as part of the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form
  2. Composers must submit the following for TWO representative contrasting works (a movement of a multi-movement work is acceptable):
    • PDF of scores
    • Audio recording (MP3) and/or video link
  3. Composers must also submit the following Accompanying Documents:
    • Introductory Cover Letter
    • Résumé and/or Curriculum Vitae
    • List of Complete Works
  4. Composers are also encouraged to submit Supporting Documents, such as:
    • Press clippings
    • Reviews
    • Links to performance videos
    • Composer’s website
    • Any other social media sites that the Composer would like the selection committee to review
  5. A single PDF containing all accompanying and supporting documents and links is acceptable, but not mandatory

Selection Process
The Commissioned Composer will be selected by a committee comprising the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair, CAPMT State President, and a third judge chosen by the Commissioned Composer Chair.

Commissioned Composition & Premiere Performance
The selected Commissioned Composer will write a work 10–15 minutes in length for any performance medium. Since the commissioned composition is typically premiered at the CAPMT State Conference on a chamber music concert, a solo or small chamber work, not to exceed seven players, is preferable. CAPMT will provide a stipend of $150 per performer, maximum of $1,050 (7 performers), to engage musicians for the CAPMT State Conference premiere performance. CAPMT offers no additional financial assistance in this regard and does not offer any additional stipend for travel or lodging. The CAPMT 2017 State Conference will be held at Fresno City College in Fresno, CA, October 13–14, 2017 (FRI–SAT).

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • May 1, 2017 (MON)
    Composer’s submitted materials must be uploaded as part of the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form
  • May 15, 2017 (MON)
    The Commissioned Composer Selection Committee will notify the winning composer
  • September 1, 2017 (FRI)
    Delivery of commissioned composition: PDF of completed score must be sent via e-mail to the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair at
  • October 13–14, 2017 (FRI–SAT)
    Premiere performance of the commissioned composition at the CAPMT State Conference at Fresno City College in Fresno, CA
    Performance date and time TBA
  • December 1, 2017 (FRI)
    Deadline for CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair to submit the commissioned composition to the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award Competition:
  • March 17–21, 2018 (SAT–WED)
    MTNA National Conference • Orlando, FL

MTNA Commissioned Composer Program Webpage

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