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CAPMT 2023 Commissioned Composer Program

CAPMT is committed to supporting the careers of California composers. The chosen recipient of the CAPMT 2023 Commission will write a new work to be premiered at the 2023 CAPMT State Conference (date and location TBA).  The 2021 CAPMT Commission fund of $2000 is funded with the support of MTNA. The current Commissioned Composer’s composition will be submitted to the MTNA national competition.

Current Commissioned Composer

Dr. Ron Anderson

Ron Anderson holds a doctoral degree in Piano Performance, as well as degrees in Opera and Music Composition, and has enjoyed successes in all three endeavors.

During his 10-year singing career, Dr. Anderson performed about two dozen operatic roles, including Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen and the title roles in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Britten’s Noye’s Fludde. His oratorio credits include numerous performances of the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, requiems of Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé, baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, and multiple performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as other choral masterpieces.

In addition to his long list of operatic roles, he has been regularly featured as soloist (both as a pianist and a vocalist) in televised concerts with several orchestras throughout Southern California, including Torrance Symphony, the Marina Symphony, the Cypress Pops Orchestra, and the Redlands Bowl.  

His compositions for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, piano solo, and voice have been received enthusiastically, having won competitions and critical acclaim. Recently, his choral anthem “Wilt Thou Forgive?” was awarded First Prize in the Cerddorion Composers Competition, tied with Bernardino Zanetti of Italy. He is a current winner of the SMP Press composition contest in three categories (Choral, Chamber, and Solo). His compositions and arrangements are published on SMP Press (Sheet Music Plus). 

Dr. Anderson serves on the Piano Faculty at Chapman University, and presently teaches Piano and Theory courses at Los Angeles City College, where he also composes arrangements for choral ensembles. His private studio has produced several winners in the National Chopin Foundation, MTNA, Composers Today, Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers, and others. He is in demand as a lecturer, and often adjudicates for competitions and events, such as the Steinway & Sons Junior Piano Competition, MTNA Composition Competition, MTNA State and Division Piano Competitions, the Reno Youth Music Festival, the Yamaha National Junior Original Concert, MTAC Young Composers Guild, and the Composers Today State Contest and Evaluations. Dr. Anderson is the former State Chair for the Composers Today Young Composers Guild, for which he continues to serve in an advisory capacity. 

Ron Anderson’s choral music is heartfelt, expressive, sincere, and richly layered. The work he wrote for the 2022 CAPMT Commission ‘Let This Mind Be In You’ for SATB, Piano and Clarinet is a shining example of his work!

–Craig Richey, CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair

Check out Dr. Ron Anderson's "The Autumn Tree" for voice cello and piano: 🎧 Listen on SoundCloud now!

Past Commissioned Composers

2021 CAPMT Commissioned Composer
Amy Stephens

‘I find Amy Stephens' music immediately accessible and richly expressive. Immediately apparent is the way in which Amy incorporates the language of jazz into classical forms. The sophistication with which she does this sets her apart from others who may pay homage to another genre. The result: a fully integrated and individual style.'

––Craig Richey, CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair

2019 CAPMT Commissioned Composer
Feona Lee Jones

"Fiona’s string quartet Adrenaline struck me instantly with its power and energy and provocative musicality. Not only is it beautifully written for the instruments and the medium, but it possesses sophistication and originality. I am always looking for work that has a true musical voice, a message that speaks out beyond the craft, and is written for performers. Feona’s music does. Watching the performers of this quartet it is clear that they agree!"

--Craig Richey, CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair

2018 CAPMT Commissioned Composer
D Riley Nicholson

“I immediately sensed in Riley’s music this presence of a thoughtful and deeply conceptual composer, one with a musical, organic, and powerful voice. And upon further discovery, watching interviews on his website, it was clear to me we had chosen a composer with a well-articulated philosophy of music and sense of purpose: an ‘artist-composer.’ We will be most proud to have Riley represent the state of California in the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Program.”

--Craig Richey, CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair

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

CAPMT Commissioned Composer Rules and Guidelines


  • 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.
  • Composers must be residents of the State of California.

Commissioned Composer Application

Submission Process

DEADLINE:  MAY 19, 2023

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • MAY 19, 2023 (FRI)

Composer’s submitted materials must be uploaded as part of the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form

  • MAY 22, 2023(MON)

The Commissioned Composer Selection Committee will notify the winning composer

  • SEPTEMBER 1, 2023(FRI)

Delivery of commissioned composition: PDF of completed score must be sent via e-mail to the CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair at

  • October 2023(FRI–SAT)DATE TBD

Premiere performance of the commissioned composition at the CAPMT State Conference TBA

  • December 1, 2023 (FRI)

Deadline for CAPMT Commissioned Composer Chair to submit the commissioned composition to the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award Competition

• March 16-20, 2024 (SAT–WED)

MTNA National Conference • Atlanta, Georgia

CAPMT Commissioned Composer Application Form will be available in the Spring

  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 2020 CAPMT Conference TBA.