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CULTIVATE 2018 Emerging Composers’ Institute

The Future is HERE!

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Another successful CULTIVATE

Posted on November 15, 2019 by Music from Copland House

CULTIVATE 2018 in photos.


Fellows from CULTIVATE 2018 tell our story:

CULTIVATE was unlike any festival or workshop I attended, in that it made a full package of what an emerging composer needs to know to further her/his career and to get extremely inspired and motivated.

Liliya Ugay (Nashville Symphony ComposerLab Fellow)

What really struck me about CULTIVATE was how much time and opportunity we had to work with our truly fabulous Music from Copland House performers. It is such a rare gift to be able to immerse ourselves in the collaborative aspects of composition, and to have the luxury of revising our works on the fly with the mentorship of Derek Bermel. My time at CULTIVATE and the new relationships I made will stick with me for the rest of my career and evolution as an artist.

Annika Socolofsky (ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fellow)


CULTIVATE, Copland House’s annual, flagship emerging composers’ institute, embraces the entire artistic process, from creation and work development to public performance and preservation. Each year, a rotating, independent, peer-review jury of eminent composers selects six gifted composers at the start of their professional careers to participate in this all-scholarship, creative workshop and mentoring program. Fellows are commissioned to write a short (5’-7’) chamber composition, which is the focus of an intensive week of daily individual and collective rehearsals and work sessions mentored by CULTIVATE’s Grammy-nominated Director Derek Bermel and the internationally-acclaimed Music from Copland House ensemble. CULTIVATE 2018 took place June 3-10 at Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in upstate New York and its primary public venue at the nearby Merestead estate. After Fellows were greeted upon their arrival with a reading of all the new works, they participated with Bermel and MCH in a weeklong immersion in the study, preparation, consideration, refinement, reevaluation, and revision of their pieces. CULTIVATE prides itself on combining rigor and collegiality to create a safe-space that explicitly encourages and supports risk. The week concluded with a sold-out public concert featuring the World Premieres of all six new, fully-honed works. The concert was recorded and subsequently broadcast to a large regional and national audience, providing the Fellows with considerable media exposure, as well as a portfolio-ready recording of their new work. Further enhancing the week’s experience were informal, wide-ranging evening discussions by prominent, forward-thinking arts leaders focusing on practical, professional career and industry matters (James Kendrick, a leading intellectual-property attorney; Susan Dadian, Chamber Music America’s Program Director; Elizabeth Dworkin, Dworkin & Company’s CEO, and a highly-esteemed publicist and composer representative; and Michael Boriskin, Copland House’s Artistic & Executive Director and a noted pianist, producer, and program advisor). Ample, dedicated time was also allocated each day for Fellows’ relaxation, reflection, and individual work. To offer tangible benefits, in addition to CULTIVATE’s multi-faceted artistic and professional support, all expenses of composer participation for the entire week were fully covered, including commissioning fees, copying, round-trip air  and local transportation, accommodations, food, session and events attendance, mentorship activities, and recording (plus performer and speaker fees).

Project Media

Ellipses (2018, CULTIVATE commission) by THEO CHANDLER
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recorded live at CULTIVATE 2018 by Music from Copland House (6/10/18)
(for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano)
I – Frost
II – Bloom (03:50)
The work “depicts the yearly cycle of blooming and freezing created by the seasons … the word ‘ellipses’ is conveniently a plural form of ellipse and ellipsis — earth follows an elliptical orbit around the sun every year, and both movements end with a musical ellipsis, or a suggestion of more to come.”


Without Words (2018, CULTIVATE commission) by LILYA UGAY
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recorded live at CULTIVATE 2018 by Music from Copland House (6/10/18)
for violin, cello, and piano
Nocturnal, unsettled reflections of distant memories

when even the pollen reminds you of the coming snow (2018, CULTIVATE commission) by ANNIKA SOCOLOFSKY
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Recorded live at CULTIVATE 2018 by Music from Copland House (6/10/18)
for violin, cello, and bowed piano

Inspired by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (“to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for”):

midsummer, noun: Celebrated on…your 26th birthday,…[when] your youth finally expires as a valid excuse,…you must begin harvesting your crops, even if they’ve barely taken root,… and…the days will begin to feel shorter as they pass, until even the pollen in the air reminds you of the coming snow.

Start and End Dates



Mount Kisco and Cortlandt Manor, New York

1 update
Last update on November 15, 2019

Project Created By

Cortlandt Manor, New York
MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE is the internationally-acclaimed touring, resident ensemble based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home, an award-winning creative center for American music. Hailed by The New York Times for “all the richness of its offerings” and “illuminating essential truths about the music,” Music from Copland House occupies a special place as the…

In Collaboration With

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