Application Process

Applications for September 15th, 2022 now open!!

We will accept six string quartets (two violins, one viola, one cello). Composers are welcome to submit as many compositions as they wish, but only one work will be chosen per composer. There are no fees for composers in any process of this initiative.

Please read the following guidelines carefully before any submissions:

  • Composers must not be under professional management.

  • There are no age restrictions.

  • Compositions must be an original piece of music for string quartet (two violins, one viola, one cello).

  • Compositions must be written after January 1st, 2010.

  • Compositions must be under 15 (fifteen) minutes.

  • Compositions of any style or aesthetic direction will be accepted.

    • In the case of works with unpublished graphic characters or symbols, the composer must provide explanatory tables for a correct understanding of the signs.​

    • Ensure that the score is clearly legible.


Applications will not be complete until all of the following steps have been completed in full and as specified. 

  • Submit a bio, resume, and headshot to

  • Submit a score and parts as a PDF document by email to

  • You may submit an optional 1-page program note of the piece.

  • You may submit a midi file or a live recording.

  • All parts of the application must be sent in one email.

Submissions must be received by September 15th, 2022 by 11:59pm EST.


Each piece will be considered by the students at the McDuffie Center for Strings through sight-reading and score study, and composers will be notified via email of their selection by September 15th, 2021. A detailed explanation on the selection process to ensure transparency will be announced by September 1st, 2021.  Beyond this, we ensure that there will be no discrimination in the selection process on the basis of sex, gender or any other extraneous factors.

The NMIBV is a program that aims to champion Black composers and their music. We aim to promote music written by Black composers by doing things such as sponsoring this initiative, but also by posting music (in particular that of our represented composers) on our social media pages. By sending in an application, the composer gives their consent to the audio recording of the composition, to the online archiving of the recording, and to its use on the NMIBV social media pages. Please note that all submitted materials will remain secure and will not be distributed in any way beyond the purposes outlined in these guidelines. Composers will retain full rights to the recording otherwise.