Dream American 2023

Pacific Chamber Orchestra is pleased to announce the second annual reading workshop for emerging composers of new works representing/emanating from/dedicated to an aspect of the cultural heritages and diversity that constitutes our American tapestry. Composers either be U.S. Citizens or have established themselves as being permanent U.S. residents. BIPOC, ALANA, and LGBTQIA and all URG applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. PCO is committed to inclusiveness. Up to five composers will be selected to participate. 

Reading/workshop dates: Sunday Oct 29 in Livermore, CA.


  • Deadline for applications and score submissions: August 18, 2023 @ 11:59 PM
  • Notification of winners (3 per workshop) September 1, 2022
  • Parts must arrive by October 1, 2022; if parts not received by this date, there is no guarantee that the work will be included in the reading session.

Opportunities and process once selected:

  • Selected composers must attend and participate in the reading workshop and cover their own travel costs.
  • Within the two weeks preceding the workshops a google doc forum will be setup in which musicians and composers may exchange clarifications as to technical matters.
  • Each composer will be able to have a zoom meeting with the conductor to go over the work.
  • During the workshop the work will be rehearsed, played, discussed with conductor and a Composer Mentor, and then rehearsed again and read again. There will be a final public performance at the end of the second workshop of the day.
  • At the end of each workshop there will be a panel discussion with all workshop participants, the composer mentors and conductor reviewing each work and the readings.
  • The workshops will be videotaped and recorded for study purposes and approved use by the participants

Submission requirements:

Duration: Preferably 6-8 minutes of music, with 4 minutes as the minimum amount, and 10 minutes as the maximum amount.

Type: Submission may be a complete piece, a movement or section of a larger work. It must not have been read or performed by a professional orchestra.  If a version of another work it must be substantially different. It is not a work for soloist and orchestra.

Instrumentation parameters:

  • Maximum: 1 flute/piccolo, 1 oboe/English horn, 1 clarinet/bass clarinet/e-flat clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 French horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 harp, 2 percussion (2 timpani, vibraphone and smaller percussion instruments. Please inquire as to the possibility of other percussion instruments if desired; 4 Violin I, 3 Violin II, 3 Viola, 2 Cello, 1 String Bass.
  • Minimum: full strings plus at least four other non percussion instruments.

Dream American 2023 Application

Please fill out the application completely. Upload your completed score as a PDF file. If you have an MP3 file of your work, you may also upload it, but this step is optional. If you have any questions, email administrator@pacificchamberorchestra.org

Pacific Chamber Orchestra

The Pacific Chamber Orchestra (PCO), now in its 32nd season, is dedicated to sustaining and extending the rich heritage of classical music for chamber orchestra through inspiring performances and engaging educational programs designed to enrich local communities.

PCO musicians perform in the San Francisco Symphony, Opera or Ballet Orchestras, touring Broadway shows and feature films recorded at Skywalker Ranch. PCO is a resident company of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater and also performs concert series in Lafayette. For more information, visit https://www.pacificchamberorchestra.org/

Maestro Lawrence Kohl

Frequently noted by critics for his creative programming and bold interpretations, Kohl was awarded special recognition in 2016 by the Cultural Arts Commission of Contra Costa County for his contribution to the arts.

Kohl’s creative work led to the marketing firm AKQA receiving a Silver Lion award from the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Kohl was chosen to premier a new work for the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Awarded the UCLA Music Department’s first University Chancellor Fellowship, Kohl did his doctoral work in Systematic Musicology while also holding the position of Conducting Teaching Associate under Samuel Krachmalnick, Leonard Bernstein’s chosen conductor of his original Broadway production of “Candide.” Kohl later also worked with Goffredo Cordietti, Arturo Toscanini’s only conducting assistant. A consummate clarinetist, Kohl has performed chamber music internationally and toured with the San Francisco Symphony. Videos about PCO and Kohl can be seen on our website: www.pacificchamberorchestra.org

Jean Ahn, Composer Mentor

A native of Korea, composer Jean Ahn’s creative output ranges from solo instruments and chamber music to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance, and electroacoustic music. She is the director of Ensemble ARI, a Lecturer at UC Berkeley and the music director for CHIM Studio, specializing in music for special needs students.

She received First Prize at the Renée Fisher Competition and the Sejong Korean Music Competition as well as awards from the Korean National Music Composers Association, the De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition, and the Isadora Duncan Award for Saltdoll. Last year, she was a Finalist for the League of American Orchestra Women Composers Commissioning Competition, and for the American Prize.

Her works have been performed by the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Diablo Symphony, California Youth Symphony, Contemporaneous Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Earplay, Enhake, Ensemble Sur Plus, Invoke String Quartet, Khasma Duo and Aspen New Music Ensemble.

Commissions include works for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Volti, SF Bach Choir, SF Choral Artists, Ong Dance Company, New Arts Collaboration, Gayaguem Soloist JUL, Locrian Chamber Players among others.

Her research into Korean folk songs, “Folksong Revisited”, has been presented at the College Music Society Symposium, the National Association of Singers Convention, and the Symposium for New Music in São Paulo, Brazil. With her folk song collection, she introduces Korean songs and techniques to professional performers in the US.  The recording, with a pronunciation guide, will be published this year.

Kurt Rohde, Composer Mentor

Musician Kurt Rohde [h/h/t/t] plays viola, teaches and composes. He lives in San Francisco on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone land with his husband Tim and their dog Hendrix. In addition to enjoying double IPAs, off-beat films, and long distant running, he plays viola and is Artistic Advisor with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Artistic Director of the Composers Conference, a curator at the Center for New Music, and teaches music composition at UC Davis. He has received the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize, fellowships from the Radcliffe-Harvard Institute for Advanced Study and Guggenheim Foundation, and awards from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations.

Recent projects include new works for Hidejiro Honjoh, the Lydian String Quartet, the Grossman Ensemble, and Ensemble Échappé. His CD, It wasn’t a dream… , was released on Albany Records in Spring 2020. A recipient of a 2021 Creative Capital Award, Kurt is working on a collaborative project with artist Marie Lorenz and writer Dana Spiotta. Newtown Odyssey will be a floating opera addressing environmental catastrophe and justice. He is a recipient of a 2021 NEA grant to collaborate with poet Donna Masini on a micro-opera based on her collection 4:30 Movie.

Kurt has spearheaded two initiatives to help create opportunities for composers: The Kurt Rohde Composers Fund is an ongoing commissioning project supporting composers at different stages of their creative life, and Kurt Rohde’s Farewell Tour Project – PARTS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 targets underappreciated creative voices in the new music community by commissioning new works for viola.

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