The Cortona Sessions Composition Program is designed to provide composers with high-quality premiere performances in conjunction with a valuable and educational professional experience. Students accepted as participants into the composition program will enjoy the following:

  • world premiere of 1 new work written expressly for the Cortona Sessions
  • possible opportunity to compose an additional work(s)
  • opportunity to participate in the Iron Composer Competition
  • group lessons with Cortona Sessions composition faculty
  • one-on-one coachings with performers
  • opportunity to present their music in symposiums throughout the festival
  • interact with guest composers from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation
  • round-trip train to Florence for excursion
  • valuable friendships and professional development

The 2019 Cortona Sessions will accept a small number of composers, age 18 and over as of the start of the festival.

Accepted participants will be asked to compose one new work for soloist or ensemble consisting of participating performers and faculty to be premiered at the Cortona Sessions. Works must be submitted by March 15 to be guaranteed performance at the Sessions. Works received after this date will not be guaranteed performances. Composers may also have the opportunity to submit pre-existing compositions for possible performance during the Sessions. 


Instrumentation Possibilities for Compositions:

TBA after attendance confirmed

The Cortona Prize

Composers are invited to apply for the Cortona Prize. Click here for info.

The Cortona Sessions Iron Composer Competition

Each year, the Cortona Sessions holds a fun, exciting, and pencil-breaking Iron Composer Competition. The competition is in multiple rounds which give composers 30 minutes to an hour to compose one-minute works for either soloists or duos. The compositions are distributed blind to Sessions performers who race off to learn them in 30 minutes and return to perform. Sessions faculty serve as judges, tallying the scores and the ultimate winner earns the esteemed title of Cortona Sessions Iron Composer. Past Iron Composers include:

2018:  Clark Hubbard & Nicholas Politi (tie)
2017:  Madeline Barrett
2016:  Jack Yarbrough
2015:  Kerrith Livengood
2014:  Dana Malseptic
2013:  Dakota Wayne
2012:  Dave Waugh
2011:  Ramteen Sazegari
2010:  Leo Hurley & Christopher Prosser (tie)





deadline:  December 15, 2018 (email)
eligibility:  all composers age 18 and over
application fee:  $25 (paid online via PayPal)
tuition:  $2,050USD (paid online via PayPal - can be paid in installments with authorization)


tuition includes:

  • 14 nights in Hotel Oasi Neumann w/breakfast 
  • round-trip train to Florence
  • attendance/participation in all festival events


additional/supplemental cost  

single room:  $300
wine tour:  €150 (paid in Cortona - cash preferred)


application form

Please complete and submit the online application form.


supplemental materials

In addition to the application form, please submit the following:

  • recordings of 2 works performed in the last 3 years (submitted electronically via email or dropbox)
  • 2-3 sample scores (submitted electronically in .pdf format)
  • contact info for a recommendor who can comment on the applicant in both professional and social settings

email all supplemental materials to: