The Cortona Sessions Performance Program is open to vocalists and performers on ANY INSTRUMENT (except brass) age 18 and over.

Performers with all levels of contemporary music experience are encouraged to apply. Accepted performers will will be assigned new compositions written by participating composers for both solo and ensemble premieres. Each performer will receive private or group lessons with the performance faculty. Throughout the Sessions, performance participants will:

  • premiere new works by festival composers alongside other participants and faculty

  • perform in masterclasses/lessons with Cortona Sessions faculty

  • collaborate in coachings with composers

  • participate in Cortona Sessions Contemporary Performance Competition (see below)

  • develop their contemporary performance skills through lectures and private lessons

  • receive round-trip train tickets to Florence for excursion

  • have opportunities to perform and demonstrate significant works from the traditional contemporary repertoire

  • perform in the Iron Composer Competition


2019 Performance Faculty

mezzo-soprano:  Rachel Calloway
flute:  Sarah Brady
clarinet:  Gregory Oakes
saxophone:  Geoffrey Deibel
violin:  Ari Streisfeld
cello:  Kivie Cahn-Lipman
piano:  Michael Kirkendoll
percussion:  Ji Hye Jung


other members of the Cortona Collective
baritone:  Jeffrey Gavett
clarinet:  Michael Norsworthy
saxophone:  h2 Quartet
(Geoffrey Deibel, Jeffrey Loeffert, 
Kimberly Goddard Loeffert, Jonathan Nichol)
piano:  Amir Khosrowpour
percussion:  Michael Compitello
soprano:  Laura Bohn
soprano:  Sarah Tannahill Anderson

Cortona Contemporary Chamber Music Initiative

The Cortona Sessions Contemporary Chamber Music Initiative (CCMI) is a program designed to encourage pre-formed chamber ensembles to attend the Sessions. Ensembles will have new works written expressly for their ensembles which they will premiere at the Sessions. They will also have the opportunity to perform works from their repertoire on a special profile concert during the Sessions. In addition, all ensemble members will have the opportunity to perform additional premieres as soloists or in mixed ensembles with faculty and other participants. Ensembles will receive reduced tuition, special coachings, and all benefits of attending the Cortona Sessions. Participating ensembles will leave the Sessions with the title Ensemble Fellow of the Cortona Sessions.

Past Ensemble Fellows


Balanced Structures
Deux Saisons
Spiral Staircase


All of the Above
International Counterpoint

Semiosis Quartet



In 2012, the Sessions established its first Contemporary Performance Competition. This competition provides performance participants with the opportunity to play major works from the 20th/21st Centuries in an encouraging competition setting. The primary intention of the the competition is to encourage future collaboration between Cortona Sessions Fellows. The winner of the Cortona Sessions Contemporary Performance  Competition receives the Hiebert Prize:

  • a cash prize (amount TBD)

  • a commission sponsored by the DuoSolo Foundation - the winner will commission a composer in attendance at theSessions for a new work, with the composer's commissioning fee covered by the DuoSolo Foundation.


ll participants in the competition will perform two works (see below). Memory is NOT required. All works must be for SOLO INSTRUMENT ALONE, except for vocal works which may have piano accompaniment.** No electronic pieces will be allowed.

Work 1:  Must be composed between 1940-1990
Work 2:  Must be composed between 1980-present*

  • Manuscript scores, new works, and works by colleagues or emerging composers are welcome.

  • Vocalists: We encourage the selection of art songs rather than arias for the competition.

  • All repertoire must be approved by the Sessions director.


Cortona Sessions Piano Fellowship

The Cortona Sessions welcomes pianists to apply for the position of Resident Fellow in Piano. One pianist will be selected by audition to attend the Sessions on a full scholarship. The Resident Fellow in Piano will serve as pianist in multiple premiere works, and may be asked to play with other Fellows or faculty in performance settings. The Resident Fellow in Piano should have experience with a variety of contemporary music languages and traditional chamber music playing. Please contact the sessions if you have any questions.


deadline:  December 15, 2018 (email)
eligibility:  all performers age 18 and over
application fee:  $25 (paid online via PayPal)

  • Individual Performer:  $2,050USD

  • Chamber Music Initiative:  $1,200USD/pp (after $850 scholarship) – for a group of 2 or more in a pre-formed ensemble

paid online via PayPal - can be paid in installments w/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:

  • a recording demonstrating your performance ability - at least three contrasting pieces (one should be from the 20th/21st Century)

  • please submit an electronic format via email (preferred) or dropbox

  • contact info for a recommendor who can comment on the applicant in both professional and social settings

email all supplemental materials to:


info for percussionists

Percussion at the Cortona Sessions will be limited to marimba and portable/small percussion instruments.