New Generation Composer’s Project: Composing for the Odin Quartet

Call for Proposals: Composing for the Odin (String) Quartet

Deadline: December 16, 2022  

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is issuing a call for proposals for early career and advanced student composers wanting to write for a string quartet. Four composers will be selected to write a short piece for the Odin Quartet. This is the sixth edition of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Generation Composer’s Project.

During the writing process, each composer will be paired with a mentor composer who will be a support and resource: this will include advice on writing the composition, string instrument and string quartet writing, notation, and score/part preparation. Composers will be invited to workshops on string quartet writing and aspects of career development. Composers will be supported and advised by SPO music director Ronald Royer.

Completed pieces will be rehearsed by the Odin Quartet and then presented to the composers in a workshop session. If the pieces can be successfully performed by Odin Quartet, including being able to be learned in a reasonable, but limited amount of rehearsal time, they will be performed in concert on June 16, 2023.

Composers can also apply for the SPO’s New Generation Film Composer’s Project. If a composer applies for and gets accepted into both programs, they will need to choose one. Composers will not be able to participate in both programs in the same year.

This project is open to any composer who meets the eligibility criteria, with four composers being selected.

This project is generously funded by the Gooder Foundation and RBC Foundation with logistical and venue support from the Canadian Music Centre.


  • The project is open to early-career and student composers who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents, aged 18 to 35.
  • The program is available to Ontario-based composers, who can be involved in-person or online.
  • Composers who have participated in a previous SPO New Generation Composer’s Project, are not eligible to apply again, but can apply for the New Generation Film Composer’s Project.


  • About the SPO program:

Works to be written by selected composers will reflect the instrumentation of the ensemble:

  • 2 violins, 1 viola, and 1 cello.
  • Pieces can include electronic/tape accompaniment, provided it is limited to stereo playback. Selected composers can use live processing but will need to consult with technical staff and provide equipment beyond what is readily available to the SPO and the Odin Quartet.
  • The maximum duration for the individual pieces to be composed is 5 minutes.
  • An important aspect of this project is to involve the selected composers in musical collaboration with SPO musicians and administrators.
  • Selected composers will participate in two mentorship meetings and be involved in a workshop and possibly the rehearsal process. Additional mentorship sessions can be arranged. Composers are encouraged to listen to the Odin Quartet’s newly released album, Journey Through Night, to get acquainted with the musician’s playing.
  • The Composer’s Workshop with the Odin Quartet will take place at the CMC mid to late April, 2023.
  • A SPO/Odin Quartet concert featuring one or more of the compositions will take place in Scarborough, June 2023 (date and venue TBA).


Eligible composers should submit the following to be considered:

  • Short written proposal (350-word max.): Include your artistic objectives with the piece, your interest in the project, composing for string quartet, and working with the SPO and the Odin Quartet. If selected, your piece can deviate from this proposal.
  • CV or Resume: Include a PDF file focusing on your composition activity. Include your contact information, including an email address, on your CV.
  • 2 sample scores: PDFs of 2 recent scores. You are not required to submit pieces for string quartet but including one piece that has one or more string instruments is recommended.
  • 2 sample recordings: Links to streaming audio/video for the 2 scores submitted. MP3 recordings of the 2 submitted scores (live or MIDI recordings are acceptable). Please ensure that the recording is available for one month following the deadline.


Submissions and enquiries should be sent to:

Attention: Ronald Royer, Music Director, SPO



Project Timeline:

  • November 16, 2022: Call for scores is issued.
  • December 16, 2022, Applications due.
  • Mid January 2023: Participating composers will be selected, and all applicants will be notified of the results.
  • Composers will be chosen by a jury consisting of SPO composer representatives and a member of the Odin Quartet. The jury’s decision cannot be appealed. Applicants can request feedback from the jury process.
  • The jury will aim to select a representative group of participants based on aesthetic, diversity/equity, education/career stage, and other criteria.
  • Finalists will participate in a short phone interview with the SPO music director regarding various aspects of the project before the decision is made public.
  • Mid to late January 2023: Mentorship relationships will be established.
  • The mentorship will take the form of occasional lessons/consultations with established composers who have worked with the SPO.
  • The mentor will help to shape the process such that completed works reflect the artistic goals of the composer, while being playable by the Odin Quartet or other quartets.
  • Mid-January 2023 to April 1, 2023: Selected composers will work collaboratively with the SPO to write their composition.
  • April 1, 2023: the score will be delivered to the SPO. Ronald Royer will sign off or give feedback for some changes; mainly centered around notation and/or playability.
  • Mid to late April at the CMC (date TBA): Composer’s Workshop with the Odin Quartet. The ensemble will play through compositions, offer suggestions, and collaborate with the composers. Composers can participate in person or online.
  • Late April to May 8. Composers have the option to revise their composition.
  • Monday, May 8, 2023: final score and parts submitted (PDF files).
  • May 23, 2023: Odin Quartet and the SPO will select one or more compositions for performance.
  • May and June 2023: rehearsals and the performance. Concert date and venue TBA.


About the SPO: 

The SPO is a community orchestra, dedicated to enriching our community through high-quality musical performances. The orchestra also presents a series of professional chamber music concerts. The Odin Quartet is the ensemble-in-residence for the orchestra.

An important part of our mandate is supporting, encouraging and mentoring new generation performers and composers. The SPO has produced two professional commercial albums, Canadian Panorama, featuring the Winds of the SPO and Journey Through Night, featuring the Odin Quartet. Both recordings feature music by seven GTA composers and were designed to help promote Canadian composers and performers worldwide. Three more albums will be released in 2023. Information on the SPO’s 2022-2023 season can be found at