Call for Scores

Charles Ives Music Festival Call for Scores 
The Call for Scores program will return in 2022!

Based in northern Fairfield county – the home of Charles Ives – CIMF  regularly features dynamic and unique emerging artists performing the music of Charles Ives, the music of 20th and 21st century American composers, and music that transcends the traditional boundaries of classical music to incorporate other styles of music.

Congratulations to our 2020 Call for Scores Winners, Harriet Steinke and Alex Stephenson, and to Wenbin Lyu for an honorable mention! Their works were judged by composer-in-residence Kati Agocs, composition program faculty and composer Jon Cziner, and artistic director Paul Frucht. Harriet’s and Alex’s works will be performed on a CIMF Artist Concert during the 2021 festival in August. Read more about them and their works below.

Harriet Steinke, Composer

Harriet Steinke is an American composer from Detroit, Michigan. Her music has premiered across the U.S., with recent projects including commissions from Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, Pro Musica Detroit, the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra (Wichita Falls, TX), the Women’s Wind Ensemble (Greensboro, NC), the piano sextet Grand Band (NYC), and the Tanglewood Music Center (Lenox, MA). She has received awards from the American Prize and the American Composers Forum and fellowships from the Norfolk New Music Workshop, Soundstreams Composer Workshop (now RBC Bridges), and Tanglewood.

Harriet currently serves as composer-in-residence for the Ann Arbor-based chamber ensemble Virago, for whom she is writing a concert-length work called “Listening for Bells” to be premiered during the 2020-2021 season. In addition to her work as a composer, she regularly collaborates with several arts organizations as a project manager and grant writer. She recently founded the Detroit Composers’ Project, an organization that partners with performers, ensembles, and institutions to facilitate performances of new work.

Harriet studied music composition and english language at Butler University in Indianapolis where her mentors included composers Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, and Ronald Caltabiano. She begins graduate studies at the Yale School of Music in Fall 2020. Learn more at and click here to hear her winning work, One Foot in the Dark.

Alex Stephenson, Composer

Composer Alex Stephenson was born in Philadelphia and is currently based in Southern California. His music, praised as “masterfully orchestrated” and of “sonic beauty” (San Diego Union-Tribune), stems from a deep-rooted lyrical impulse, an acute interest in the exploration of acoustic structure, and a desire to engage in dialogue with other forms of artistic expression and aspects of human experience. He has created work in a variety of acoustic, electroacoustic, and interdisciplinary contexts and seeks out forms that give rise to a sense of uncanny logic and urgent communication.

Alex’s music has been presented at and/or commissioned by the Tanglewood, Royaumont, Santa Fe, Breckenridge, Composers Conference, and New York City Electroacoustic festivals, and other festivals and venues across the United States and internationally. Recent performances have featured the New Fromm Players, Flux Quartet, Miranda Cuckson, Steven Schick, Ensemble Voix Nouvelles (cond. Pierre-André Valade), Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program (dir. Dawn Upshaw), and the Society for New Music, among others. Honors include a Tanglewood Music Center composition fellowship, US-UK Fulbright scholarship, the Brian M. Israel Prize, and artist residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Marble House Project.

Alex is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, and has studied with Julian Anderson, Robert Morris, Oliver Schneller, and Rand Steiger.  Read more about Alex at and click here to hear to his winning work, Bloom. 

For questions on the Call for Scores program, please contact Jon Cziner at