Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.

Emerging Composer Workshop

We have chosen our six emerging composers for 2017! Learn more about them here.

About the Emerging Composer Workshop

Six talented emerging composers converge in Toronto annually for this unique mentorship opportunity. Each year the Emerging Composer Workshop (ECW) hosts a different international visiting mentor and local mentor, as well as a professional resident ensemble. This two-week intensive program includes a vibrant array of rehearsals, seminars, collaborative discussions, performances, and a variety of networking and professional development activities.

Past mentor composers include Jean-Baptiste Barrière (France), Juliet Palmer (Canada), Steve Reich (USA), Kaija Saariaho (Finland), R. Murray Schafer (Canada), Adam Scime (Canada) and Ye Xiaogang (China).

We are very excited to host Unsuk Chin and Chris Paul Harman for our 2017 workshop, culminating in The Music of Unsuk Chin, our May 28 Main Stage production.

Unsuk Chin, Visiting Mentor

Photo by Kim Moon Jung

Winner of the 2004 Grawemeyer Award and Artistic Director of the ‘Music of Today’ series of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Chin has been commissioned by leading performing organizations around the world. Her work defies conventional cultural genres, drawing inspiration from wordplay and experimental poetry. The New York Times has described her music as “colorful, audacious, and darkly humorous.”

Chris Paul Harman, Canadian Mentor

Photo by Eric Lindala

Known for his innovative and intricate orchestral works, Chris Paul Harman is a self-taught composer with training in classical guitar, cello and electronic music. His works have been performed by many ensembles and orchestras in Canada and abroad, including the Asko Ensemble, the CBC Radio Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the New Music Concerts Ensemble, the Noordhollands Philharmonisch, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

What does the program offer?

2016 participant with visiting mentor Steve Reich

The Emerging Composer Workshop (ECW) focuses on supporting talented contemporary composers from around the world, who have completed their basic graduate studies and are in the process of launching their professions.

Soundstreams recognizes that it is in this critical period that composers can greatly benefit from mentorship and professional development opportunities that directly connect them to active professionals in the performing arts community. The ECW aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive support system to help carry promising composers into a successful career.

Who should apply?

We are looking for contemporary composers with exceptional artistic merit, who have completed their basic graduate studies and are in the process of launching their professions. We welcome applicants from around the world, however classes are conducted in English only.

Workshop Dates

May 19-28, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.


We have chosen our six emerging composers for 2017! Learn more about them here.


Thanks to our generous sponsors and donors, there are no tuition fees to attend the workshop, and participant accommodations are provided free of charge. Travel to and from the workshop is the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Questions or comments?

Please email Emma Fowler, Production and Outreach Manager at emmaf@soundstreams.ca.


The Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop is made possible with generous support from The Koerner Foundation, RBC Emerging Artists Project, The Catherine & Maxwell Meighen Foundation, The Canadian Music Centre, The Hal Jackman Foundation, SOCAN Foundation, The Lloyd-Carr Harris Foundation, and Manulife Financial.