The HEAR NOW Music Festival Selection Process

How are works selected for the Hear Now Music Festival?


The process begins with the HN invitation email list of composers living and working in Los Angeles. This list includes all composers we have contacted in past years, recommendations from other musicians and composers as well as the current American Composers Forum/LA membership list. If a composer has been performed within the past 3 years, they are temporarily removed from the list in order to give other composers an opening in the festival. A composer living and working in Los Angeles may also write us to ask to be on the email list.


In August of each year, HN sends out an email invitation to submit a work for consideration in the following year’s festival.  The invitation includes works for the electroacoustic concert, the two chamber music concerts, and, in biennial years, the orchestra concert. A composer may submit works in two of the three categories. The invitation includes strict rules for anonymity — all materials submitted must be clear of the composer’s name. However a confidential email listing the name of the work, the composer’s name and any other pertinent information is sent to the General Manager.


The General Manager codes all submissions with a unique number which is attached to the musical submission materials and assures that the scores and audio files submitted for review are anonymous. The GM alone retains the master list.


Once the submission deadline has passed, the submissions (scores and audio files) are distributed to the Artistic Committee, which rates the works according to the viability of presenting the work at the festival, artistic merit, and legibility of the performance materials (scores).


The Artistic Committee consists of the Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Directors, the Lyris Quartet, and 2 guest reviewers from outside the Hear Now associates.

The committee convenes for a final discussion and selection of the works for the festival program.


The Artistic Director, with advice from the Associate Artistic Directors, plans the final order of the programs.


Personal notifications are sent out to all composers who submitted works.


If you are a composer living and working in Los Angeles who would like to submit a work for consideration, please send an email to:, and put “submission list” in the subject line.