Jean Coulthard Readings



Score Submission Deadline: Monday, September 30, 2019, 5:00pm

Score Readings: Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

Click here to download application PDF

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Otto Tausk are pleased to present the Jean Coulthard Readings during the 2019/20 Symphony Season. Named in honour of one of BC’s most beloved composers, the Jean Coulthard Readings give emerging BC composers an invaluable opportunity to have their work read by a professional orchestra. Approximately six orchestral works will be selected, depending on duration and level of difficulty. Participating composers will receive a part preparation seminar with VSO Music Librarians.


Wheaton Precious Metals



Applicants should be BC-based composers in the early stages of their professional careers (first five years), and/or have no professional experience in orchestra composition. The selection committee will be looking for creative imagination, stylistic originality, and a personal voice.

Works must be scored for a maximum instrumentation of:

Woodwinds: 2 flutes (2nd doubles piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubles English horn) 2 clarinets (2nd doubles E-flat clarinet OR B-flat bass clarinet, not both) 2 bassoons (2nd doubles contrabassoon)
Brass: 4 French horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), tuba
Percussion: Timpani (1 player—does not double) + 2 players
Harp: (1 player)
Keyboard: piano, celeste, clavinova (1 player)
Strings: violin I, violin II, viola, cello, double bass

Preference will be given to works 6 minutes and under. Works with soloists, instruments in addition to those listed above, or electronics will not be considered. Selected works from previous readings may not be resubmitted. Composers are welcome to resubmit works that were not previously selected. Submitted scores must not have received a previous performance by a professional orchestra.



Applications must be submitted by mail, courier or in person. Your application should include:

1. Full orchestral score (recordings welcomed) with timing of the work indicated. Applications are to be made anonymously. Please do NOT include your name, or any indication of your identity on the score. The title of the work should be printed clearly on the submitted score.

2. Short biography (150 words maximum) including contact information, and (for students) the name of the post-secondary institution you are currently attending. The title of the submitted score should also appear on this document, along with your mailing address, e-mail address and phone number.

Applications should be submitted no later than 5:00pm on Monday, September 30, 2019 to:
Education Assistant Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Mail: 500 – 833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0G4
Courier/drop off: 500 – 843 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4

If you have questions, please e-mail us at Successful applicants will be required to prepare their own performance parts according to specific library guidelines presented in the part preparation seminar. A complete set of performance materials consists of two scores, multiple copies of strings (8 violin I, 7 violin II, 6 viola, 5 cello, 4 double bass) and single copies of all other parts.

Performance parts must be received by Monday, December 2, 2019. The pre-reading meeting can be conducted in person at the VSO office, or via Skype or FaceTime if you live outside the Lower Mainland. Composers must attend the part preparation seminar (within reasonable travel distance), the entire reading session AND the full masterclass.

Part Preparation Seminar: Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 9:30am – 10:30am
Pre-Reading Meetings: Thursday, February 20, 2020, beginning at 10:00am
Pre-Reading Meetings with conductor: Wednesday, March 4, 2020, beginning at 8:30am
Masterclass: Thursday, March 5, 2020, 10:00am – 1:00pm