Hugh Davidson Composer Readings

Dedicated to the late Hugh Davidson, a strong supporter of new music, this program provides the opportunity for composers writing new music for orchestra to have their pieces rehearsed by the VS and receive feedback.

Each season, the VS puts out a call for young composers to submit a new work to the symphony. Once reviewed by the artistic team, several composers are selected to have their compositions performed by the Victoria Symphony. They receive feedback on their music and a recording of the final product.

The late Hugh Davidson - Victoria Symphony supporter and friend

Eligibility and Guidelines

Applicants must be a resident of British Columbia, Canada. Applicants who are from British Columbia, but currently study outside of the province are eligible to apply. If such an applicant is successful, the cost of travel and accommodation are at their own expense. There are no age restrictions.

Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration. Works that have been performed professionally are not eligible. Works previously submitted to the VS for consideration may be resubmitted. Compositions must be less than twelve minutes in length. A portion or movement from a movement may also be considered.

Works must be scored for a maximum instrumentation of:

  • Woodwinds: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
  • Brass: 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), 1 tuba
  • Percussion: timpani (1 player) + 1 player
  • Strings: violin I, violin II, viola, cello, double bass (6, 5, 4, 4, 2)

Additional players can be provided at the expense of the composer. Piano costs may include rental and tuning fees. Wind doublings and extra players are possible, but costs incurred will be paid by the selected composer. Work with soloists will be considered. In the case of vocal soloists, piano, guitar, etc., the soloists will be provided by the composer without cost to the Victoria Symphony.

Works employing electronics, MIDI, and digital technology will be considered. The orchestra, however, may not be amplified. Any and all electronics must be provided by the composer without cost to the Victoria Symphony.

All successful composers must be prepared to provide professional, legible orchestral parts and conductor score prepared according to guidelines established by the Canadian Music Centre. Parts and scores must be double-sided, bound (book format) and string parts bowed.


The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criteria. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer’s work. Incomplete, illegible, or late applications will not be considered.

For successful applicants who have their pieces performed, there is a $100 charge for an archival CD. Please make cheque payable to: Victoria Symphony Players Association (VSPA)

A complete submission must include the following:

  • Cover page including the title and instrumentation of your work, along with all relevant contact information. If the work has been performed previously, please list dates and presenters.
  • Two copies of the score, clearly labeled with the composer’s name and title of the work
  • A current resume

Applications should be submitted to:

Victoria Symphony, 620 View St., Suite 610 Victoria, BC V8W 1J6

In addition, please forward your resume and a digital copy of the score to:


Contact Micha Fortin with any questions.