MENLO PARK and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are pleased to announce its 2007 Emerging Composers Awards Program. The foundations will provide up to six grants of $50,000 each to nonprofit San Francisco Bay Area music and music presenting organizations, for the commission and premiere of major new musical compositions by California composers, ages 35 and younger at the time of application.

These grants are part of a three-year $900,000 initiative by the Gerbode and Hewlett Foundations to support Bay Area performing artists and arts organizations at a time when funding has been increasingly difficult to come by.  In 2005, the initiative funded six commissions for emerging choreographers and in 2006, six commissions for emerging playwrights.

One half ($25,000) of each award will go to the composer as a commissioning fee. The remainder ($25,000) will go to the producing organization, for commission-related expenses for the work’s development and world premiere. The world premiere of all funded compositions will take place in the Bay Area between September 2008 and June 2010.

The 2007 program will grant up to six awards of $50,000 to professionally-oriented musical organizations and presenters that are based in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, San Mateo, or Santa Clara.  Proposed commissions in any musical style (jazz, experimental, contemporary classical) or format (chamber, combo, orchestral, choir) will be accepted, but there must be a public premiere of the work(s) which makes it accessible to a general audience.

“Young composers of merit can find it very difficult to get the funding and support needed to develop their musical voice and get their work out to the public,” says Gerbode Foundation president Thomas C. Layton. “We hope this kind of opportunity will be a big step forward in the careers of some emerging young California composers of great talent, creativity and vision.”

“There’s little I can think of that is more crucial to the future of art than supporting the next generation of talent,” added Moy Eng, director of the performing arts program at the Hewlett Foundation. “It is with support here and now, while many of these people are heading into their most productive creative years, that we can make the most difference.”  

Applications for the 2007 Emerging Composer Awards Program are currently available online at Completed applications must be submitted to the Gerbode Foundation no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2007. An advisory panel of music experts from around the U.S will review all the proposals, and final selections will be made by the Gerbode Foundation. Grantees will be announced in early January 2008.

For questions regarding the program guidelines and application, please contact The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation’s program assistant, Olivia Malabuyo, 111 Pine Street, Ste. 1515, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-391-0911,

About The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation

The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation is interested in programs and projects offering potential for significant impact. The primary geographical focus is on the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii. The Foundation’s interests generally fall under the categories of arts and culture, environment, population, reproductive rights, citizen participation, building communities, inclusiveness, strength of the philanthropic process and the nonprofit sector, and Foundation-initiated special projects.

About the Special Awards Program
For nearly 20 years, The Gerbode Foundation has made innovative grants through its Special Awards Program to San Francisco Bay Area arts institutions to commission new works by gifted individual artists: playwrights (including Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Angels in America”), choreographers (such as Alonzo King and Margaret Jenkins), composers (John Adams, Paul Dresher, and Lou Harrison among them), as well as visual artists, poets, and multi-media artists.

In a time of cultural shifts and fiscal insecurity in the arts, these coveted, nationally respected awards have helped underwrite culturally and aesthetically diverse, acclaimed new works by prominent artists, and artists who are up-and-coming. The grants have supported artists at critical junctures in their careers, enabled nonprofit local arts organizations to develop and premiere substantial new works, and enriched Bay Area audiences, readers, and viewers by giving them first access to ambitious, original creations.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The Hewlett Foundation makes grants to solve some of the most difficult social and environmental problems facing society. The Performing Arts Program is founded on the premise that the experience, understanding, and appreciation of artistic expression give value, meaning, and enjoyment to people’s lives.  Its mission is to support artistic expression and its enjoyment through grantmaking aimed at supporting high quality arts organizations.  Since 1966, the Hewlett Foundation has awarded nearly 1,500 grants totaling $135 million to performing arts organizations in the Bay Area.  Both the scale of funding and the singular nature of multiyear general operating support have made the Hewlett Foundation a key investor in the cultural life of the Bay Area.