Composers and Commissions
The formal awarding of commissions began in 1958. There have been 60 committee-originated awards to date, ten of which exist on commercial recordings. Forty-seven of the works have been recorded at their premieres and are available for audition in the HMA archives collection. The Program Committee and others have commissioned an additional eight.
Since the founding of the Association in 1837, many members have been composers and a few of these have written works for the Association. Due to the fact that the performance space is limited, most of the commissions have been for small chamber works, and a few of the works have been premiered at other locations. The Brass Quintet by Peter Maxwell Davies was performed by the Empire Brass Quintet at the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill; String Quartet No. 2 by John Harbison was performed by the Emerson String Quartet at Jordan Hall; String Quartet by Laura Elise Schwendinger was performed by the Arditti Quartet at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. A joint commission, Quodibet by Gunther Schuller, was awarded with the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in honor of the RCMF’s 25th anniversary. The awards go to both established and younger composers. The Association does not accept applications.