UPBEAT International Summer Music School
Adriatic island of Brac in Croatia
Dear composer colleagues, composition students and friends in the music world,
I’d like to alert you to the 19th annual composition course next summer as part of the UPBEAT International Summer Music School in the town of Sutivan on the beautiful Adriatic island of Brac in Croatia. The dates of the course are Sunday 24 July through Thursday 4 August, 2022. The deadline for receipt of all materials is Monday, 14 March, 2022.
Because of the highly interactive design of this course, we must hold it in person; an online version isn’t possible. Therefore, we are accepting applications until the above deadline and based on the situation at that time, we hopefully will be able to make a firm commitment to hold the course. There is no application fee and in case we are required to cancel later on for public health reasons, all tuition fees will be funded 100%.
The UPBEAT International Summer Music School website is:
(for the English version of the site, please click on the menu in the upper right corner.)
Sutivan is a beautiful village on the island of Brac. It is reachable by a one-hour ferry ride from the historic Dalmatian port city of Split. Here is some information and a few pictures of Sutivan:
The composition course is designed primarily for advanced undergraduates, graduate students and young professionals, but is open to composer-performers of all ages.
The course consists of:
(1) a series of daily group meetings with Professor Joel Hoffman
(2) cultural and outdoor group activities in Sutivan and nearby on the island of Brac
(3) a final concert of works by course participants, which will be performed by an ensemble consisting of the composer-performers in the course.
The daily morning group meetings consist of the following:
(1) Composition Practicum: Writing for the ensemble
This is the main part of the course, in which students will have composed complete pieces in advance of the course for either the entire ensemble or some part of it. The pieces will be rehearsed and evaluated in depth in a group setting by Professor Hoffman in terms of compositional craft and idiomatic writing for the ensemble. There will be ample time for revision and refinement of the compositions, which will then be performed by the ensemble in the final concert on 4 August in Sutivan.
(2) Improvisation Workshop
A number of principles of improvisation will be introduced and demonstrated, along with daily group exercises and structured improvisation events by the ensemble. This part of the composition course is also open to other music students taking part in the “UPBEAT” International Summer Music School.
(3) Presentations of work and discussions
Participants will give presentations of their music and in addition, there will be a number of organized discussions around topics of vital interest to composers and composer-performers.
Afternoons/evenings are devoted to rehearsals, practice time, composing time and outdoor activities in and near Sutivan.
The presence of several other UPBEAT courses taking place concurrently with the composition course will give participants the opportunity to meet many talented young musicians from around the world. Many of these musicians will be performing in their own courses’s final concerts which take place every few days throughout the summer. Professors of other courses are on the faculties of institutions such as the Moscow Conservatory, the Helsinki Conservatory, The Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” of Berlin, The Trinity Laban Conservatory in London and many others.
What to submit?
Interested composers must send the following materials to Professor Hoffman by Monday, 14 March, 2022:
1. a resume. In the resume, please make sure the following information is included:
– composition experience, including works composed with year of composition
– list of performances of your works
– universities/conservatories attended with dates of degrees earned as composer
– names of composition teachers
– performance level on your instrument (e.g. intermediate, advanced, professional)
– list of repertoire performed on your instrument
– list of performances and any awards/competitions won
– names of instrumental/vocal teachers
– universities/conservatories/music schools attended with dates of degrees earned as instrumentalist/vocalist (if applicable)
- date of birth, citizenship, mailing address, email address and phone number
- a score of one original work for a chamber ensemble, either conducted or non-conducted. A recording of this piece is strongly encouraged but not required. A live recording of this piece is preferred but a MIDI recording may also be sent.
- a recording of two contrasting pieces (by any composers) in which you perform. The pieces may be either solos or ensemble pieces but in the case of the latter, it should be easy to individuate your playing from among the others in the ensemble (i.e. If you are a violinist, please do notsubmit a work for three violins!). Please make sure you include the following information: name and composer(s) of works performed, duration of pieces and when/where the recording was made. Recordings may be either video (preferred) or audio.
- A letter of recommendation from a current or former teacher which attests to (1) your experience as both composer and performer, as well as (2) your ability to function well in a setting requiring both professional responsibility and social interaction. Please ask your recommender to send his/her letter directly to Professor Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit your materials in the following way:
Send items 1 and 2 to Professor Hoffman by email at email@example.com.
Send items 3 and 4 as links via an internet delivery service such as yousendit.com or dropbox.com or soundcloud.com, and make sure that you advise Professor Hoffman by email where and how your materials are available online. Please DO NOT send items 3 and 4 by email.
Send item 5 as described above.
The principal language of the UPBEAT International Music Summer School is English. In addition, Professor Hoffman can accommodate students in Italian, French and Chinese.
Once again: the deadline for receipt of all materials is Monday, 14 March, 2022.
Participants accepted into the course will be notified by email no later than Friday, 18 March 2022.
By no later than Monday, 28 March 2022, accepted participants will be asked to confirm their participation in the course by paying a deposit of 150 euros or USD$180 via PayPal, sent to Professor Hoffman via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 30 March, confirmed participants will be informed of the available instrumentation for the course, and will be asked to compose a piece (maximum of seven minutes’ duration) for a specific combination of instruments/voice drawn from the complete ensemble. At that time, confirmed participants will be given the opportunity to request a specific instrumentation from among the performing forces available. Those requests will be honored to the greatest extent possible. Works involving electronics are very welcome but all equipment will have to be supplied by the composer.
By 31 May, the remainder of the course tuition will be due (150 euros deposit + 460 euros = 610 euros total tuition). The remaining 460 euros will be payable directly to the UPBEAT International Summer Music School. Instructions for payment of the course tuition will be available on the UPBEAT website. NOTE: Your deposit of 150 euros ($180) is not due UNTIL and UNLESS you are accepted into the course. There is no application fee to apply to the program.
By Friday, 3 June, the new works to be performed on the final concerts will be completed. It is required that the participants’ compositions will be completed well before the course begins so that the focus during the course can be on revising and refining. Scores and parts should be sent to Professor Hoffman as well as the work’s performers via yousendit.com (or a similar service) no later than Friday, 3 June, 2022, to allow sufficient time for individual preparation. It is hoped that the composers will also work on new pieces for the ensemble during the course, which can be rehearsed and discussed along with the previously completed pieces.
Please email me with any questions.
2017 Guggenheim Fellow
Special Professor: China Conservatory of Music, Beijing
Professor Emeritus: College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati