Emerging Composer Festival

Welcome to ECM's monthly emerging composer festival series. Each month we host a new ensemble-in-residence with high-profile and world-renowned performers. Composers are encouraged to apply with their submission portfolio (details below). Up to 8 composers are selected each month, who will compose short pieces for the ensemble, under the direction of the composer-in-residence. We also hold a week-long hands-on workshop and lectures prior to the world premieres of composer pieces. See below for this month's performers and submission details. We encourage past applicants who were not selected to re-apply in the following months.

Daniel Ramjattan
Faculty of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University

Naoko Tsujita
Featured in albums by JUNO award-winning artists

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh, Mentor & Composer-in-Residence

Lectures on composition techniques, orchestration, idiomatic writing, notation standards and career guidance.

Guest lecturer: Ronald Royer, Composer & Music Director with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performed by over 70 orchestras.

With Career talk, working with an orchestra, studio recordings and copyright, communicating with an orchestra including commissions and the logistics on composer-in-residence positions


About the October 2021 Festival

Our festival is a 4-week intensive mentorship and ensemble collaboration program. Up to eight composers will be selected to produce new works for our ensemble-in-residence, this round being works for Classical Guitar and Marimba with an online video premiere release. Composers will also receive a video file of their final performance for their records, with a limited promotional use*. During the week-long workshop, masterclasses and mentorship is offered by both the Ensemble-in-Residence and the Composer-in-Residence, preparing each composer's work for the concert. Prior to the week-long mentorship program, Dr. Mehdizadeh will be communicating with and meeting composers in preparation of their drafts.

Accepted participants will be expected to write a 3-4 minute piece for the ensemble. This festival is intended to further the compositional and collaborative skills of emerging and early-career composers as well as to provide them with an opportunity to have their music reach audiences across the globe. At the festival, composers will have a chance to connect with world-renowned and high-profile musicians, opening up possibilities for future commissions and collaborations. Guest artist, Ronald Royer from the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, will also give talks on career opportunities, becoming composer-in-residence, receiving commissions and studio recordings and much more.


Composers should send a google (or other cloud) link to a shared folder containing 1 pdf resume, 2 pdf scores and 2 recordings (MIDI files are acceptable). Youtube and SoundCloud links are also acceptable. Please make sure the access to the links are not set to private, and that multiple emails can access the files.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND FILES DIRECTLY AS ATTACHMENTS - only links to pdfs and audios will be accepted.

Scores should showcase the ability to compose for solo or small chamber ensemble. There is no application fee. Upon acceptance, composers should pay a non-refundable tuition fee of $450 CAD to East Chamber Music Inc. Financial aid may be available to composers*: priority given to LGBTQ+ & BIPOC identified composers.

Submission deadline: September 19, 2021.

Selection announcements: September 24, 2021.

Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com

Schedule (all meetings will be virtual using Zoom):

October 15: Final drafts due

Monday October 18 at 11am EDT: Masterclass and Workshop: Meet the Ensemble-in-Residence, go through drafts

Tuesday October 19 at 11am EDT: Lecture by Composer-in-Residence (composition, orchestration, idiomatic writing)

Wednesday October 20 at 11am EDT: Masterclass and Workshop (compositional technique and writing - ensemble will be playing through various sections of musical drafts with feedback and lecture)

Thursday October 21 at 11am EDT: Lecture by Composer-in-residence and Guest Artist (final meeting prior to premieres including Notation and Score & Part preparation, the compositional process, career talk, collaboration and working with an ensemble and more)

TBA: Virtual premiere of newly composed pieces to be scheduled

Accepting applications now. For more information on the ensemble and your mentor, see below.

*Use of recordings are limited to promotional use such as using audio/video files for competitions and applications. Any public posting or broadcasting of the recordings must first be consulted with the Ensemble-in-Residence - permission may be granted on a case by case basis.

*limited funds available per festival. Availability is not guaranteed and is at the sole discretion of East Chamber Music Inc.

Naoko Tsujita


Naoko Tsujita is a Japanese percussionist whose diverse career has led her to give performances in cities in Canada, the US, Europe, and Japan. As a marimba soloist, she won the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and was a finalist at the South Japan Music Competition. As a percussionist, she has performed in concert with many world-renowned musicians, including Gary Kulesha, Kristina Szabo, James Campbell, and Pius Cheung at festivals and venues such as Ottawa Chamberfest, Spectrum Music Canada, and the Alte Schmiede Kunstverein Vienna. She also has worked with a variety of musicians in various genres and has had her playing featured in albums by JUNO award-winning artists including Canadian composer Derek Charke and Madagassi singer-songwriter Donné Roberts. In addition to her chamber experience, she also has performed in the percussion section for the Mandle Philharmonic Orchestra, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, and Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada as well as Opera Teatro Lirica, Kumamoto Ballet, and Ensemble Lab Kumamoto in Japan.

Aside from her performance career, Naoko’s compositions have received several international awards. Most recently, "Itsuki Lullaby" for Carillon won first place at the 2020 Sally Slade Warner Arrangements & Transcriptions Competition and was published by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. “Nocturne Dance" for the carillon duet received a Special Jury Mention at the Perpignan Carillon Composition Competition in 2019, which was performed at the Perpignan Sacred Festival 2020 in France and published by the American Carillon Music Editions in the same year. Meanwhile, she received a commission from Trinity College, Hartford in the United States for the 2021 Virtual Congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and the World Carillon Federation, the Metropolitan United Church for the Rededication of the Metropolitan United Church’s Carillon in 2020, and Spectrum Music Canada for their concert series “Voyages Extraordinaires”.

Naoko has studied with marimba artists Beverly Johnston, Mika Stoltzman, percussionists Aiyun Huang, Mark Duggan, Mark Adam, Ken Shorley, and Takashi Fukuda, as well as Christos Hatzis and Peter Togni in composition. She started piano at the age of 4, percussion at the age of 9, and marimba at the age of 11. She completed her master’s degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Toronto, a bachelor's degree from Acadia University, and a diploma in music and education at the Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture.

Daniel Ramjattan

Classical Guitar

Daniel Ramjattan is rapidly emerging as an ambassador for the classical guitar in Canada, and is becoming increasingly sought-after as a performance coach and teacher. He was recently appointed as a guitar instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University's Faculty of Music as of September 2020.

Past performances have taken him to Vienna, Austria, Italy, and various locations across Canada, the United States, and Japan. He has performed in concert with many world renowned musicians, including Vittorio and Duccio Ceccanti, Gary Kulesha, Kristina Szabo, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, and many others. He has performed in festivals and venues such as the Alte Schmiede Kunst Verein, Vienna, the Livorno Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Stratford's Inner Chamber, and the Toronto Contemporary Music Lab.

Daniel has received awards for his playing on the provincial, national, and international levels, placing second in the FCMF National Music Competition, receiving second place prize in the National level of the Canadian Music Competition and First Prize in the Concours de Guitare Outaouais-Gatineau. He also received the Domaine Forget International Music Academy guitar award in 2013 as well as the first prize in the Open Level of the Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Guitar competition in both 2014 and 2016. He also placed as a finalist in the Hamilton International Guitar Competition and the Montreal International Guitar Competition in the past.

He has received lessons and masterclasses from world-renowned guitarists such as Denis Azabagic, Jorge Caballero, Pavel Steidl, Sergio Assad, Lorenzo Micheli, Pepe Romero, Fabio Zanon, Bruce Holzman, Remi Boucher, Patrick Roux, and Jerome Ducharme. He also received the Nalini Perera Scholarship from the University of Ottawa, which permitted him to study with Lorenzo Micheli in Austria and Italy in Summer 2017.

Daniel has a particular love for new music and the music of new composers. He premiered a set of six works for guitar and marimba at the Alte Schmiede Kunstverein, in Vienna, Austria, with percussionist Naoko Tsujita in January 2018. In the past, he has premiered works by Daniel Mehdizadeh, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Dr. John Armstrong, Alex Eddington, Ricardo Tovar Mateus, and several other composers.

Daniel holds a Master's degree and a Bachelor of Music Degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Ottawa, where he studied with the renowned composer-performer Patrick Roux. He also studied with world-renowned pedagogue Bruce Holzman in Tallahassee, Florida for a semester in Fall 2014.

Daniel is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Toronto with Dr. Jeffrey McFadden, where he is studying music performance anxiety (stage fright) for his dissertation. He often shares the insights from his research with students, and is active as a performance coach for musicians who suffer with severe music performance anxiety.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel founded Concerts for the End of Time, a livestream concert platform on Twitch that features high level guitarists and musicians from all over the world every other Saturday, at https://twitch.tv/concertsfortheendoftime.

Daniel performs on a 2010 left-handed seven-string Kolya Panhuyzen guitar.

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh

Composer and Mentor

There is something vividly distinct about Mehdizadeh's music. This Canadian composer is revered for his intricate, unpredictable and haunting works. The sound and gesture of his pieces bury themselves deep in complex imagination, participating you in an exploration of uncertain visceral implications. His unique musical language is perceived as complex yet engaging, bringing together a hybrid of musical expression including contrapuntal textures and the Mehdizadeh Modes.

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (DMA, University of Toronto) is currently based in the Greater Toronto Area and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been involved in both national and international festival series. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and the US including appearance as guest composer on CBC Radio.

Mehdizadeh has worked closely with conductors Ronald Royer, Simon Rivard, Jeffrey Reynolds and pianist and conductor Jean Desmarais. Influential mentors include childhood teacher Abbas Khoshdel (Iranian traditional composer), Steven Gellman (Canadian composer) and Gary Kulesha (Canadian composer and conductor). Both as a lecturer and educator, Mehdizadeh has mentored many young and emerging composers, internationally, through various workshops including East Chamber Music's Emerging Composer Festival Series and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra's New Generation Composer Workshop.

Together with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Mehdizadeh kickstarted a new podcast series, SPOGreatMusic, helping develop new community partnerships including Scarborough Arts, FabCollab, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian Sinfonietta, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. As a result, the orchestra was awarded the Canadian Music Centre's 2021 Beckwith Award.

Mehdizadeh’s works receive funding through commissions and private patrons (long-time donor and supporter Nicole Senécal), as well as institutions including the latest Ontario Arts Council studio recording grant. He has collaborated with Orchestre de la Francophonie, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Georgian Bay Symphony, the Princeton Singers and the Ewashko Singers amongst many others. Notable world-renowned performers include Belgian flautist Marc Grauwels and Dutch theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen with multiple commissions and performances in festivals around the world.