Orchestration Workshop

Join our 5-week intensive Orchestration Workshop learning the art of instrumentation through lectures, score studies, short instrumental solo compositions and live musician feedback & instrument showcase!

Each week, composers receive lectures and score studies on specific instruments by our Mentor. Composers then go on to write short solo excerpts for those specific instruments which then get read through at the next meeting, with live musicians giving feedback, as well, talking about their instruments in detail. This process is repeated twice a week for 5 weeks, in an intensive and hands-on approach.

Through this group workshop, composers will learn how to use each instrument in both a chamber and orchestral setting. Experience a direct approach to learning, with live guest musicians joining each week to showcase their instruments. Learn idiomatic writing and extended techniques for each instrument, ask questions and hear how certain techniques actually sound. Learn about the warmth or the shrillness of specific instrument registers, and why certain phrases are difficult to play. Learn how long a tuba can sustain a note, how wind players breath, and the technical challenges of various instruments. This workshop is aimed at the emerging and early-career composer interested in further refining and broadening their understanding of orchestral instruments, ultimately helping them develop a deeper knowledge and skillset in their musical writing.

Instruments covered:

Woodwinds: Flute (Piccolo), Oboe (English Horn), Clarinet, Bassoon
Brass: French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba
Harp and Percussion: Marimba and other instruments
Strings: Violin, Cello and Contrabass

See below for application details


Composers should send a google (or other cloud) link to a shared folder containing 1 pdf resume and 2 pdf sample scores. Please DO NOT send any audio or midi files. Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com

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

Scores should showcase the ability to compose for a variety of instruments, solo, small chamber or large ensemble are all acceptable. There is no application fee. Upon acceptance, composers should pay a non-refundable tuition fee of $600 CAD to East Chamber Music Inc.

Submission deadline: April 28, 2022
Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com

Schedule (all meetings will be virtual using Zoom):

Starting on Monday May 9, 2022 @11am Eastern Time
Meeting every Monday and Thursday for 5 weeks.
All meetings are from 11am-12:30pm Eastern Time (90 minutes)

Week 1 Monday: Introduction to Orchestration
Week 1 Thursday: Flute & Oboe (Picc & E Horn)
Week 2 Monday: Clarinet & Bassoon
2 Thursday: Lecture on string writing & Violin
Week 3 Monday: Cello & Contrabass
3 Thursday: Trumpet & Horn
Week 4 Monday: Trombone & Tuba
4 Thursday: Harp + Lecture on orchestration and student feedback
Week 5 Monday: Percussion + Score and Part preparation, Notation Standards
5 Thursday: Final class

Have questions? Send us an email: music@eastchamber.com

Mentor for 2022 Orchestra Workshop:

Composer & Mentor, Orchestration

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh

Composer-in-Residence, Scarborough Philharmonic OrchestraDoctor of Musical Arts, University of Toronto

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 early-career 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.