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YCA artists are the leaders of the future – stars who combine world-class talent with creative vision to bring new reach and relevance to the art form. For more than 60 years YCA has discovered extraordinary young musicians, and since 1994, has expanded its program to composers, providing them with the support, clarity, and confidence to tell their stories, as well as the tools, opportunities, and infrastructure to take their careers to the highest level.

The talents of YCA’s composers have been recognized with numerous prizes and accomplishments including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Career Advancement Award, a GRAMMY Award, The Grawemeyer Award for Music, a Pulitzer Prize, a Heinz Medal in the Humanities, four Rome Prizes, two Berlin Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the first Benjamin H. Danks Commission from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, five Charles Ives Fellowships, over twenty ASCAP awards, numerous BMI prizes, a Koussevitsky Prize and many prestigious commissions from renowned performers such as Evelyn Glennie, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne Akiko Meyers, and Jeremy Denk, and from orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Amarillo Symphony, the Mobile Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The YCA Composer Program was founded 28 years ago by YCA’s Alumni Association to discover and support exciting young composers and to provide opportunities for collaboration with excellent performers. Since the inception of the program, YCA has brought 12 exceptional composers to public attention: Dan Coleman, Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, Mason Bates, Daniel Kellogg, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Andrew Norman, Chris Rogerson, David Hertzberg, Tonia Ko, Katherine Balch, Saad Haddad, and most recently, Nina Shekhar.

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