The Amphion Foundation's grant program's objective is to encourage the performance of contemporary concert music, particularly by American composers, through support to non-profit performing and presenting organizations that have demonstrated sustained artistic excellence, in addition to music service organizations and other organizations that support contemporary music.

The Amphion Foundation grant program has two deadlines: a performing ensemble deadline in the spring, and a deadline for all other applicants in the fall.


General FAQs

Where are the guidelines for the Amphion grant?
What is the Foundation’s definition of a "performing ensemble"?

Performing groups such as orchestras, opera companies and chamber music groups with a consistent core membership, as well as ”flexible” ensembles with consistent artistic leadership and identity, are considered performing ensembles. Dance companies are also eligible to apply for projects that involve live performances of contemporary concert music.

Please note that orchestras and opera companies that do not specialize in contemporary music are only eligible to apply for project support.


My organization is the lead applicant in a consortium project. Does it have to be a service organization, a presenter or a performing ensemble in order to apply?

The lead applicant in a consortium project must have non-profit status, but doesn’t need to fit the criteria for service organizations, presenters or performing ensembles.

Consortium projects that support composers and performers through grants, residencies, training programs, etc. or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary concert music, or projects that involve organizing and presenting live performances of contemporary concert music are eligible for support.  

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "presenter"?

Music festivals, music venues, and any other organization that organizes and presents live musical performances by a variety of performing groups can be considered a “presenting organization”.

Our organization does not have non-profit status. Can we apply?

Organizations without non-profit status may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor's IRS tax-exempt determination letter. Create one PDF that contains both items.

It is not necessary to submit board or financial information for the fiscal sponsor unless we follow up with you with a request for more information.

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "music service organization"?

Organizations that support composers and performers through grants, residencies, training programs, etc. or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary concert music, are considered music service organizations.

What is the Foundation looking for in a project description?

The project description should be a detailed description of the specific project for which you are requesting support. For example, performing ensembles and presenters should include information about the performers, repertoire, venue(s),time frame and audiences served for a proposed season or concert series. Music service organizations should supply details about the personnel and participants involved, timeframe for completion, and end goal of a proposed project. 


Does the Foundation support jazz music?

In general, it is not within the scope of the Foundation’s mission to support jazz music.  Among organizations that fund jazz are the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, and some programs of New Music USA.


What is the Foundation looking for in a proposal narrative?

A proposal narrative should be a general description of your organization’s activities, plans for the upcoming season, and any other significant points to make your case for support. Applicants applying for general operating support are required to submit only a proposal narrative. Applicants applying for project support are required to submit a proposal narrative and a project description.

When may an organization apply for a grant?

There are two deadlines each year for submission of grant proposals. The non-performing ensemble deadline is September 15, 2018. The next performing ensembles deadline is April 1, 2019. 

Does the Foundation support musical theater?

Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary concert music are supported. Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported.

My project will take place before the application deadline. Am I still eligible to apply?

Except in rare circumstances, projects that take place before the deadline will not be considered.

We are applying with a fiscal sponsor. For ”organizational budgets” should we submit our organization's budgets or the fiscal sponsor's?

Submit your organization's budgets. We will follow up with you if we need more information about your fiscal sponsor. 

What is the average amount of a grant?

For smaller organizations, grants range from $1,000 to $5,000; for larger institutions, awards average from $3,000 to $7,500, although larger grants may be awarded to larger performing organizations with an extraordinary commitment to contemporary concert music or a particularly ambitious project.

Does the Foundation support “pop” music?

Pop music is not supported. The Foundation’s emphasis is on contemporary concert music.


Which three years of organizational budgets should I submit?

Please submit organizational budgets for the season for which support is being requested and the two years prior. For the 2017 round, this means FY 2018, FY 2017 and FY 2016. Use of the Foundation’s 3-year Excel budget template is required.

Does the Foundation give grants to arts organizations outside New York City?

Yes. Non-profit performing and presenting organizations in addition to non-profit service organizations throughout the United States and abroad are eligible to receive grants from the Foundation. For information on how to apply, see the Guidelines page at this web site.

Are universities and other educational institutions eligible for support?

Educational institutions may apply for projects that involve professional musicians (including faculty). Activities including student ensembles are generally not eligible for support. Performances that are primarily by professional musicians are eligible even if some students also participate.

Youth choruses performing at an exceptionally high level are eligible for support, provided that they are performing contemporary concert music intended for young voices.

What organizations are eligible to apply for general operating support?

Chamber ensembles (those comprised of under 20 performers), service organizations and presenters are eligible to apply for general operating support.  Large organizations such as orchestras and opera companies, other than contemporary music specialists, are eligible to apply only for project support.

What is the difference between organizational budgets and financial statements (in the supporting materials section)?

Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:

  • the actual statement from the preceding fiscal year
  • a projected statement (budget) for the current fiscal year
  • a projected statement (budget) for the fiscal year for which support is requested

We require using our Excel template to create your organizational budgets; the template incorporates the format and level of detail we wish to see.

Financial statements refer to statements, often prepared by an accountant and sometimes audited, that reflect a more complete picture of an organization's financial details, including statements of activity, cash flow, balance sheets, and accompanying notes. Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement, however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one. 

I am an individual composer. Can I apply to the Foundation for a commission?

The Foundation does not make grants to composers for commissioning new works. A good place for individual composers to research grant opportunities is The Foundation Center in New York City. The Foundation Center has an informative web site at

Our university is seeking funding for a project. May we apply for indirect costs?

The Amphion Foundation will not fund indirect costs on a project, so it is advised that you do not include them in the budget.

Must I use the Foundation’s 3-year budget template or may I upload my organization’s pre-existing budgets for my application?

The Foundation requires use of its 3-year budget Excel template.  Other budget documents are not accepted and should not be uploaded to the application.  As part of the form, you will find space to make any explanatory notes you find necessary.

When will decisions be announced?

Award decisions will be announced in the January following the Septempber 15 deadline. 

Award decisions will be announced in the July following the April 1 application deadline.

Please do not contact the Foundation for grant decisions. 

I am making a recording of contemporary concert music. Can I apply to the Foundation for support?

The Foundation does not support recordings.


Are music education projects eligible for funding?

Education projects focused on pre-college age children are generally not eligible.

The Foundation will consider professional level performance projects with an education component, as well as training programs for emerging professional-level musicians or composers, provided that they have a focus on contemporary concert music.

Do I need to submit a Letter of Intent in order to apply?

There will be no letter of intent to submit prior to applying to the program.

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "project"?

The Foundation considers a "project" to be out of the scope of an organization’s regular programming activities, often (but not necessarily) a one-off initiative that adds incremental expenses to your operating budget in order to achieve its goals.  An aggregated list of your contemporary music activities spread intermittently over the course of a season would not be eligible for project support.  Please explain how you will fund those aspects of the project expenses not covered by the Amphion Foundation in order to ensure the project can take place as envisioned.


Our proposal was not funded. Can you tell us why?

Programs are very competitive. Unfortunately, each year many worthy projects cannot be funded simply because they exceed our available resources. You are welcome to call the Grants Manager at 212-461-6956 for feedback about how your proposal could be improved in the future.

What is the Foundation’s definition of "contemporary"?

For the Foundation’s purposes, music written in 1945 or later is considered contemporary.

Our organization performs/presents pops and holiday programming. Is this repertoire eligible for support?

Generally, no. The Foundation’s emphasis is on contemporary concert music. However, programs of this nature do not have an adverse effect on your application as long as there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity.