Excerpted section of Elliott Carter's Variations for Orchestra manuscript.

Elliott Carter Special Grant Program

We are not accepting applications for Elliott Carter Special Grant Program at this time.

Elliott Carter Special Grants Program Guidelines

The Elliott Carter Special Grants Program is open to the following organizations: 

Chamber Ensembles
Chamber Orchestras
Choral or Vocal Ensembles
Opera Companies
Ballet or Dance Companies
Experimental or Performance Art Groups
Commercial Recording Companies
Music Service/Advocacy Organizations
Professional Development/Training
Artist Residency Programs

Program Objective:

The Elliott Carter Special Grants Program provides funding for significant projects involving the performance or recording of less frequently performed or recorded works by Elliott Carter. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed semi-annually in the spring and fall. 

Application Snapshot:


Who is eligible?

Eligible applicants must:

  1. Be a publicly supported non-profit or fiscally sponsored organization with a history of substantial commitment to contemporary concert music (music written within the last 50 years) or a non-profit or commercial recording company; and
  2. Have a minimum of two years of performance or, for groups other than performing groups, programmatic activity prior to the time of application. (Please note that performing and presenting organizations that do not normally perform a substantial amount of contemporary concert music but propose to undertake a project of extraordinary significance involving Carter’s music should contact the Grants Manager to seek permission to apply to this program.)

Eligible organizations include:

  • Chamber-sized ensembles of any instrumentation
  • Chamber orchestras
  • Symphonic or other full-sized orchestras
  • Opera companies
  • Dance companies and/or ensembles*
  • Vocal ensembles and choruses
  • Presenters
  • Festivals (see note below)
  • Presenter/ensemble hybrids
  • Commercial recording companies**
  • Non-profit recording companies

*The Program’s primary focus for dance applicants is the quality of the music and musical performance, which must be by live musicians. While choreography is a secondary focus, it must enhance the performance of Carter’s music.

**Commercial recording company grantees will be subject to required IRS expenditure responsibility forms.

What is eligible?

Fundable projects include performances, recordings, and other activities that broaden the reach of Elliott Carter’s music.

The following activity will be considered eligible:

  • Presenting and performing activity
  • Professional recordings*
  • Any other activity which has been reviewed and approved by the Grants Manager

*Special Provisions for Recording Projects:

  • The Elliott Carter Special Grants Program provides funding for commercial recordings of Carter works that are currently not available for sale.
  • Commercially made digital recordings are eligible for funding. Grantees will be required to post liner notes and credits online and provide a permanent copy of the funded recording for the Amphion Foundation’s archive. Archival recordings and those that will not be available to the public are not supported.
  • Once a recording project grant is confirmed, the award funds must be requested within two years. If the recording(s) is not released within two years of payment of the grant award, the Foundation reserves the right to cancel the grant.
  • If a recording funded by the Elliott Carter Special Grant Program should become unavailable in any form, either physical or digital, the Fund reserves the right, on thirty (30) days written notice, sent to the grantee at its last known address, to make it available on the internet, subject to the payment by the Foundation of all required royalties and fees to performers and publishers.

What is not eligible?

The Elliott Carter Special Project Grant Program does not provide funding for the following:

  • Individual performers except via fiscal sponsor or recording company
  • Unincorporated or for-profit organizations except via fiscal sponsor or recording company
  • Endowment funds
  • Music publishing projects
  • Student ensembles*
  • Volunteer, community, and amateur ensembles*
  • Educational institutions*
  • Archival recordings
  • Music composed by anyone other than Elliott Carter.**

*Such organizations are not generally eligible but may apply if authorized in advance by the Grants Manager. Educational institutions may not apply for activities involving school-age students, student ensembles, or credit-bearing university activities but they may apply for performances or other eligible projects that feature professional musicians (including faculty).

**For funding for the performance of compositions by other composers, please review The Amphion Grant Program guidelines.

If you have questions about your organization’s eligibility, please contact the Grants Manager.


Music Service/Advocacy Organization:
Organizations that support composers and performers through grants, residencies, training programs or similar activities, or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary concert music.

Music venues or similar organizations whose principal activity is to present live musical performances by a variety of performing groups throughout the year.

Organizations whose principal activity is to present live musical performances by a variety of performing groups for a discrete period.

Performing Ensemble:
Organizations whose principal activity is to perform live music. Examples include chamber ensembles, chamber orchestras, symphonic or other full-sized orchestras, opera companies, dance companies, and choruses.

How to Apply

If your organization does not already have an account on our site:

You will need to create a new account. Please allow up to 3 business days for approval.

If your organization already has an account on our site:

Log in here. Then click on the Apply Now button at the top of this page to begin the online application process.

Please DO NOT create duplicate accounts. If you do not know whether your organization already has an account, please contact the Grants Manager.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary to complete the application in one session, but the application must be saved at the end of every session and should be saved during each session to avoid lost work.

Applicants must prepare and submit the following materials to be reviewed:

Organization Information

  • Contact information 
  • A copy of the IRS determination letter confirming tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that the applicant is not a private foundation. 
    • For organizations applying with a fiscal sponsor, proof of fiscal sponsorship should be supplied in lieu of the IRS determination letter and the legal name and federal tax ID of the fiscal sponsor should be provided in the appropriate fields. 
    • If the applicant organization is not based in the United States, submit a letter from a lawyer in the home jurisdiction of the applicant confirming its equivalence to a publicly funded U.S. 501(c)(3) organization.

Applicant Information

  • Select Applicant Type from the drop-down menu. (see "Definitions” section for more information).

Please save your work often: the application is not self-saving.


  • Time Period for which Support is Requested (if General Operating Support is requested, please indicate support period as “2023-2024 season”)
  • Requested Amount: Amount of funding requested. See “Funding Provisions” below for typical award amounts.
  • Total Cost of Project: Projected total cost for the project.
  • Project Repertoire: List all repertoire by Elliott Carter to be included in your project.
  • Project Narrative: Briefly describe the activity for which support is requested.
  • Information about Principal Artistic Personnel: Please provide a list of the current artistic decisionmaker(s) with links to their professional biographies.
  • History of the Organization: Please provide a brief description of the organization or project’s history.
  • Audiences: Description of the constituencies or audiences served, including size, demographics, and geographic regions.
  • Project Budget: A detailed project budget that includes revenue and expense detail, including projected funding sources. Please note which elements of funding have been secured at the time of applying.

Recording Projects: In addition to the other information requested, recording projects must include the following:

  • Distribution information (record label, release date, quantity of first pressing)
  • For each work to be recorded, list the composer, title of work, performers, and duration. If any of the Carter works have previously been recorded, please refer to the existing recordings, and explain why a new recording is important.
  • Timeline for recording and distribution.
  • A brief biography (maximum one paragraph) of the performer(s) proposed for the recording with links to contemporary repertoire they have performed in the last two years. For ensembles, submit the bio and repertoire for the ensemble, not the individual musicians.
  • A brief biography of the producer(s) and other artistic personnel involved, including links to significant projects involving contemporary music.

Please save your work often: the application is not self-saving.

Musical and Media Materials

Note: Musical and Media Materials are required for all applicant types.

  • Each Applicant must submit three 3–5-minute audio samples (MP3 format; submit excerpts of larger works when necessary) that accurately represent the programming for the project. These samples should be: 
    • Two of the three samples must be Elliott Carter works.
    • For live performance projects: recordings of representative live performances (not studio recordings) of the core ensemble playing together. Extended soloistic passages are not recommended.
      • Presenters and Festivals should provide recordings of the ensembles and performers programmed during the requested funding period.
      • Recordings should have been made within the previous three performing seasons.
    • For recording projects: please submit the final master or closest available version.
  • If a visual element is essential to the presentation of the music, the Foundation strongly recommends submitting video samples, in addition to the required audio samples, of the performers, company, and creative team. Video samples should involve live performances; promotional trailers and news clips with substantial spoken commentary should not be submitted, unless there is no alternative (please indicate timing of musical content in this case).
    • The Foundation recognizes that there may be legal or contractual restrictions that could prohibit an applicant from sharing video work samples; if so, please state in the Miscellaneous Remarks.
  • For each recording and/or video submitted, provide the title of the work, names of the composer and performer(s), and date of the performance.
  • The applicant is strongly encouraged to submit a score in PDF format for the work performed on one of the three recordings, marked at the point at which the audio sample begins. If this presents serious difficulties, please state in the Miscellaneous Remarks. (The Foundation does not accept physical scores.)

Work samples should represent the nature of the applicant’s Carter Special Project activity to the best of the applicant’s ability. If available work samples do not strictly meet the guidelines’ requirements, contact Grants Manager for advice.

Please save your work often: the application is not self-saving.

Review Procedures

The following criteria will be applied in evaluating grant proposals:

  • Are the performances and recordings of outstanding artistic quality?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated the financial ability to carry a season or project to completion?
  • Will granting the request promote the performance and dissemination of Elliott Carter’s works?

Application Deadline

Due to the limited scope and competitive nature of this program, Carter Special Project grant applications will be reviewed twice annually during the spring and fall. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. If your project has an imminent performance date, please notify the Grants Manager.

IMPORTANT: You are responsible for complying with all legal and contractual requirements that may apply to the creation of your materials. The Amphion Foundation hereby disclaims all legal responsibility in connection with your submissions. In case of questions, consult your legal advisor.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Policy


Prospective applicants are first encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not answered there, please contact the Grants Manager prior to the time of application.

Telephone: 212-461-6956 (Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)
E-mail: grantsmanager@amphionfoundation.org

Updated: October 6, 2023

Should I apply?

Can I apply to the Foundation as an individual?

No, the Foundation does not accept applications from individuals.

Non-profit and fiscally sponsored organizations may apply for funding for performance fees and expenses related to presenting the works of an individual composer.

Individuals may find grant opportunities on Candid.

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

Yes, provided you obtain fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. Be sure to review the guidelines and application instructions to submit proper documentation.

Can I apply for funding for a commercial recording project?

No, the Foundation does not support recording projects.

Funding for recording projects is available through organizations such as The Alice M. Ditson Fund and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

NOTE: If you are making a recording of the works of Elliott Carter, please review the Elliott Carter Special Grant Program guidelines to see if your project is eligible.

Will the Foundation fund activity that occurs before the application deadline?

No. The Foundation provides funding for programming that occurs between September of the current year through August of next year. The current cycle provides funding for programming between September 1, 2024 and August 31, 2025. Activity that occurs before this period is no longer eligible. Activity that occurs after this period should be submitted as part of a future application.

What is "contemporary concert music”?

The Foundation considers music composed within the last 50 years to be contemporary. Concert music includes opera, orchestral and chamber music for instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, as well as concert music in experimental genres and similar formats. (For more information, please review the guidelines.)

Does The Amphion Foundation consider diversity and inclusion in its grantmaking?

The Amphion Foundation encourages programming that whenever possible celebrates a broad spectrum of diverse creators and strives to reflect the communities served by the organization.

The Amphion Foundation encourages applicants to consider the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programming decisions whenever possible.

Does the Foundation support jazz music?

No, generally speaking, jazz is not within the scope of the Foundation’s mission.

Funding for jazz programming is available from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, and New Music USA.

Can I apply to the Foundation for a commission?

No, the Foundation does not provide grants for commissioning fees.

Does the Foundation support musical theater?

No, Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported. Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary concert music are supported.

Does the Foundation support music by non-American composers?

Yes, but the Amphion Foundation supports contemporary concert music with a preference for music by American composers. However, organizations based outside of the United States and its territories may only apply for support for contemporary concert music by American composers.

Does the Foundation provide funding for educational institutions or initiatives?

No, educational institutions and organizations seeking funding for educational outreach may not apply for activities involving school-age students, student ensembles, or credit-bearing university activities. Such organizations may apply for performances or other eligible projects that involve professional musicians (including faculty).

Youth choruses that perform contemporary concert music specifically composed for children’s voices may be considered. Please inquire with the Grants Manager.

Are international applicants eligible to apply?

Yes! Organizations based outside of the United States may apply for support exclusively for contemporary concert music by American composers.

Will the Amphion Foundation consider funding for holiday or pops concerts?

No, but pops and holiday concerts will not have an adverse effect on your application if there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity throughout your season.

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

Yes! Non-profit and fiscally sponsored organizations with eligible activity throughout the United States and internationally will be considered for funding from the Foundation. Please note that organizations based outside the United States are only eligible for funding of works by American composers.

I am part of a consortium project. Can I apply for funding?

Possibly. Please contact the Grants Manager with your specific inquiry.