Since its launch in 2017, the Composers Lab has served over 40 composers from six countries and ten states. A virtual revolving masterclass/workshop for emerging/early career composers, the lab focuses on helping its attendees navigate the challenges and opportunities of the current musical landscape through lectures, peer musical critique, and community building. Each lab features a fluid mix of prepared lectures, composition masterclasses, and career guidance. The labs take place via Zoom in order to diversify attendance and make the program available to students throughout the world. All attendees are asked to review their fellow student's music, present new music regularly, and participate in weekly discussions.
Through its Composers Lab initiative, New Amsterdam hopes to help foster a renewed sense of community and connection between today’s younger genre-fluid composers and musicians. By connecting attendees with both NewAm composers and like-minded emerging composers from different locales, the program provides a robust support group for navigating a complex, extremely demanding industry.
The Composers Lab is led by NewAm co-founder and Mannes Conservatory faculty member William Brittelle. The lab features weekly lectures on genre-fluid philosophy, listening suggestions, deep exploration of genre-fluid work from various corners of the industry, and group discussion of the attendees work. The lab includes concepts developed in Brittelle’s Mannes courses “Survey of Post-Genre Music” and “Exploring the Ethos of Punk” and builds on genre-fluid talks he’s given at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Vanderbilt University, University of Wisconsin, and the University of Maryland.