The Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (MCML) is a music creation environment for emerging composers and performers. During the Lab, participants engage in rehearsals, workshops and roundtable discussions with fellow participating artists and invited Guest Artists. Projects and works-in-progress are rehearsed and revised prior to final performances at the Montréal Conservatory of Music.

Since 2012, MCML participants experience varying collaborative processes.   Participants take new approaches to music-making apart from the traditional composer-performer relationship.  Collaborators are open to explore and develop their projects through co-composition, comprovisation (an improvisation recorded before then either replicated or further developed into a larger work), and composers are also welcome to perform within their own groups.

Composers and performers from all disciplines - traditional, contemporary, electro-acoustic, mixed music, and improvisation genres -  are encouraged to apply.

Pre-formed ensembles are encouraged to apply. Please note, however, that each member will be required to submit an individual application and pay individual tuition fees.  Individual ensemble members may be asked to play in other paired groups.

Applicants may also propose an Open Project. An Open Project proposes a novel idea or concept to explore or deepen artistic practices in music and sound art. Past projects involved instrument building or a performer who lead their group through specific improvisational techniques.

Format of the Lab

MCML is a 12-day laboratory. Applicants will be divided into the following categories:

  1. Composer-Performer Pairings: where a composer will write a work to be developed collaboratively and premiered by a soloist or chamber ensemble.

  2. Open Projects: where a participant will propose a creative project to develop within the 12-day event.  

Participants at the lab can expect to have a number of days dedicated to experimentation, revision, and development of their works. Composers and performers work collectively to create a finished score.

During this time, groups will demonstrate works-in-progress to their fellow lab participants. These presentations encourage discussion and allow participants the freedom to share and invest in their group’s collaboration. Prior to the final concerts, Lab organises an “ice-breaker” performance workshop.  This fun and informal event is a way for participants to test their pieces amongst their fellow participants.  A feedback session leaves groups with final words of constructive encouragement.

Final concerts are held over two days at the Montréal Conservatory of Music. Participants will receive a high-quality audio-video recording of their work.

Participants may also expect to take place in workshops, lectures, masterclasses, concerts, social outings, collective meals, and spontaneous events.


Dates of MCML workshop: June 5th - June 16th, 2019

Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
Acceptance Notification: February 5, 2019
Participation Fee Deadline: February 15, 2019
Pairing Notification: March 1, 2019
Score Submission Deadline: May 1, 2019


The cost of participation is $275 CAD.

The fee covers tuition for the Lab, as well as providing entry to all workshops, masterclasses, concerts and healthy lunches during rehearsal days.

Housing may be provided upon request. Participants may be billeted with members of the new music community in Montreal. Although we try our best, housing is not guaranteed.