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An Improviser’s View of Notated Music

Program archived

Program Information


Summer classical music programs at Banff Centre are committed to the Creation of new music, the Refinement of traditional and contemporary practices, and the Amplification of our music into the public space by means of reflection and conversation. This Creation, Refinement, and Amplification is referred to as ARC. Faculty and participants will explore ARC, these three vital and inseparable aspects of music-making, to become whole musicians: creative, skilled and living fully in the changing world we share.  This work together will take place everywhere, from informal conversations on the slopes of Mount Norquay, in master classes and rehearsals, and in formal concert productions, presented side-by-side with faculty, that are intended for the general public.  Along the way, the programs will seek rich encounters between composers and performers, scholars and practitioners; with writers, dancers, naturalists, and audience members.

Explore improvisation from a multitude of perspectives alongside some of the most exciting and versatile artists in the world.  

What does the program offer?

Participants will delve into a wide range of improvised traditions and innovations. Anne Bourne, Canadian improviser and longtime associate of the late Pauline Oliveros will lead a Deep Listening workshop. Bourne and violinist/vocalist/composer Carla Kihlstedt explore the improviser-choreographer relationship in collaboration with the Dance program’s Collective Composition Lab. Swedish-Ethiopian vocalist/composer Sofia Jernberg will lead workshops in songwriting and extended vocal performance. Inuit artist Tiffany Ayalik will lead workshops in storytelling and improvisation. In addition to the above, all participants will explore classic graphic scores by John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and Edgard Varese. 

Underscoring the interconnectivity and inseparability of programming, An Improviser’s View of Notated Music dovetails directly into the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Participants and faculty will prepare a new version of Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Histoire du Soldat with improvised interpolations led by a trio of the most exciting improvisers in the world, including trumpeter Peter Evans and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey.

Banff Centre's five Summer Classical Music Programs offer lessons, daily faculty-led seminars, informal conversations, rehearsals, hikes, public performances, and more. All programs include cross-disciplinary collaborations with other Banff Centre artists and programs to influence the development and interpretation of new work. Programming will create rich collaborative relationships and stimulate intense experiences in music-making. 

Who should apply?

An Improviser’s View of Notated Music residency welcomes applications from performers that combine improvised and notate practices, composer-performers and performers interested in collaborating with dance.

Spanning eight weeks starting in June 2017, a series of five Summer Classical Music Programs are designed for musicians with active careers in the performance, creation and presentation of classical music. Participants should have evidence of an emerging or established career supported by an active performing and recording history. 

Programs are open to individual participants, pre-formed groups, and composers from around the world. Residency lengths are two weeks. Upon special request shorter residencies are possible. Artists are encouraged to apply to more than one program.

If you are interested in applying for two or more modules, please apply on this page. You only need to apply once to be considered for two or more of the programs.


What's Included

Shared RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a shared bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Regular Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Recording OpportunitiesRead MoreClose

Demo recordings: Upon availability, you’ll have the option to record up to 30 minutes of music at a reduced rate as part of your program. These recordings are intended to be used for auditions or personal promotion, not for commercial purposes.

Showcase your workRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work in one of our performance venues or in the community.

Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open 6 days a week.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program fee (shared room)*
$1 671.64
Program fee (single room)*
$2 067.98
What you can expect to pay (shared room)*
What you can expect to pay (single room)*

Application fee: $65 for each individual or group application. Group members must pay an additional registration fee of $35 on acceptance.

Financial Aid up to 100% is available to cover tuition and meal plan (accommodations are not eligible for scholarship).

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials to SlideRoom. 

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

*Subject to availability

How to Apply

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.

If you are interested in applying for two or more modules, please apply on this page. You only need to apply once to be considered for two or more of the programs.

If you are applying an an individual, you must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application.

If you are applying as an ensemble, the ensemble leader must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. Please submit only one SlideRoom application per group. There will be a $35 registration fee for each member upon acceptance to the program.

Financial assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience. 

Work samples

Upload 3 samples of your artistic work. We want to see examples that give us a portrait of the applicants and the breadth and diversity of their creative life.

Personal statement

A 500 word description of  why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn, and what impact it could have on your artistic practice.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete. 


Participants must be at least 18 years of age. 


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)