Education RBC Bridges

RBC Bridges: Emerging Composers Workshop & Showcase

Workshop Dates: April 13–21, 2024
RBC Bridges Showcase Date: April 19, 2024
With Mentor Composers: Paul Grabowsky and André Ristic
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Includes: Free Tuition, Free Accommodation, and a $1000 honorarium for program participants.
Applications for the 2024 RBC Bridges Program have closed. Thank you to all who applied.

Introducing the composers of the RBC Bridges program 2024:

Uko Abara
Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw
Gustav Knudson
Maria-Eduarda Mendes Martins
Prokhor Protasoff

2013 Bridges Participants visited Composer R. Murray Schafer’s farm and his publishing house. They got a tour of a work in progress – a massive theatrical, musical and spatial experience – that was being erected on his property. 

Each year, RBC Bridges: Emerging Composers Workshop and Showcase brings together celebrated composer/mentors, a professional resident ensemble, and six emerging composers from around the world to develop and premiere new work in Soundstreams’ performance series in Toronto.

The workshop includes seminars, networking events, rehearsals, and professional development activities that stimulate new connections, artistic development, and lifelong career building.

The 2024 edition of “RBC Bridges” will feature Canadian composer/pianist André Ristic and Australian composer/pianist Paul Grabowsky as mentors and composers-in-residence. Invited participants will write a short piece (5’ maximum) for one or more of the instruments in our resident ensemble, which will include piano, harpsichord, electronic keyboard, and digital organ. Participants are not required to write for more than one instrument but writing for multiple keyboards is an option.

The final showcase will be part of Soundstreams’ mini-festival KEYED UP! taking place April 18-20, 2024, at Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto. This mini-festival is a joyous celebration of diverse music for diverse keyboard instruments.

Participants will receive an honorarium of $1,000 and free accommodation in Toronto for the duration of the workshop. Travel expenses to and from Toronto are the responsibility of the participants. Successful applicants will be expected to submit a completed 5’ work by March 1, 2024.


Canadian composer André Ristic, who performs both as a pianist and accordion player, is also a music theorist whose interests include the mathematical representation of sound and programming models. As a composer he owns a catalogue of roughly 60 works, including 4 operas, a dozen string quartets and 10 symphonies. He won a few prizes, most notably the Jules-Léger Prize for new chamber music, and the Composer of the Year Award in Québec; he has been commissioned by many soloists, orchestras and ensembles – mostly in Canada and Belgium. He studied mathematics at the Université du Québec in Montréal (UQAM) and completed his musical studies at the conservatory in Montréal where he received instruction in composition, harpsichord and piano. In 2008 he moved to Brussels to join the Piano Faculty at the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, where he currently resides. He has been a consultant in the last few years at the local Ministry of Culture where he manages subsidies in classical / contemporary music. 

Australian composer/pianist Paul Grabowsky has won two Helpmann Awards, several APRA and Bell (Jazz) Awards, and eight ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards. He was also awarded The Melbourne Prize for Music in 2007, The Australian National University H.C.Coombs Fellow in 2010 and was the Sydney Myer Performing Artist of the Year in 2000. In 2019 Paul was appointed Composer in Residence for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for which he composed 4 symphonic works.


Eligible applicants must self-identify as “emerging.” To help determine if you fit into this category, consider whether one or more of the following statements apply to you:

  • You are currently studying, or recently graduated from, a related post-graduate degree/program or other formal training.
  • You devote 24 hours a week or more to the pursuit of your art.
  • You are not yet recognized as “established” by your peers.
  • You have not yet had a major commission or presentation opportunity (or very few).

Selected participants must be available to attend all workshop dates in Toronto, Canada from April 13–21, 2024.

The program is open to applicants from Canada and internationally. International participants are responsible for obtaining the required visa to travel to Canada. All travel expenses are the responsibility of the participant. Accommodation is provided free of charge to participants.

We welcome applications from composers of all backgrounds and musical traditions. Please note that the Workshop depends on participants’ ability to use musical notation; however, if musical notation is not part of your practice, we may be able to consider ways to accommodate your needs if this has been identified at the time of application.

Please note that the Workshop is delivered in English.


At Soundstreams we recognize that barriers to services exist for members of diverse communities, particularly for equity seeking groups, and we are committed to acting as a positive force in eliminating these barriers.

To achieve this, Soundstreams will:

  • ensure that diverse communities have equitable access to its services, resources and decision making.
  • be non-discriminatory and promote the goals of antiracism, access, and equity; and
  • take reasonable steps to ensure its services, programs and decision making reflect the community it serves

Soundstreams is committed to maintaining an environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and are free from all forms of discriminatory treatment, behaviour or practice.

Applicants may choose to disclose any accessibility needs or concerns related to applying and/or attending the Workshop. Soundstreams will endeavour to support accessibility needs wherever possible.


If you have inquiries about the application process, contact Amy Wilford at [email protected]


RBC Bridges is an annual week-long tuition-free program that brings together celebrated composer-mentors, a professional resident ensemble, and six emerging composers chosen through a competition. Composers selected to participate are given the opportunity to develop and premiere a short new work for a professional resident ensemble with mentorship from a distinguished visiting composer.

The program also includes professional development workshops on subjects including publishing, commissioning, approaching artistic directors/producers with your music, and making a living as a composer. Initiated in 2013, RBC Bridges visiting mentor composers have included: R. Murray Schafer, Unsuk Chin, Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, and Chris Paul Harman. Resident ensembles have included the Gryphon Trio, the Ralston String Quartet and TORQ.


Soundstreams has created a platform for compelling new creations both at home and abroad. Our various Toronto-based concert series, educational and outreach events and professional development programs have showcased nearly 1500 global creators and performers in collaboration with their Canadian counterparts. At the same time, Soundstreams’ productions have toured North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe. In recent seasons, Soundstreams has received high praise from the international press: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.