This Call is now closed.  Thank you for your submissions.

Call for Scores: Cello and piano works by Black and Latinx composers

The Sphinx Organization, PARMA Recordings, cellist Thomas Mesa, and pianist Michelle Cann present a call for scores open exclusively to Black and Latinx composers. Teaming up for the first time, these organizations and individuals aim to amplify the voices of musicians from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in classical music by providing a fully funded recording opportunity and album release made possible through the support of a Sphinx Organization MPower Artist Grant and by PARMA Recordings.

Scores selected, approved, and meeting the required criteria (see guidelines below) will be recorded with cellist Thomas Mesa and pianist Michelle Cann and produced by PARMA’s GRAMMY-winning team for release on an album on the company’s Navona Records imprint.

Selected composers will receive the following:

  • Studio recording produced at no cost to the composer

  • Full ownership of the resulting master recording

  • Commercial release of the recording on an album with worldwide digital distribution
  • All post-production, design of all album visual elements, and promotional support at no cost to the composer

  • A majority share of received royalties from resulting streams and sales

  • Invitation to attend the recording of their piece either virtually or in person

  • $250 honorarium


Submissions for this opportunity may include works for:

  • solo cello

  • cello and piano

The Call for Scores is open to Black and Latinx composers of any nationality, state, or country of residence. Works should ideally be between 5 and 15 minutes in length, but pieces outside of that range will still be considered.

There is no fee to submit, nor any fee if selected.

Upload PDF scores and audio files via our Project Submission form. For questions about this opportunity, please email:

Submissions are open October 5th to November 5th, 2021.

See Mesa and Cann Perform:

Elizabeth Start – Echoes in Life | Thomas Mesa, Cello

Lydia Jane Pugh – Carolina’s Jig | Thomas Mesa, Cello

Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement | Michelle Cann, Piano

Florence Price’s Sonata in E Minor | Michelle Cann, Piano

Performer Bios

Thomas Mesa

Thomas Mesa, cellist

Thomas Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation. He was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition; the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013); The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions; and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition. He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights for the 2021/2022 season include the world premiere of Jessie Montgomeryʼs Divided for solo cello and orchestra (on tour) at major venues across the U.S., a concerto premiere by Andrea Casarrubios with Indianapolis Symphony, premieres in recital by Carlos Simon and Stephanie Ann Boyd, and multiple recording projects released on all streaming platforms.

Mesa was the featured cover story on Strings Magazine, September/October, 2020 and is cello professor at The Conservatory of Music at Purchase College (SUNY).

Michelle Cann

Michelle Cann, pianist

Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.” She has also performed Price’s works for solo piano and chamber ensemble for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the New World Symphony, among other presenters.

Ms. Cann regularly appears in solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Barbican (London).

Ms. Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top and has been featured on WRTI-FM and WHYY-TV in Philadelphia. Her summer festival appearances have included the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program, Music Academy of the West, Geneva Music Festival, and Pianofest in the Hamptons, where she serves as artist in residence.

An award winner at top international competitions, in 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement. Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.

This Call is now closed.  Thank you for your submissions.