UCLA Library and Kaleidoscope Announce Open Access Collaboration to Empower Composers

UCLA Library and Kaleidoscope. Presenting an open access collaboration with the UCLA Music Library to empower living composers around the world.

A new collaboration between the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra and the UCLA Music Library, part of the UCLA Library system, will empower living composers by making their work more accessible and reducing barriers for applicants to Kaleidoscope’s 2020 Call for Scores.

Kaleidoscope’s annual Call for Scores was established in 2015 to recognize the most innovative and engaging music being written today. Selected composers will have their work performed on Kaleidoscope’s 2020-2021 season, including performances at UCLA.

“In the past five years Kaleidoscope has performed over 100 new works and seen an incredible interest in our annual Call for Scores, receiving over 2200 new works from composers in 90 countries in 2019 alone,'' said Benjamin Mitchell, Kaleidoscope’s founder and president. 

While composers applied with a $30 application fee in past years, support from the UCLA Music Library has eliminated the requirement this year. 

The collaboration allows applicants to elect to have the UCLA Library publish their submitted compositions open access for future performance and study in conjunction with OpenUCLA, a Centennial Celebration initiative created to help remove barriers to research and scholarship. 

Matthew Vest, UCLA music librarian, said “One of the exciting things about our collaboration is that unlike many traditional publishing agreements, composers will keep full copyright, have better control of performances and royalties, and have their work made accessible in an unprecedented way.” 

Those looking for new works by living composers will have the ability to view the open access published scores online from anywhere in the world. (For example, see Awake 3.0 by Tomàs Peire Serrate). Composers with already published works or who prefer not to participate in open access publishing will still be eligible to apply and be considered for Kaleidoscope's 2020-2021 season. 

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra 

The discussion of open access publishing has often focused on journal publishing in the sciences. Open access discussions in the arts and humanities have similarly concerned journal articles even though the products of arts and humanities academics and researchers are much more diverse. This project diverges significantly from past open access projects by focusing on music compositions and by publishing current, under copyright work. 

“This is an innovative open-access publishing project which has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about the publishing of music, the role of libraries, and the impact and accessibility of music by living composers,” said Vest. 

The Kaleidoscope 2020 Call for Scores will be open for applications in March. The call is open to solo, chamber, and orchestral works of any length and instrumentation. Composers are encouraged to submit up to three works written in the past 10 years.

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Founded in 2014 by clarinetist Benjamin Mitchell and currently in their sixth season, Kaleidoscope is a conductorless orchestra dedicated to enriching lives through exhilarating concert experiences, artistic excellence, musician leadership, and connecting with the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Kaleidoscope has been recognized internationally for their diverse and innovative programming and featured in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Musical America, and Symphony Magazine. Performing over 80 concerts each year at venues ranging from Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row, Kaleidoscope is made up of some of the finest musicians in the United States and Canada, many of which have also performed with other leading ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. All of Kaleidoscope's concerts are admission-free to share music with everyone without financial barriers.

Consistently ranked among the top academic libraries in the United States, the UCLA Library drives the world-class research, groundbreaking discoveries, and innovation for which UCLA is renowned. Whether on campus or online, the UCLA Library takes the lead in preserving cultural heritage, making knowledge accessible, and building a library of the future. Under the direction of Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian Ginny Steel, the UCLA Library system, which includes the UCLA Music Library, serves students, faculty, and researchers of all disciplines. The UCLA Music Library provides access to one of the largest academic music collections in North America and is the largest and oldest major music library on the West Coast of the United States. It supports music study and performance both at UCLA and throughout Southern California. Always inventive, it has a long history of forward-thinking services and projects, producing concerts and music programs for over 70 years and publishing music literature for over 45 years. In 2018, the library started publishing the Contemporary Score Edition, with printed scores and parts and digital, open access scores. It is the first open access edition of new music published by a library.

For questions about Kaleidoscope, please write to Benjamin Mitchell.  
For questions for UCLA Music Library, please write to Matthew Vest.
For media inquiries for the UCLA Library, please write to Ariane Bicho