Headed by artistic director Mario Davidovsky since 1968, the Composers Conference has played a pioneering role in the performance of new works by emerging composers. Founded in 1945 by Alan Carter at Middlebury College as the Composers’ Conference and Chamber Music Center, the Conference has served nearly eight hundred composers and many more amateur chamber musicians. It is the oldest and most respected program of its kind.
James Baker has been music director since 2008.
The list of fellows and guest composers is a virtual who’s who of composition including Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Jacob Druckman, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Tania Leon, Donald Martino, David Rakowski, Shulamit Ran, Gunther Schuller, Joan Tower, George Walker, Ollie Wilson, Charles Wuorinen, Chen Yi, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Steve Mackey, Aaron Einbond, Marek Poliks, Jason Eckardt, Peter Fahey, Eric Nathan, Kate Soper, and hundreds more.
In 2016 the Contemporary Performance Institute was inaugurated. The Composers Conference hosts Composer Fellows, the Conference Ensemble, the Chamber Music Workshop and the Contemporary Performance Institute.