An online new music intensive for composers and performers
led by Grammy Award-winning cellist and educator Nick Photinos

May 22-29, 2022​

Are you a:

  • Performer hungry for new music, eager to expand your solo repertoire and your community by premiering a new piece written just for you, all while in a collaborative environment led by world-class faculty?
  • Composer excited to work closely with talented players, developing a new work quickly from conception through performance, all while building your community and coaching with esteemed composers and performers?

This May 22-29, join Nick Photinos and special guest faculty Claire Chase, Augusta Read Thomas, and Jeffrey Zeigler for:

  • 1-to-1 pairing of composers and performers
  • 1 month for composers to write 1 new piece for solo player (5-10 minutes in length)
  • 1 week for solo players to learn 1 new piece
  • 1-to-1 coaching and masterclasses with esteemed faculty
  • 1 week to prepare a final online concert on social media

Now in its eighth iteration, 1:2:1 is a one-week online intensive pairing composers and solo performers on any instrument or voice to create new work and new communities. Limited to a maximum of just 16 people (eight pairs of composers and performers), this close-knit group will have: 

  • Guest lectures and coachings by Claire Chase, Augusta Read Thomas, and Jeffrey Zeigler
  • Daily coachings: performers and composers will both coach daily with faculty in preparation for the world premiere of the new solo work on the final webcast concert. Composers will have the opportunity to coach with faculty on their piece and make minor revisions to the work leading up to the end-of-week premiere. Performers will also have the opportunity to coach on a short (up to 10 minute) contemporary solo piece of their choice, also to be performed on the final online concert.
  • Daily presentations and seminars: all attendees (composers and performers) will have daily opportunities to engage each other and faculty in discussion around music and beyond, such as career advice, business-focused topics, music tech, and the current political, societal, and artistic environment within which we all create. Attendees will also have the chance to present their work to other attendees in 30-minute slots each day, and also enjoy unstructured time to just hang out.
  • A premiere performance webcast: the new works, as well as contemporary solo works by each performer, will be prerecorded for presentation in a culminating webcast featuring short introductions with the composers and performers.


“Great way to connect and build sense of community.”

“We covered so much, I couldn’t have asked for more besides more time to talk!”

“I was amazed at how much I learned in such a short period of time everyday.”

“This was by far the most gratifying musical experience of recent memory! Thank you so, so much for making this happen. I would love to be a part of another session of this in the near future!!!”

“It’s very rare to find a space where it feels safe to explore new things, and it was just that. Very grateful to walk away with the personal connections I’ve forged.”

“Our Zoom campus was creative, encouraging, accepting, and exciting. You selected musicians who were equally beautiful, creative, and supportive. I cannot express how lucky I feel to have been part of this experience and to meet all these wonderful souls. This has been a challenging year and the intensive has provided a massive highlight for me.”


Four-time Grammy Award-winning cellist Nick Photinos is an ardent advocate for new music, having collaborated, toured, and recorded with artists ranging from Dawn Upshaw, Philip Glass, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars, to Björk, Wilco, Bryce Dessner, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras including the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Toronto, Utah, and Atlanta Symphonies, and performed across the globe including the Sydney Opera House, the Barbican in London, KBC Hall in Seoul, and in the US from Disney Hall to Carnegie Hall Carnegie Hall in New York City. Photinos was the founding cellist and Artistic Director of Eighth Blackbird from 1996-2020, and currently serves on the cello faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. website

Claire Chase is a musician, interdisciplinary artist and educator. Passionately dedicated to the creation of new ecosystems for the music of our time, Chase has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works by a new generation of artists, and in 2013 launched the 24-year commissioning project Density 2036. Now in its eighth year, Density 2036 reimagines the solo flute literature over a quarter-century through commissions, performances, recordings, education and an accessible archive at density2036.org. Chase co-founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Chase is currently Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University’s Department of Music, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, and a Collaborative Partner with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony. She lives in Brooklyn. website

Augusta Read Thomas’ music is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, & colorful – “it is boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music.” (Philadelphia Inquirer) Her works were featured on a Grammy winning CD, her impressive works embody unbridled passion & fierce poetry. The New Yorker called her “a true virtuoso composer.” Critic Edward Reichel wrote, “Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th & 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today. Her music has substance, depth, and a sense of purpose. She has a lot to say and knows how to say it —and in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated.” Thomas won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, among many other coveted awards. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Thomas was named the 2016 Chicagoan of the Year. Augusta has an extensive and deeply committed history as a model citizen of the profession. A brief summary of her citizenship can be found in the COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS section on the ABOUT page on her website.

Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. He is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts (Grammy’s), the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society’s Cultural Achievement Award.


(Central Time Zone, subject to change)

  • 10am – 2pm: 30 minute daily private coachings with each pair of performers/composers
  • 3pm – 4pm presentation by performers and composers. Each attendee will perform or present once for 30 minutes during the intensive, either performing or presenting a short work, with discussion encouraged.
  • 4 – 5pm faculty presentations and discussion
  • 5 – 6pm open discussion time (aka “happy hour”)


  • professional or pre-professional performer or composer
  • at least 21 years of age
  • reliable internet connection
  • devices that support both video chat via Zoom and recording your instrument with a microphone and camera


  • Sunday April 10: applications due at 6pm CST
  • Wednesday April 13: acceptance notifications sent
  • Friday April 15: full tuition due, final composer/performer pairings sent
  • Friday April 15 – Sunday May 15: composers begin writing and are to be in touch with performers throughout process, working together to craft a new solo work
  • Sunday May 15: new composer pieces due to players
  • Sunday May 22 – Friday May 27: daily schedule followed: one lesson with coaches between 10am-2pm CDT, then 3pm-6pm CDT with everyone together
  • Saturday May 28: free day to make final presentation videos
  • Sunday May 29: Final webcast performance


  • Submit your free application via the link below by Sunday April 10, 6pm Central Time.
  • You will be asked to submit 2-3 recent, sub-10 minute videos of your performing or compositions as well as a short (three minute or less) video about why you want to attend the program and what topics you would most like to cover.
  • Once accepted, a link will be emailed where payment via Venmo or Chase Quickpay may be made. To secure a spot in the course, payment must be made in full by Friday April 15. Payment is non-transferable and non-refundable except in cases of emergency as determined by Nick Photinos.
  • Tuition: $499


Why online? I will scream if I have to look at another Zoom window again!

I get it, trust me. But doing it online has several advantages for participants over a live festival: costs are much cheaper for participants (no flights, no room, no board=BIG savings!), the schedule allows people to still do other jobs or school, and it allows 1:2:1 to bring together faculty and participants from around the world that might otherwise be unable to attend.

I play contrabass daxophone/nyckelharpa/pyrophone, can I still apply?

Yes! Because of the nature of this intensive with composers writing new solo pieces, performers on ANY instrument or voice can apply and will be equally considered. It’s a great opportunity to build new repertoire for your instrument! 

I’m a composer and performer, can I apply as both/either?

While you may indicate that you wish to be considered in both the performer and composer categories on the application, unfortunately due to time constraints and pairing inequities that have occurred in previous 1:2:1 sessions we are no longer able to offer the option of attending as both a composer and performer in a single session. If applying to be considered as either a composer or performer, you will be asked your preference as to what degree you wish to be considered in those categories, and will need to submit both performance and composition samples to support your application

I’m a composer, how long will I have to write the piece? 

Notifications will go out by April 15 and pieces will be due on May 15, so you will have roughly one month to compose a 5-10 minute work for solo performer with or without electronics (see below). 

I’m a composer, can I write a piece for solo instrument and backing track and/or electronics?

Absolutely, and is even encouraged, so long as the performer you are writing for is willing and has access to the proper equipment. In the application both performers and composers will be asked their preference to write or perform a work with backing media and/or electronics. 

I’m a performer, how many pieces will I be playing as part of this intensive?

Two: you’ll be learning a brand new piece written by a composer paired with you, as well as getting coached on an existing piece of recent (from the last 25 years) repertoire for your instrument, with or without electronics (see below) of up to 10 minutes duration. Both works will be videotaped and shown as part of the final concert. If you need advice on a solo piece, you may indicate that on the application.

I’m a performer, can I learn a solo piece during the intensive that has backing track and/or electronics?

Yes! This intensive is a GREAT way to dive into a piece like this, even if you have never done so. Please indicate the piece and what is required to perform it on the application form, and we will discuss the best way to make a stellar performance happen!

I’m a performer, can I play a solo piece I’ve written for my solo piece requirement?

Absolutely, it’s encouraged! We just ask that it is 10 minutes or less.

I have attended or applied before, can I do so again?

Yes! We have had people attend up to three times (and counting!), and since each iteration of 1:2:1 has different guest faculty, the experience is different each time. If you have attended previously, you will not be required to submit samples or a video statement about why you’d like to come, but you will still need to fill out the rest of the application so we have the most up-to-date contact information.

I have another question, where can I ask it?

Email us at the “contact” link on the upper right hand side!


1:2:1 welcomes all composers and performers inclusive of race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, and works to create an atmosphere of empathy, creativity, and openness. 1:2:1 celebrates the diversity of our faculty and student body as central to the shared experience of the intensive, recognizing that with greater diversity comes greater understanding and focus on a wider array of perspectives, solutions, and issues. Applicants and attendees are expected to share and uphold these same values.


1:2:1 began in the summer of 2020 during the height of the global coronavirus pandemic, and for many musicians one of the hardest parts of that time was the loss of community: meeting new people, making music with them, sharing ideas, and expanding who you are. 1:2:1 is one answer to that: while it was hard to make chamber music during that time, we CAN come together one-on-one, composer-to-performer, even at a great distance (we’ve had participants and faculty in Japan, Germany, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and throughout the US), to create new music, to meet new people, and to share ideas, jokes, memes, beers: all the things that make summer festivals so magical. 1:2:1 continues post-pandemic as a way to continue this growth while remaining affordable, fun, and with completely different guest faculty each time.

83 composers and performers have participated in 1:2:1 since it began in July 2020, creating 45 new works over seven festivals and performances, and you can see their work here to get an idea of just how creative they are. Guest faculty have included:

Matt Albert, violinist

Marcos Balter, composer

Molly Barth, flute

Vicky Chow, piano

Du Yun, composer

Haruka Fujii, percussion

Stacy Garrop, composer

Jennifer Higdon, composer

Dana Jessen, bassoon/improvisor

Nathalie Joachim, flutist/composer/vocalist

Jennifer Koh, violin

Yvonne Lam, violin

Doug Perkins, percussion

Todd Reynolds, violin/composer/improvisor/educator/technologist

Kamala Sankaram, composer

Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe

Ken Thomson, clarinet/composer

Nina C. Young, composer