Grant #529

Luna Composition Lab Fellowship

April 3, 2023

Luna Lab Wants to Close the Gender Gap in Music Composition. Doesn’t That Sound Good?

Here’s a number we don’t like the sound of: In 2021, researchers found that women composed just five percent of the music performed at top orchestras around the globe. Classical music can inspire, transform, and uplift, but it can still reflect an outdated worldview. For women composers, the field can be isolating. 

Enter Missy Mazzoli, the first woman to receive a commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and Ellen Reid, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music. The two founded Luna Composition Lab to close the gender gap in the field of music composition and motivate young female, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming composers. Their signature program—the Luna Lab Fellowship—offers six young composers one-on-one mentorship with acclaimed professional composers. In addition, the organization offers a series of group composition courses and hosts free online master classes with acclaimed artists. (Their efforts are working: 100% of alumni have placed professional commissions in the 2022-23 season.) 

Luna Lab will use our grant to cover the costs of one of their master classes, which this season will include sessions with Imani Winds, composer Reena Esmail, and Kronos Quartet. These classes reach dozens of composers just starting out, encouraging them to pursue this rewarding work—and bring their own perspective to it. 

Music to our ears!

Category: Education, Music, Women



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders