With a vision to create a world-class destination for composers to share new music with the public and with each other, award-winning composer Jordan Kuspa founded the Del Mar International Composers Symposium (DMICS) in 2019.

The Del Mar International Composers Symposium exists to encourage the sharing of new musical ideas between composers, performers, and the community, and to present the best new concert music from around the world in the City of Del Mar. Having enjoyed numerous experiences as a fellow at composition festivals and residencies around the world, Kuspa saw the potential to create a unique program in his hometown of Del Mar, CA, that combines the best features of these programs.

In particular, the Del Mar International Composers Symposium is designed to allow composers and performers a space to collaborate intimately on the creation and presentation of new works, while inviting the public to experience that process first-hand. DMICS seeks to make the creative process accessible and tangible to the community through open rehearsals, concerts, and question and answer sessions with the symposium participants. Attendees at these events will be able to witness the interactions between composers and performers that go into the development of new music, and will be able to speak with the artists about the creative process. Key to this process is our ability to draw on the talent of some of San Diego’s most esteemed musicians. All performing artists at DMICS 2021 appear thanks to a generous grant from DMICS’ Lead Sponsor, the Del Mar Foundation.


Few programs offer this level of transparency and connection between the community and guest artists. And the benefits of this approach extend not only to the attendees, but also to the composers themselves, who will have the rare experience of receiving near-immediate feedback from both colleagues and listeners. Though such openness can be daunting to many in the creative fields, we believe that in an atmosphere of civility and respect, meaningful artistic progress can be made through the sharing of ideas in this intimate way.

Del Mar is an ideal place to hold such a gathering. Composer Fellows will be inspired by the natural beauty of the ocean and the bluffs of Del Mar, and will be given plenty of opportunities to experience the warmth and hospitality of this community. Conversely, local audience members will have the opportunity to interact with some of the most talented emerging composers in the field today, several of whom may be on the brink of major international careers.

Music is in many ways the most abstract of the arts,
intangible and sometimes abstruse.

As such, new music can be particularly daunting for the uninitiated. We seek to present new music in a way that is inviting and accessible to every music lover. We believe that when a listener can meet and hear directly from a composer, a level of empathy is created that can bridge the divide between musical ideas and musical communication. It is in this spirit of communal sharing that we present the Del Mar International Composers Symposium.

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