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Recording Program Preliminary Round

We are not accepting applications for Recording Program Preliminary Round at this time.

Recording Program Preliminary Round Guidelines
Deadline: November 15, 2022 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time

Any applicant wishing to apply to the Recording Program must first apply to the Recording Program Preliminary Round. Please review the full Recording Program Guidelines prior to beginning a Preliminary Round Application.


Application snapshot

Eligibility & Review Process

Please review the full eligibility requirements in the Recording Program Guidelines prior to beginning an application for the Preliminary Round. Due to the competitive nature of the application process and limited resources of the Recording Program, commercial and non-profit recording companies may submit a maximum of three proposals to the Preliminary Round. Each proposal should be submitted separately. All other applicants, including individuals applying with a fiscal sponsor, ensembles, and other organizations may only submit one proposal. Requests to exceed these limitations must be approved by the Fund in advance; please contact the Grants Manager for more information. Please note that live streaming activity is not eligible in the Recording Program. You may seek support for live streaming activity in the Performance Program, which has its annual deadline on June 30.

A group of peer panelists will review the preliminary proposals. Only the most competitive applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal to the Recording Program.

How to Apply

If your organization does not already have an account:
Create a new account here. New accounts will be reviewed as quickly as possible, but please allow up to 3 business days for approval. (Note: Only one account is allowed per organization. Before submitting a new account request, please be sure that your organization does not already have an account.)

If your organization already has an account:
Log in here. Then click on the "apply now" button at the top of this page to begin the online application process. The proposal may be completed in stages; it is not necessary to complete the application in one session.

Preliminary Round applications should contain the following information. Please be as brief as possible. The Fund will not consider musical samples in the Preliminary Round.

  • Name of record label or distributor
  • Project release date
  • Request amount
  • Total cost of project
  • Repertoire
  • Have any of the works on this project been recorded and released previously?
  • A list of key project personnel, including soloists, guest artists, and ensembles with links to their websites, if available. Do not provide detailed biographies.
  • Project summary with a brief description of the proposed project
  • Timetable with specific dates and steps for production, promotion and distribution (bullet form is acceptable)

Application cycle and deadline

All proposals submitted to the preliminary round must comply with the current Recording Program guideline criteria. Applicants invited to submit a complete proposal will be notified by February 15, 2023. It is expected that applicants invited to submit a complete proposal will do so, which will be due on March 31, 2023.

Only applicants who have already submitted an application to the Preliminary Round and received an invitation from the Fund to submit a full proposal may submit an application to the 2023 Recording Program. No other applications will be considered.

  • November 15, 2022: Preliminary Round deadline
  • February 15, 2023: Preliminary Round notification via e-mail; invitation to apply to the Recording Program
  • March 31, 2023: Invitation Application Deadline

All deadlines end at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on the date specified.

Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in or about June of that year. Please do not contact the Fund for information on funding decisions.


Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions before starting an application. If a question is not answered there, please contact the Grants Manager prior to the time of application.

Telephone: 212-461-6956 (Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)

Updated October 12, 2022

Recording Program FAQs

Our project includes the music of American and non-American composers. May we apply?

Yes, but only the music by American composers would be eligible for support.

How likely is it that my proposal will be funded?

On average, fewer than 15% of applications are successful in the Recording Program. In recent years there have been an average of 125 preliminary applications per grant round and an average of 18 grantee projects per grant round. 

My recording will be distributed digitally online. May I apply?

Yes. Recordings that will be distributed primarily or solely digitally, whether by download or streaming, are eligible. For all projects distributed digitally, grantees will be required to post liner notes and credits on an appropriate page of their web sites and to provide a permanent copy of the funded recording for the Fund’s archive.

I am an individual (performer or composer) seeking funding for my recording project. (Or, I represent an ensemble without non-profit status.) Can I (we) apply?

Individuals (and ensembles without non-profit status) may not apply directly, but may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor’s IRS tax-exempt determination letter.

Alternatively, individuals (and ensembles without non-profit status) may request that their record company apply for the project directly. For the Recording Program, record companies may be either non-profit or commercial.

Does the Fund support archival recordings?
Recordings intended purely for archival or study purposes are not supported.
I am an individual and I run my own record company. May I apply?

In order to be considered a commercial record company for the Fund's purposes, your company must have a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) and a business checking account in your company's name. In addition, you will be responsible for completing annual IRS expenditure responsibility forms if you are awarded a grant.

We see that only 15 minutes of audio samples are required. May we submit more than that?

Due to the enormous amount of music under review, we can only allow 15 minutes of audio samples per application. Each example may be of any length, but the total timing of all submitted examples must not exceed 15 minutes. If an application includes more than 15 minutes of audio examples, panelists will be instructed to review only the first 15 minutes of examples.

May we apply for more than one project per round?

Because this program is extremely competitive, the Fund will not accept multiple proposals in the same round from organizations other than recording companies. Recording companies are limited to 3 proposals per round.

Please also see the General FAQs.
When will award decisions be announced?

Award decisions will be announced on or about June 30 of the application year. Please do not contact the Fund for updates about grant decisions.

What should we submit for the project rationale?

This should be the place where you “make the case” for funding your project. Explain why you have chosen to record the proposed works, the significance of your recording, the quality and appropriateness of the performers and recording personnel, and any other information that would assist the panel in its review.

Our project will be ready for release before the Fund announces award decisions in June. May we apply?

As long as the recording has not been released by the time of the full application deadline (March 31), you are eligible to apply. We understand that some projects may be released before funding decisions are announced.

We are only requesting support for some of the works on the total project (other works have been funded). How do we address this with our works list, samples and budget?

It is not necessary to list the works for which you are not requesting support in the Works to Be Recorded section, nor is it necessary to provide scores or audio samples for these works. Please mention these works briefly in your proposal narrative so that the review panel fully understands the context of the project.

We prefer to see the budget for the entire project, but you may decide to either provide us with the full budget or an abbreviated budget that only covers the works for which you are requesting support. Indicate which of these two options you have chosen in the Notes section of the budget form.

We would like to apply, but the composer has not finished the piece yet. May we apply with a sketch?

Only works that are complete by the time of the full application deadline (March 31) are eligible for support.

I am an individual or an ensemble applying with a fiscal sponsor. Whose information do I use to create the account?

Individuals or ensembles applying with a fiscal sponsor should create the account using their own contact information, not that of the fiscal sponsor.