Work Samples

You must provide live or studio recordings, totaling 24 minutes of material, made in the last three years. Recordings should represent your highest quality, best work. Solo artists must submit recordings of solo performances, and ensembles/bands must submit recordings that feature all ensemble/band members listed on the application. Recordings of solo artists and ensembles/bands can include accompaniment. However, the panelists should be able to easily identify and listen to the performance of the applicant. Panelists will have the knowledge of the instrument being performed. Do not include any introductory spoken commentary on your recordings.

Work Sample A

Time requirement: 4 minutes or less

Work Sample A should include one or more of the solo artists’ or ensembles’/bands’ works, which when added together, do not exceed a combined total of four minutes. Fading in or fading out a recording is acceptable to avoid exceeding the time allotted. Work Sample A is the only material reviewed by the panelists in the first round.

Work Sample B

Time requirement: 20 minutes or less

Work Sample B must contain two or more additional works, which when added together, do not exceed a combined total of 20 minutes in length. Fading in or fading out of a piece of music is acceptable to avoid exceeding time allotted. The panelists will listen to Work Sample A and Work Sample B of all applicants who advance to the second round.

Applicants will be disqualified from the competition if the total time of all works included in Work Sample A exceeds 4 minutes or in Work Sample B exceeds 20 minutes.

It is recommended that all works be uploaded as individual tracks so that panelists may easily advance through the applicant’s recordings.

List of Works:

Applicants must submit a supplementary page listing the names of the works and composers submitted on Work Sample A & B to be submitted as a PDF.

Video of a Live Performance (optional):
Upload a video of a live performance no longer than five minutes, made in the last three years. The video does not have to be in front of a live audience but must be unprocessed. The audio must be from the same take as the image. Clips from different recordings may be put together into one video to total up to five minutes. The video may or may not include songs performed in your Work Sample A & B recordings. Ensembles/bands must submit recordings that feature all ensemble/band members listed on the application. Recordings of solo artists and ensembles/bands can include accompaniment. However, the panelists should be able to easily identify and listen to the performance of the applicant.

Artist Statement

An artist statement no longer than 500 words.

Your artist statement might address the following:

  • What is your background as a performing musician?
  • How would you describe your distinctive musical voice?
  • What do you see as the future of your art form and how does your work contribute to that?
  • What are you doing as a performing musician that isn’t already being done?
  • What is next for you as an artist?

If you are a previous McKnight Fellowship for Musicians recipient please answer the following question:

  • How has your work developed since your last award?


2-pages or less and be submitted as a PDF.

Submit a current résumé pertaining to the solo artist’s or ensemble’s/band’s music career that highlights your professional accomplishments and achievements including performances, recordings, awards and grants. Ensemble/band résumés must include at least 12 significant performances (4 per year) from the 3 years prior to the application deadline.

At the top of your résumé please include each applicants name (up to 5 for bands/ensembles), the solo artist’s/ensemble’s/band’s name, and corresponding instrument/s.

Résumés may not include: email addresses, web site addresses, quotes or reviews, pictures, photographs, cover letters or letters of recommendation.

Driver’s License:

Clearly legible copy of a driver’s license for each applicant or other proof of legal

Minnesota residency to be submitted as a PDF.