There are no limitations as to instrumentation, style or length of work submitted. The prizes, which range from $500 to $5,000, are awarded at the discretion of the final judging panel. The 2006 competition is open to students who are citizens of the Western Hemisphere (North, South and Central America, the Caribbean Island Nations and the Hawaiian Islands) and who are under 26 years of age on December 31, 2005. Compositions are judged completely under pseudonyms. Official rules and entry blanks are available here for download. The postmark deadline for entering the competition is Friday, February 3, 2006.
Celebrated composer Milton Babbitt serves as chairman of the awards. Eleven former winners of the BMI Student Composer Awards have gone on to win the coveted Pulitzer Prize in Music, including Stephen Albert, Dominick Argento, William Bolcom, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Donald Martino, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner and Charles Wuorinen.