The opening of the 58th annual BMI Student Composer Awards competition has been announced by BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson. The competition, which is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, will award $20,000 in prizes. Student composers under the age of 28 who are citizens of the Western Hemisphere (North, South and Central America, the Caribbean Island Nations and the Hawaiian Islands) may apply. All entries must be postmarked no later than February 5, 2010.
The Student Composer Awards were established in 1951 to encourage young composers in the creation of serious music, and, through cash prizes, to aid in continuing their musical education. Celebrated composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich serves as the Awards Chair; Milton Babbitt is the Chair Emeritus. Composer luminaries such as William Bolcom, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, Philip Glass, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Donald Martino, Steven Mackey, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Michael Torke and Charles Wuorinen received their earliest recognition through this program.
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 and compositions are judged completely under pseudonyms. Official rules and entry forms are available at bmifoundation.org.
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.