June 14, 2021

BMI and the BMI Foundation Announce the Winners of the 69th Annual Student Composer Awards

NEW YORK, NY (June 14, 2021) –BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), in collaboration with the BMI Foundation (BMIF), is proud to announce six young classical composers, ages 18 to 27, as winners of the 69th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Each year these awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with educational scholarships totaling $20,000. This year’s group of talented composers were showcased across BMI’s and BMIF’s digital platforms in honor of their outstanding accomplishments. To learn more about the winners, listen to their compositions, watch an exclusive performance from 2019’s BMI Student Composer winner Liam Kaplan, read fun facts on the history of the awards and more, visit:

The 2021 award winners are:

  • Micangelo Ferrante– age 18, studies with Dr. Jules Pegram, also awarded the Carlos Surinach Prize, honoring the youngest winner of the competition.
  • Elizabeth Gartman– age 24, awarded the William Schuman Prize for most outstanding score, studied with Susan Botti at Manhattan School of Music.
  • Grey Grant– age 27, studies with Paul Schoenfeld at University of Michigan.
  • Lara Poe– age 27, studies with George Benjamin at King’s College in London.
  • Nicholas Denton Protsack– age 26, studies with Michael Norris at New Zealand School of Music.
  • Elliot Roman– age 21, studies with J. Mark Stambaugh at Manhattan School of Music.

Lucy Chen, a 16-year-old private student of Yiming Wu, and Sofia Ouyang, a 21-year-old student of Andrew Norman’s at The Juilliard School, received honorable mentions in this year’s competition.

“It is such a pleasure to honor these deserving and talented young composers, especially after the challenging year that our entire industry has faced,” said Deirdre Chadwick, BMI Executive Director of Classical and BMIF President. “Their creativity is alive and well, and we look forward to not only seeing their future works and achievements but also hopefully celebrating them in person at next year’s ceremony.”

Preliminary panelists included Alexandra du Bois, Jeremy Gill, Trevor Weston and David Schober and the final judges were Pulitzer Prize-winner John Adams, Daniel Roumain, Kristin Kuster and Sean Shepherd. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music among many other accolades, serves as the permanent Chair of the competition.

This year, nearly 500 online applications were submitted to the competition from students throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged anonymously. BMI, in collaboration with the BMI Foundation, has awarded over 600 grants to young composers throughout the history of the competition.

Stay connected on social media by going to @BMI and @BMIFOUNDATION and use #BMISCA to join the conversation.


Celebrating over 80 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in over 17 million musical works created and owned by more than 1.1 million songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart toppers to perennial favorites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.‘s Facebook page. Sign up for BMI’s The Weekly™ and receive our e-newsletter every week to stay up to date on all things music.


The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit our website at


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