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BMI Student Composer Awards

The BMI Student Composer Awards is an annual competition open to young composers engaged in the study of classical music. Our oldest awards program in any genre, the competition has a prestigious history of discovering and encouraging many of today's most prominent and talented young composers.

Co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, awards totalling $20,000 (individually ranging from $500 to $5,000) are determined annually for vocal, instrumental, and/or electronic compositions submitted by students of classical music. All works are judged anonymously by a high-profile panel of classical composers that has in recent years included such icons of American music as Bernard Rands, Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse, Tobias Picker, and Ingram Marshall as well as notable newer voices such as Kevin Puts, Kristin Kuster, and Sean Shepherd. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the first female composer in history to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, serves as the permanent chair of the competition.

Winners are honored at an award ceremony in New York City each spring. A special William Schuman Prize, given in memory of the late William Schuman, who served for 40 years as Chairman, then Chairman Emeritus, of the BMI Student Composer Awards, is awarded to the composer whose work is judged "most outstanding" in the competition. Additionally, the Carlos Surinach Prize is awarded annually to the youngest winner of the competition.

Eligibility requirements:
1. Must be a citizen of a country in the Western Hemisphere
2. Currently studying music, either in an educational institution or privately
3. Under the age of 28 as of time of submission
4. Has not won a BMI Student Composer Award more than two times (Honourable Mention excluded)

Final Deadline:

TBC. (Sometime in early February, 2021)

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