Deadline for submissions is Monday, May 15

Detroit, (Apr. 4, 2017) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is now accepting submissions for the ninth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. The Award is granted annually to a living woman composer, of any age or nationality, in the spirit of recognizing and supporting the creation of new orchestral works by women. It is the only annual symphony sponsored award in the world exclusively for female composers.

The Award recipient composes an original orchestral work that is performed by the DSO in the Classical Subscription Series. The winner also receives a cash award of $10,000 and a one-month residency at the Ucross Foundation, an artist’s retreat located on the High Plains in northern Wyoming.

Recent Award recipients include Sarah Kirkland Snider, whose composition Something for the Dark was given its world premiere by the DSO and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero in April 2016, and Britta Byström, whose piece Many, Yet One is scheduled to be premiered in January 2018 under the baton of James Gaffigan. Previous Lebenbom winners are Wang Jie, Missy Mazzoli, Du Yun, Cindy McTee, Margaret Brouwer, and Stacy Garrop.

The Award is named in honor of Elaine Friedman Lebenbom, the first woman composer to earn a degree from the University of Michigan.

Submission Details
Applicants should submit a resume, completed application form (available at, sample scores of up to three completed works (one scored for full symphony orchestra), and supporting audio or visual representation of at least one (preferably the symphonic) work. Works will be judged by a committee formed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. All materials must be submitted in hard copy.
The competition is now open. The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 15, 2017. The winner will be notified by Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
For more information, visit or contact Katie Curatolo at [email protected]


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