Society for New Music


Brian Israel Award

The Society for New Music and the New York Federation of Music Clubs seek to encourage promising New York State composers of student age or those just beginning their professional careers.

Eligibility and Award
The competition is open to any composer currently living in New York State (students currently studying in New York State ARE eligible), born on or after May 1, 1987. Composers must submit music that has not previously been performed by the Society for New Music. Two awards of $750 will be made. Also, each of the two prize-winning composers will be performed by the Society for New Music during the 2017-2018 season.

Application and Deadline
Only online submissions are accepted, through this link, and must be received no later than May 1, 2017.


  1. Anonymous submission. The composer's name is not to appear anywhere on the manuscript itself, nor on any accompanying recording. Please identify the score by marking it with a pseudonym.
  2. Online registration and submission. Go to this this online form to provide required information.
  3. Works should be concert music for one to seven performers, in any combination of instruments, electronic or digital instruments, and/or solo voices. Choral music will not be considered.
  4. Submissions not complying with the rules of the competition will be disqualified, as will scores not meeting minimum professional standards of notation.

A panel of composers, conductors and performers will judge compositions on originality, artistic promise, technical skill and effectiveness in performance. The judges reserve the right to recommend that no award be given. Their decision will be announced in June 2017.

Parts are the responsibility of the winning composers and must be available by September 1, 2017. The winning composers will each be expected to attend one rehearsal and the performance.

For inquiries, contact Samuel Pellman, Hamilton College Department of Music, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323.

so who's brian israel?

Brian Israel, 1951-1986, a pianist, composer, and conductor who performed with the Society for New Music for many years, received his MFA and DMA degrees from Cornell University. A native of the Bronx, he studied with Lawrence Widdoes, Ulysses Kay, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips and Karel Husa. He joined the Syracuse University School of Music faculty upon completion of his graduate studies, and remained there until his untimely death from leukemia at age 35. He was a popular and much-loved professor. A prolific composer, Brian won several awards and received numerous commissions, among them a commission from the Society for New Music. Several of his works have been recorded on Spectrum, Redwood, and Pro-Viva.

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