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 living in New York State, born on or after May 1, 1985, whose music has not been previously performed by the Society for New Music. Two awards will be made: one for $750 and another for $250. Also, each of the two prize-winning compositions will be performed by the Society for New Music during the 2015-2016 season.

Application and Deadline
Send score and CD or cassette recording (strongly recommended, if available), postmarked no later than May 1, 2015, to:
Brian M. Israel Prize
c/o Samuel Pellman
Hamilton College Department of Music
198 College Hill Rd.
Clinton, NY 13323


  1. Anonymous submission. The composer's name is not to appear anywhere on the manuscript itself, nor on any accompanying recording. A composer may submit only one work.
  2. Online registration. Go to this online form to provide required information.
  3. Works should be concert music for one to seven performers, in any combination of instruments, tape, and/or solo voices. Choral music will not be considered.
  4. The Society for New Music assumes no responsibility for the safety of the materials submitted. Materials will be returned only if accompanied by self-addressed mailer and sufficient postage (SASE).
  5. 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 2015.

Parts are the responsibility of the winning composers and must be available by September 1, 2015. The winning composers will each be expected to attend one rehearsal and the performance.

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.

other grants

Symphony in C Young Composers' Competition 2015-16
Deadline: August 1, 2015

• Performance of the winning work by Symphony in C, conducted by Music Director Stilian Kirov, on September 26, 2015.
• Subsequent broadcast/webcast by WRTI-FM and
• Professional archival recording of the performance.
• Domestic airfare and hotel accommodations to attend rehearsals and concert.
• Winning work to be considered by Theodore Presser Company for inclusion in its rental library.

• Only composers born after September 26, 1985 may apply.
• Works with a performance history are eligible.
• Instrumentation may not exceed 3-2-2-2 (incl. standard doublings), 4-3-3-1, timpani, 3 percussion, harp, and strings. Please note the maximum orchestration is slightly different from previous years.
• Works with soloists are not eligible. An FAQ about instrumentation details is online at
• Only US citizens, permanent residents, and current foreign students at American schools may apply.
• Duration should be between 8 and 15 minutes.
• The winning composer must provide 2 full scores and a full set of parts, with a sufficient string count.
• The winning composer may be asked to participate in educational outreach programs during the week of rehearsals.
• Scores must be of a legibility suitable for efficient rehearsal and performance. Parts must be carefully proofread, and of a legibility suitable for efficient rehearsal and performance, with good page turns, and ample rehearsal numbers and cues. We recommend that all entrants consult our guidelines for preparing score and parts. You can download a copy at

• Send all materials to Symphony in C Young Composers' Competition, 576 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108. Packages must be postmarked by August 1, 2015.
• Submit 2 copies of the full score and 1 copy of a sample instrumental part. Only one work may be submitted by each composer. Scores must be submitted as hard copy, not as digital files.
• A stamped, addressed return envelope must be enclosed for return of all materials. Submissions sent without a return envelope will not be returned.
• Two copies of a recorded performance or reading session, or a piano or midi demo tape are preferred, but are not required. Recordings must be sent as an Audio CD.
• Each application must include a completed entry form, available at
• Supplementary bio materials (2 copies) may be enclosed but are not required.
• Previous winners are not eligible.
• Any questions about the application process should be directed to Daniel Dorff, Composer-in-Residence, at 610-306-9480, or Please do not direct general inquiries to the orchestra office.

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