orchestraThe American Prize in Composition, 2016

The American Prize in Composition recognizes and rewards the best composers in America of works for orchestra, chorus, concert band, chamber ensemble or theater music (opera-musical theater, theater, film, dance) that have been read or publicly performed.

Extended DEADLINE for postmark or emailing of application(s):
Tuesday, March 15, 2016. No need to email in advance.




NEW—you now have the option to pay application fees online—or by check or credit card.


NEW—you now have the option to fill out the application on your computer and email it directly to the office—or write by hand and send by mail.


NEW—you now have the option to provide online links to selections of your recorded music, or send recordings by mail. (Scores must still be provided by mail, however,—see individual contests for why.)



The American Prize is more than monetary. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners are announced to national arts media and on our websites, where winners are profiled. Semi-finalists, finalists and winners earn the right to use The American Prize logo and official seal on printed programs and other documents, and on the web.

SEMI-FINALISTS: All semi-finalists receive official certificates.
FINALISTS: All finalists receive certificates and written, unbiased evaluations from our distinguished national panel of judges.
RUNNERS-UP: Runners-up receive certificates, written evaluations and personalized press releases sent by us to local media and other contacts you provide as part of your application.
WINNERS: A single winner in each category and/or division is selected. Winners receive certificates, written evaluations, personalized press releases and cash prizes up to $500, depending on the year, the category and the number of entrants. Only with your explicit permission, excerpts of winning performances may be posted toThe American Prize channel on

To see how previous laureates of The American Prize have used their placement in the competitions to promote their careers, please visit

CLICK the competition names below for APPLICATION FORM and REQUIREMENTS.

categories: composers with excellent recordings of their orchestral (or choral-orchestral) music may apply for this new award—extended postmark deadline is Tuesday, May 17, 2016 for this composer contest ONLY.

categories: professional composer, student composer

categories: professional composer, student composer

categories: professional composer, student composer

categories: professional composer, student composer

Revised language for 2016 allows for works for unaccompanied SOLO INSTRUMENT or VOICE
to now be eligible in this contest.

categories: professional composer, student composer