BMI Student Composer Awards Program

Award Amount
Application deadline
Awarded By:

BMI Foundation, Inc.

Number of Awards & Eligibility: The number of awards offered varies annually.
In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
  1. This award is for international and U.S. students.
  2. Must be a citizen of a country in the Western Hemisphere. This includes North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean Island nations, and the Hawaiian Islands.
  3. Must be 27 years of age or younger as of the application deadline date.
  4. Must be enrolled in accredited public, private, or parochial secondary schools, accredited colleges, or conservatories of music; or engaged in the private study of music with a recognized and established teacher (other than a relative).
  5. Must have a strong interest in musical composition.

In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:

Description: This competition for original musical compositions is open to citizens of countries in the Western Hemisphere that are 27 years of age or under as of the application deadline. Entrants must be studying music either in an educational institution or with a private teacher.

Application requirements for the BMI Student Composer Awards Program are:

  • Application form
  • Original music composition
Additional Information: No fewer than three judges of competence shall pass on the merits of compositions submitted. The decisions and conclusions of the judges shall be final. Compositions will be judged on evidence of true creative talent. Academic finesse, while not disregarded, will be considered secondary to vital musicality and clarity of expression of the composer's work. There is no limitation whatsoever on style. The judges will take into account: formal content of the composition (i.e., the continuity and coherent expression of the composer's ideas; melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic idioms as judged solely in terms of their consistency and suitability for the intent of the particular composition; instrumentation, orchestration, and vocal writing as judged on the suitability of the choice and use of instruments or voices to the ideas presented in the composition; and the age of the composer at the time of completion of the manuscript. When two compositions are of equal merit in the opinion of the judges, but there is an age disparity, preference will be given to the younger contestant. Winners will be notified in May, and a press release listing winners will be posted online. All composers must be potential first-time winners or prior winners of this award no more than two times. Any composer having won this award three times previously is not eligible to enter the contest again (Honorable Mention excluded).

Award Amount: Prizes total $20,000, and may range from $500 to $5,000. All awards are non-renewable. The judges shall have the right to determine the amount of each award to be given and the number of such awards to be made, as well as the right to make no awards or to make awards totaling less than such full amount.  The total dollars awarded for this scholarship is $20,000.

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Sunday, February 5, 2023

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Sunday, February 5, 2023

Applications are only accepted online. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on the deadline date.
About BMI Foundation, Inc.:
Contact Information: Deirdre Chadwick, Director
Address: 7 World Trade Center 250 Greenwich St. New York, New York 10007-0030

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