<September 2015>


The Lebenbom Award

The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers 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.

The Award recipient will compose an original orchestral work for performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on its Classical Subscription Series. In addition, the winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000. The Elaine Lebenbom Award is the only annual symphony sponsored award in the world exclusively for female composers.

Selection Process

Applicants are asked to submit a resume, completed application form, 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.

Please note that the Application Deadline has been extended to March 15, 2015. Winning composer will be notified by July, 2015.

The winning composer will receive a cash award of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Five thousand dollars ($5,000) will be paid to the winning composer upon acceptance and the remaining five thousand ($5,000) will be paid upon delivery of the parts and score to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The winning composer will also receive a one-month residency at the Ucross Foundation, an internationally known artist's retreat located on the High Plains in northern Wyoming.

download application form/brochure (PDF)

To order brochures or for any questions, please contact Katie Curatolo: kcuratolo@dso.org or (313) 576-5475.


The work composed by the winning composer will be performed by the DSO on its 2016-2017 Classical Subscription Series. The composer will be required to be in Detroit for all rehearsals and performances and will agree to participate in education activities, pre-concert lectures, symposiums, etc, as requested by the DSO. The composer's travel and housing expenses will be paid by the DSO.

The winning composer will be responsible for professionally copying the work to specifications provided by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The composer (or publisher of the work) will be reimbursed a maximum of $10,000 for copying costs upon submission of receipts from the publisher.