Applications now open for DSO's Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers

- Materials must be received by October 30, 2018; winner will be selected by January 1, 2019

Detroit, (September 13, 2018) – Applications are now open for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) tenth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers.The Award 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 Lebenbom Award is the only of its type among major orchestras and includes the commission of a new orchestral piece to be premiered by the DSO; a $10,000 cash prize; and a one-month residency at the Ucross Foundation, an acclaimed arts retreat in northern Wyoming.

Participants must submit a resume; a completed application form; sample scores of up to three completed works, including one scored for full symphony; and supporting audio and/or video representation of at least one, preferably the symphonic work. Submitted entries are judged by a committee formed by the DSO.

Applications must be received by October 30, 2018. The winner will be selected by January 1, 2019.

An application form is available online at The completed application form and all application materials must be submitted by mail to the following address:

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Attn: Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award
3711 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
United States of America

Visit for more information, or contact Catherine Miller (; 313-576-5475).

About The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award 

The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award was inspired by composer, teacher, poet, artist, and lecturer Elaine Lebenbom, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, MI, who died in 2002. Despite her talent as a composer, making a career was diffi­cult for Lebenbom: she faced overt sexism and discrimination in the musical field, often having pieces rejected or rescinded upon orchestras learning she was a woman. But she persisted, ultimately earning praise as both a composer and tireless advocate for women’s representation in the arts.

The Award was created in 2006 to honor Lebenbom’s memory, talent, and activism. The most recent recipient is New Zealand-Canadian composer, sound artist, and performer Juliet Palmer, whose commissioned piece will be premiered by the DSO and Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin at the 2018-2019 Season finale in June 2019.

Previous winners of the award include, from first to most recent:

- Stacy Garrop

- Margaret Brouwer

- Cindy McTee

- Du Yun

- Missy Mazzoli

- Wang Jie

- Sarah Kirkland Snider

- Britta Byström

About the DSO

Hailed by the New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. The 2017-2018 Season marked Slatkin’s tenth and final year in the role, and in 2018-2019 he returns as Music Director Laureate. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor, while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast, and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.