All Competitions:


To what does the June 1st deadline refer? Posting the materials or receiving them?
The Barlow Endowment office must RECEIVE the materials before close of business on June 1st of each year. The Endowment will not consider applications received after that time. International applicants should post their materials in time to meet the deadline–the Endowment does not make exceptions for slow delivery. Additionally, the Endowment does not receive mail on Saturdays, Sundays, or US national holidays. Please plan accordingly.

What if the deadline is on a weekend or a holiday?

The June 1st deadline still holds. The Barlow Endowment operates out of Brigham Young University and does not receive mail on Saturday, Sunday, or US national holidays. If the June 1st deadline falls during a weekend or a US national holiday, all materials must be received before close of business on the Friday prior to the deadline.

For what am I applying?

Composers/performers are applying for a commission to compose a NEW work, one not yet written. The awarded contract will be between the Endowment and composer for composer fees only.

Can I apply for all of the commissions?

Composers may apply for the Prize and either a General OR an LDS commission. Composers seeking General or LDS commissions may apply for either but not both, and should submit no more than one proposal to any program.

Each submission must include a separate application and unique materials. Composers should not submit the same pieces to be reviewed for multiple Barlow competitions. (See below for answers regarding General or LDS Commission FAQs.)

Does the committee prioritize certain projects over others?

The committee does not prioritize projects. Composers should submit a single, strong application.

Do I need to send a letter of recommendation?

No.

To what does the time length in the composition description refer?

The time requirement pertains to the winning composer’s yet to be written commission and should be considered a strict requirement.

Is there an entry fee?

There is no fee for applying.

When will the results be posted?

The Endowment will notify the winners, participants, and friends of the Endowment before August 31st. These and other news will also be posted on the Endowment’s Facebook page. 

General and LDS Commissions:

Can I apply to both commissions?

Composers seeking General or LDS commissions may apply for either but not both and should submit no more than one proposal to any program.

Who may apply for a General Commission?

Composers must already have an agreement with the performer(s) for whom they will compose the new piece. Any composer, (or agent, artist or ensemble applying on behalf of a particular composer) may submit an application. There are no restrictions regarding musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion of either the composer or performer(s), nor the locale of the performance venues. The only requirement is that all requested materials be submitted together. As mentioned above, composers seeking General or LDS commissions may apply for either but not both and should submit no more than one proposal to any program.

The Endowment commissions composers who expect the premiere of the commissioned piece to occur no sooner than January 1st immediately following the awarding of the commission.

Who may apply for an LDS Commission?

Composers who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). In addition, any composer willing to engage LDS subject matter may apply. Composers must already have an agreement with the performer(s) for whom they will compose the new piece. Again, composers seeking General or LDS Commissions may apply for either but not both and should submit no more than one proposal to any program.

What is meant by LDS material?

LDS subject matter would include LDS standard scriptural works, such as the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and Hymns (the LDS hymnbook). Other texts that engage LDS theology would also be considered “LDS subject matter.”

Is there a limit to the number of composers that can apply with the same ensemble?

Any performer may apply for a commission on behalf of any composer. Judging decisions are based on a composer’s qualifications. Hence, the Endowment would prefer that applications are submitted separately rather than bundled with multiple composers in a single application; this allows the judging panel to consider the merits of each composer separate from each other.

None, one, two, three, or all of the composers may win a commission. In funding the project, applicants should prepare for any of these results when more than one application is submitted.

Below is a table with a very basic checklist of the required submission materials for each competition. The required materials must be RECEIVED before close of business on JUNE 1st of each calendar year. If the June 1st deadline falls during a weekend or a US national holiday, all materials must be received before close of business on the Friday prior to the deadline. Beneath the table is detailed information about the items on the checklist. Submission materials should be of professional quality.

Prize Materials General or LDS Materials
Exactly two (2) hard-copy scores Exactly two (2) hard-copy scores
Recordings of the two scores, indexed on one (1) CD (highly recommended) Recordings of the two scores, indexed on one (1) CD (highly recommended)
Composer Resume and biographical sketch Composer Resume and biographical sketch
Printed PDF of Online Application Printed PDF of Online Application
Letter of commitment from performer(s) (if application is submitted by composer)
OR: Letter of commitment from the composer (if application is submitted by the performer or a sponsoring organization)

All Competitions:

Do I have to submit a recording with my score?

Applications will be considered with or without recordings. Scores with recordings are considered helpful in the judging process. Composers understand how the aural expression of music might enhance its assessment. The recording must be in a format playable by a normal CD player. Live recordings are strongly encouraged, MIDI realizations are acceptable. Please remember that the judges will not be able to review DVDs, or CDs containing MP3 or MIDI files.

How should I submit my recordings?

Judges urge composers to burn a single CD containing both submitted works and to use multiple tracking for multi-movement works. Be certain the CD case lists detailed program and track information. The recording must be in a format playable by a normal CD player. Live recordings are strongly encouraged, MIDI realizations are acceptable. Please remember that the judges will not be able to review DVDs, or CDs containing MP3 or MIDI files.

Will the Endowment notify me when they receive my submission?

Due to the volume of entries, applicants will be notified of submission receipt after all of the submissions have been cataloged. This will happen no later than June 30.

Will the Endowment return my submission?

The Endowment is unable to return scores, recordings, or other materials submitted by applicants.

What is a resume of compositional activity?

A resume of compositional activity includes a listing of a composer’s catalog, performances, publications, commissions, awards, and recordings.

Prize Competition:

What two scores should I submit? Should they both pertain to the genre of the Prize competition that year?

The Barlow Endowment leaves it up to the composer to decide which two hard-copy scores they feel best represent their abilities and talents. One of these compositions (not an arrangement or recasting of an earlier work) must be no more than five-years old; at least one (not necessarily the same one) must represent the genre of the Prize competition of the year for which the composer is applying. The Endowment does not provide advice to applicants regarding which piece of music best represents them and their abilities.

Reminder: Submit EXACTLY two physical scores. No electronic scores can be accepted.

Who is eligible for a Barlow Prize?

There are no restrictions with regard to musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion. The only limitations are:

1) Composers who have won the Barlow Prize in the previous five years will not be considered in the Prize competition.

2) Members of the Barlow Boards are not eligible.

General and LDS Commissions:

Who is eligible for a General or LDS Commission?

There are no restrictions with regard to musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion. The only limitations are:

1) Members of the Barlow Boards are not eligible.

2) Barlow General of LDS commission recipients will not be considered for subsequent General or LDS commissions until the previously commissioned work has been completed.

3) Composers may not receive a Barlow General or LDS Commission for two consecutive years.

What two scores should I submit? Should they both pertain to the genre of the commission for which I am applying?

The Barlow Endowment leaves it up to the composer to decide which two hard-copy scores they feel best represent their abilities and talents. One of these compositions (not an arrangement or recasting of an earlier work) must be no more than five-years old; at least one (not necessarily the same one) must represent the genre for which they are applying. (i.e., if the composer is commissioned by a choral group, at least one of submitted scores should represent the composer’s ability to write for choral groups.)

The Endowment does not provide advice to applicants regarding which piece of music best represents them and their abilities.

Reminder: Submit EXACTLY two physical scores. No electronic scores can be accepted.

Should I submit a recording from my proposed performers?

There is no need to submit a recording from the performers. Commissions will be awarded based upon the skill of the composer.

If I am being commissioned by more than one ensemble/performer, which ensemble/performer submits the application?

Composers usually submit their own applications. However, we will consider a single application on behalf of any composer from any ensemble/performer committed to follow through with a performance of the commissioned work.

If I am working with multiple performers, do all of them need to sign the application?

The application should designate a single person from ONE of the groups who will represent all members of the consortium, should a commission be awarded.

In the supporting letter, one person from any of the performing entities may represent all performers. That representative will co-sign the contract with the composer.

All Competitions:

Does the Endowment fund only “traditionally notated” compositions?

There are no restrictions on style or notation. The Judging panel and Board of Advisors represent a broad spectrum from across the discipline and are qualified to assess any score.

General and LDS Commissions:

How much should I request for my commission?

Although the judging panel has increased requested amounts on occasion in the past, more often than not, they reduce the amounts under mutual agreement with the composer. In the appropriate place on the application, remember to list the total budget, including funding already secured and other funding you seek.

Is there an estimated amount of money given for the General and LDS Commission awards?

Recent awards have ranged between $3,000-$15,000. The judging panel may adjust amounts requested. When plans include a large expensive project it is typical to line up multiple funding sources.

How do I receive regular mailings regarding the Barlow Endowment?

Send an email to BarlowEndowment@byu.edu requesting your name be added to their mailing list. Please include your email and full address.

How do I change my address on the mailing list?

Send an email to BarlowEndowment@byu.edu requesting your address be changed on their mailing list. Please include your email and full address.

How long do I have to complete and perform my commission once it is granted? How many times does it need to be performed?

When filling out a Barlow Endowment application, composers include an estimated composition deadline date and proposed performance date(s), verified by a letter from the performer(s). The first performance cannot take place before January 1st of the competition year. Composers may only be commissioned for pieces not yet started. Projects started previously are not eligible for Endowment funding. If awarded a commission, the composer and an ensemble representative sign a contract containing those deadlines supplied in the application.

The Barlow Endowment does not specify the number of performances or the time lag between completing a commission and its premiere.

Could I receive the judge’s feedback from my submission?

The judging panel does not provide feedback for applicants.

When will the next competition be posted on the web site?

Details regarding each year’s competition will be posted September 1 of the year prior to the competition year.