Prize Application Rules

Who may apply for a Barlow Prize Commission?
There are no restrictions or preferences 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. The Barlow Endowment is only able to grant commissions to composers who are not included among the premiering performers, conductors, directors, or agents of the commissioned work.
  3. Members of the Barlow Boards are not eligible.

Can I change my application once it is submitted?
Because the Endowment receives hundreds of applications for three commissions, it is difficult to make changes to individual applications.  Therefore, composers should be judicious with the information, scores, recordings, and letters of commitment they enter on their application before they submit the electronic application.

General and LDS Application Rules

Who may apply for a General Commission?
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. 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 only limitations are:

  1. The Barlow Endowment is only able to grant commissions to composers who are not included among the premiering performers, conductors, directors, or agents of the commissioned work.
  2. Recipients of previous General or LDS Commission 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. 
  4. Current members of the Barlow Boards are not eligible to apply.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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.

Can I change my application once it is submitted?
Because the Endowment receives hundreds of applications for three commissions, it is difficult to make changes to individual applications.  Therefore, composers should be judicious with the information, scores, recordings, and letters of commitment they enter on their application before they submit the electronic application.

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.”

Commissions

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.

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.

May 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 in separately marked packages (but can be mailed together). Composers should not submit the same pieces to be reviewed for multiple Barlow competitions. 

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.

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.  There can only be one application submitted for a composer for each commissioned category.

If I am working with multiple performers, whom do I list on the application?
The application should designate a single person from ONE of the groups who will represent all groups in the consortium, should a commission be awarded. In the letter of commitment, that person will represent all performers. In the event of the award, that representative will co-sign the contract with the composer.

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.

Deadlines

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 is open M-F, 8am-5pm (Mountain Time), and does not receive mail on Saturday, Sunday, or US national holidays. The Endowment does not make exceptions for submissions delayed because of natural disasters, faulty internet or mail services operations, applicant neglect, or country customs legalities. 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.

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 15.

Submission Materials and Requirements

Do I need to send a letter of recommendation?
No.

Is there an entry fee?
There is no fee for applying.

What materials do I submit with my application?
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. All materials must arrive together in one package.  Incomplete submissions (packages) will not be reviewed. 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 TOTAL (1 copy of each score)

For an electronic music composition where there is no traditional score, the composer should submit corresponding program notes that describe the particular programming or software medium used to compose the work, as well as any source material.

Exactly two (2) hard-copy scores TOTAL (1 copy of each score)

For an electronic music composition where there is no traditional score, the composer should submit corresponding program notes that describe the particular programming or software medium used to compose the work, as well as any source material.

Recordings, if included, should be uploaded with the application form in .aac or .mp3 formats. Recordings, if included, should be uploaded with the application form in .aac or .mp3 formats.
Composer Résumé of compositional activity and brief biographical sketch Composer Résumé of compositional activity and brief biographical sketch
Printed PDF of Online Application Printed PDF of Online Application

If the COMPOSER fills out the application, a letter of commitment from the ensemble/performer must be uploaded to the application form.

If the ENSEMBLE/PERFORMER fills out the application, a letter of commitment from the composer must be uploaded to the application form.

What should I do if I do not receive a confirmation email?
Applicants should check in any junk or spam folders if a confirmation email is not received. If the confirmation email is still not found, contact us at barlowendowment@byu.edu. Please do not submit a second application.

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

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.

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.

Will the Endowment return my submission?
The Endowment is unable to return scores or other materials submitted by applicants.

Recordings and Scores

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. The guidelines state:

Of the two works you submit, one should be your best work (regardless of instrumentation).

The other should be your best work that is closest to the consortium/performer requirement for which you are applying. It need not be exact, but can feature the category in another context. The judges will be interested in seeing how you handle the instrument(s) in as close a context as you can show.

Additionally, one of these two chosen compositions (not an arrangement or recasting of an earlier work) must be no more than five (5) years old.

For an electronic music composition where there is no traditional score, the composer should submit corresponding program notes that describe the particular programming or software medium used to compose the work, as well as any source material.

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 will be accepted.

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. Live recordings are encouraged; MIDI realizations are discouraged. Judges will not review videos, DVDs or CDs.

How do I submit an electronic music composition that does not have a physical score?

For an electronic music composition where there is no traditional score, the composer should submit corresponding program notes that describe the particular programming or software medium used to compose the work, as well as any source material.

How should I submit my recordings with my application?
Recordings are uploaded as part of the application form. They should be in .aac or .mp3 (NOT .mp4) formats only. Please remember, judges will NOT review videos, DVDs or CDs.

How should I title my MP3 uploads?
Title uploads as “composerlastname_scoretitle.” If there are multiple movements, title uploads as “composerlastname_scoretitle_movement(#).” Titles may be typed in upper-case or lower-case, and the score title must be clearly identifiable.

Does the Endowment consider only “traditionally notated” submission work?
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.

For an electronic music composition where there is no traditional score, the composer should submit corresponding program notes that describe the particular programming or software medium used to compose the work, as well as any source material.

What if I need to change my scores and/or uploaded recordings ?
Composers will need to submit a new application and inform the Barlow Endowment via email at barlowendowment@byu.edu. 

Note: If you close your application before submitting it, when you come back to it you will need to re-upload your recordings and then “submit.”

What if my work has more than four movements to upload on my application?

According to our application, you may upload only four movements for each composition submitted. Please decide which portions you want to submit for the judge to evaluate.  You can use post it notes on the score so they know which segments you want them to listen.

What if I decide to submit more than two scores?

Your application will not be considered.

Competition Results

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 website and Facebook page. 

Could I receive the judge’s feedback from my submission?
The judging panel does not provide feedback for applicants.

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 following 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.

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.

Mailing List

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.