Prize Application Rules

Who may apply for a Barlow Prize Commission?
We encourage applicants from a variety of musical aesthetics and backgrounds to apply. There are no restrictions or preferences with regard to musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, locale, or political persuasion. Composers may apply for the Prize and either a General OR a Latter-day Saints commission. 

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.  If a change needs to be made after the composer submits the application, the composer will need to submit a new application for that particular commission and inform the Endowment via email of their new submission.

Are any additional costs covered by the Barlow Endowment?
We understand that there are several costs beyond the composer’s commission fee in the creation of new music. These can include such things as travel, production costs for performers, rental of venues, securing rights for libretti and text, and the copying and duplication of instrumental parts.  Since the Barlow Endowment’s charter designates that works in our commissioning categories (the Barlow Prize, General and Latter-day Saint Commissions) only be awarded funds for the composer’s commission amount, we are unable to fund any of the additional costs beyond these awards.

General and Latter-day Saints Application Rules

Who may apply for a General Commission?
We encourage applicants from a variety of musical aesthetics and backgrounds to apply. There are no restrictions or preferences with regard to musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, locale, or political persuasion. Composers may apply for the Prize and either a General OR a Latter-day Saints commission. 

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 Latter-day Saints Commission will not be considered for subsequent General or Latter-day Saint commissions until the previously commissioned work has been completed. 
  3. Composers may not receive a Barlow General or Latter-day Saints Commission in 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 March 1st following an award from the Barlow Endowment.
  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 a Latter-day Saints Commission?
Latter-day Saints commissions are for composers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All other guidelines and requirements are the same as for a General Commission. Composers may apply for the Prize and either a Latter-day Saints OR a General commission. 

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.  If a change needs to be made after the composer submits the application, the composer will need to submit a new application for that particular commission and inform the Endowment via email of their new submission.

How much should I request for my commission?
The Barlow Endowment does not provide assistance in deciding what your commission request amount should be. If you need guidance calculating a  commission amount to request click HERE for a commissioning fee calculator.

Are any additional costs covered by the Barlow Endowment?
We understand that there are several costs beyond the composer’s commission fee in the creation of new music. These can include such things as travel, production costs for performers, rental of venues, securing rights for libretti and text, and the copying and duplication of instrumental parts.  Since the Barlow Endowment’s charter designates that works in our commissioning categories (the Barlow Prize, General and Latter-day Saints Commissions) only be awarded funds for the composer’s commission amount, we are unable to fund any of the additional costs beyond these awards.

What does the letter of commitment need to indicate?
The letter of commitment needs to be written by the party NOT submitting the application.  If the composer is submitting the application, it should be written by the performer indicating that the performer agrees to premiere the new work.  If the performer is submitting the application, it should be written by the composer indicating they agree to create a new work for the performer.

Commissions

When will the next competition be posted on the web site?
Details regarding each year’s competition will be posted after January 15 of 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 a Latter-day Saints commission. Composers seeking General or Latter-day Saints commissions may apply for either but not both. 

Can I apply for a commission for a work in progress?
No. Composers can only be commissioned for pieces not yet started when the commission is awarded. Projects started previously are not eligible for Endowment funding.

Is there a limit to the number of composers that can apply with the same ensemble?
There can only be one application submitted for a composer in any commission category. Any performer may apply for a commission on behalf of a composer with whom they have an agreement for writing the work. Performers may work with more than one composer submitting applications for a commission with them. If performers are considering a large consortium of composers, applications should be submitted separately for each composer. Judging decisions are always based on a composer’s qualifications. Any number of the composers writing for the same performer may win a commission in any given competition year.

If I am being commissioned by a consortium of ensembles or performers, who submits the application?
In this instance a composer would usually submit their own application OR one representative of any ensemble/performer who is part of the consortium that has committed to perform of the work may submit on behalf of the composer.  There can only be one application submitted for a composer in any 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 (for purposes of the Barlow General Commission award and contract). In the event of the award, that representative will co-sign the contract with the composer.

How much should I request for my commission?
The Barlow Endowment does not provide assistance in deciding what your commission request amount should be.  If you need guidance calculating a commission amount to request click HERE for a commissioning fee calculator.

Are any additional costs covered by the Barlow Endowment?
We understand that there are several costs beyond the composer’s commission fee in the creation of new music. These can include such things as travel, production costs for performers, rental of venues, securing rights for libretti and text, and the copying and duplication of instrumental parts.  Since the Barlow Endowment’s charter designates that works in our commissioning categories (the Barlow Prize, General and Latter-day Saints Commissions) only be awarded funds for the composer’s commission amount, we are unable to fund any of the additional costs beyond these awards.

Deadlines

What exactly is meant by the annual June 1  deadline?
The Barlow Endowment office must RECEIVE the materials electronically before midnight Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) annually on June 1—the application will close automatically at 11:59 pm (MDT) June 1. The Endowment does not make exceptions for submissions delayed because of natural disasters, faulty internet or  applicant neglect. It is solely the applicant’s responsibility to apply prior to the deadline. Please plan accordingly.

What if the deadline is on a weekend or a holiday?
The 11:59 pm (MDT) June 1 deadline still holds. 

Will the Endowment notify me when they receive my submission?
Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we do not send individual notifications that applications have been received.  However, the application system sends a confirmation email after submission. If you do not receive one, check your spam/junk folders and filters. It may take a few hours to receive it. 

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 submitted electronically before midnight (MDT) on June 1. Beneath the table is detailed information about the items on the checklist. Submission materials should be of professional quality.

Prize Materials General or Latter-day Saints Materials
Exactly two (2)  scores TOTAL (1 copy of each score) uploaded
in a PDF format. One must be no more than 5 years old (originally written, not a revision.)
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) scores TOTAL (1 copy of each score) uploaded
in a PDF format. One must be no more than 5 years old (originally written, not a revision.)
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 should be uploaded with the application form in .aac, .m4a or .mp3 formats. MIDI realizations are discouraged but acceptable this year. Recordings should be uploaded with the application form in .aac, .m4a or .mp3 formats. MIDI realizations are discouraged but acceptable this year.
Composer list of compositional activity and brief biographical sketch uploaded in a pdf format. Composer list of compositional activity and brief biographical sketch uploaded in a pdf format.
Optional video links uploaded in a pdf format. Optional video links uploaded in a pdf format.

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 title the uploaded files? 

  • In preparation for your application, please have the following items ready to upload:
    • PDFs of scores (titled: Composerlastname Firstname Score Scoretitle) ex. Doe Jane Score Here Comes the Sun
    • MP3 or AAC sound files of scores (titled: Composerlastname Firstname Recording Scoretitle) ex. Doe Jane Recording Here Comes the Sun
    • Brief biography – one page (titled: Composerlastname Firstname Bio) ex. Doe Jane Bio
    • List of compositional activities (titled: Composerlastname Firstname List) ex. Doe Jane List
    • A PDF of commitment letter from the ensemble/performer or composer (titled: Composerlastname Firstname Commitment letter) ex. Doe Jane Commitment letter
    • OPTIONAL: A PDF of a video link if audio files are not available (titled: Composerlastname Firstname Video Scoretitle) ex. Doe Jane Video Here Comes the Sun

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

What is a list of compositional activity?
A list 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?
Since commissions are awarded based upon the skill of the composer, recordings from performers are unnecessary. 

Can I email my scores or recordings?
All materials must be uploaded electronically in the application before it is submitted.

What does the letter of commitment need to indicate?
The letter of commitment needs to be written by the party NOT submitting the application.  If the composer is submitting the application, it should be written by the performer indicating that the performer agrees to premiere the new work.  If the performer is submitting the application, it should be written by the composer indicating they agree to create a new work for the performer. 

Recordings and Scores

Do I have to submit a recording with my score?
Applications will NOT be considered without recordings.

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 PDF 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 genre for which you are applying. It need not be exact, but the judges want to see 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 (originally written, not a revision).

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

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.

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. Live recordings are encouraged; MIDI realizations are discouraged but acceptable this year. They should be in .aac, .m4a or .mp3 (NOT .mp4) formats only. If the audio cannot be separated from a video, a video link in a pdf format is acceptable.

How should I title my MP3 uploads?
Title recording uploads as “Composerlastname Firstname Recording Scoretitle” 

What if I need to change my scores and/or uploaded recordings ?
Any change in scores or recordings after an application has been submitted will require the submission of a new application. Inform the Barlow Endowment via email at barlowendowment@byu.edu that you have submitted a REPLACEMENT application and that you would like the original to be discarded.

What if my work has more than one movement to upload on my application?
According to our application, you may upload only one recording for each composition submitted. Please decide which portion/movement you want to submit for the judges to evaluate.  You can add notations on the score to indicate the section heard in the recording.

What if I decide to submit more than two scores?
The application will not allow you to submit more than two scores. 

Can I email my scores or recordings?
All materials must be uploaded electronically in the application before it is submitted.

Competition Results

When will the results be posted?
The Endowment will notify the winners, participants, and friends of the Endowment before August 31. These announcements 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?
Unfortunately, the judging panel is unable to 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). The first performance cannot take place before March 1 following the competition year. 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 Latter-day Saints Commission awards?
Recent awards have ranged between $3,000-$11,000. The judging panel may adjust amounts requested. When plans include a large expensive project it is typical for composers 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 our mailing list. Please include your email and full mailing 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 mailing address.