The Intention of the GTM
Ben Steinberg Young Composer’s Award

  • To encourage gifted young Jewish composers to create worthwhile and appealing music for Jewish worship and Jewish concert programming;
  •  To encourage the composition of musically literate, Jewishly appropriate musical settings which will be of lasting, practical use for religious services or concert performances, following the compositional form and design to be announced each year;
  • To encourage Jewish communities throughout North America and beyond, to listen to, perhaps participate in, and above all to value Jewish musical expressions of quality which are reflective of its own time.

Composition Requirements

The 2021 requested work is a piece (or pieces) 3 – 8 minutes in duration for a solo voice with piano accompaniment using any Jewish text (service liturgy, poetry, prose). We are looking for melodies that are fresh, original, interesting and compelling and a piano accompaniment that demonstrates a creative and insightful use of the keyboard, while still tastefully and artistically supporting the vocal line. We welcome innovative harmonic and rhythmic motives. While using Hebrew is not required, if the composer chooses to set Hebrew text, we are looking for an understanding of the Hebrew language and its accents/syllabification. While we encourage composers to explore using Jewish modes, nusach and melodies, our jury will look at how the submitted work shows a Jewish sensibility and displays a palpable Jewish consciousness.

Because of the length of the requested work, and in our attempt to create new music that is usable in today’s synagogue and by other musical institutions such as school choirs, an option for applicants to consider is submitting multi-movement pieces, where each movement can be performed grouped together or on their own as individual pieces.

  1. Scores must be notated in full by the composer and contain all necessary dynamics, tempi, etc. (chorded “charts” or tapes are unacceptable). Composers must submit pdf files of their scores (with the composer’s name appearing only on the first page of the score) and a recording of a live performance or MIDI rendition of their submission.
  2. Candidates may submit more than one entry in any given year. A previous winner of the award may submit new work in future years, but no candidate may win the award more than twice.
  3. Submitted pieces must not have received an award in any other competition and be unpublished at the time of the scheduled performance.
  4. The jury reserves the right not to award a prize in any given year, or to declare co-winners and/or honorable mentions.

The Award

  • Cash prize between $1,500 and $2,500 (the jury will determine the amount of the award based on merit and if there is a desire to award more than one composer);

  • A performance of the winning piece(s) or a portion of the winning piece(s), a regional retreat of the American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians, at a North American Jewish Congregation, or other meaningful venue (specific place and date of premiere to be determined by the GTM);

  • Transportation and accommodation costs within North America for the winning composer to attend the performance, at which he/she agrees to be present;

  • Automatic submission of the winning piece to Transcontinental Music, for publication consideration;

  • One year’s free membership in the Guild of Temple Musicians.

Qualifications of Candidates

Applicants should be Jewish composers from any country, at least 18 years of age by the submission date, and born on or after January 1, 1985.

Criteria For Selection of Winning Entry

  • Musical worth (the value of the piece’s potential contribution to the field of Jewish Music);

  • Judaic appropriateness (Hebraic accuracy, stylistic understanding etc.);

  • Practical usability (the possibility of further performances).

Submission Directions

Submission deadline for pieces: NO LATER THAN Friday, July 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm, pacific standard time.

If further questions arise, please submit any questions to David Shukiar, GTM Vice President in charge of Special Programs. E-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]


You have reached the submission limit of 3 applications per candidate for the 2021 BSYCA .