- Composers of all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds, genders, ages and levels of experience are eligible to submit a proposal for consideration.
- Eligible composers must prove within the body of their submission the relevancy of their proposed composition to the Prize theme – a celebration of the diversity and richness of humanity’s cultural heritage through music.
- Proposals that explore other musical cultures outside the composer’s “home” culture are eligible, provided that the proposal demonstrates a respectful and responsible approach free of cultural misappropriation.
All Proposal Packages must include:
- a complete application form;
- a current curriculum vitae (CV) highlighting relevant training, experience, performances and awards;
- a one-page works list detailing a key selection of the composer’s original and completed musical works, their premiere dates and recordings, where applicable;
- a proposal text (not to exceed 1 000 words) describing the proposed work, including pertinent technical and aesthetic details, as well as an explanation of the proposed work’s relevance to the Prize theme;
- proof of permission to use any cultural materials (e.g. text, music, audio recordings, or the like) that might appear in the finished work where such materials are not originally created by the applicant; and
- scores and audio recordings for two examples of the applicant’s past musical works:
- Selected examples should demonstrate the applicant’s aptitude for writing choral music.
- Scores must be submitted in PDF format, audio recordings in MP3 format.
- MIDI or piano reduction recordings may be submitted where live audio recordings are unavailable.
- Optional: Submissions may be accompanied by no more than two letters of reference.
Guidelines for Proposals
All proposed works must meet the following guidelines to be given consideration by the Jury. Any proposed work that does not meet these guidelines will be disqualified.
- Proposals must be for new works yet-to-be-written (i.e. the work may not be completed at the time of submission.)
- Proposed works must be a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes and a maximum of twenty (20) minutes in duration.
- Proposed works must be scored for the musical forces of the OSM Chorus:
- SATB up to forty-eight (48) choristers, twelve (12) choristers per section;
- Maximum of three (3) divisi per section; and
- Chorister solos of up to sixteen (16) measures per section are permitted
- In addition, works may also include:
- Up to four (4) additional instrument and/or soloists (vocal and/or instrumental); and
- pre-recorded digital media
- Proposed works must not exceed fifty-two (52) musicians in total
The composer who wins the Azrieli International Commission agrees to:
- engage in the composition of their proposed work during the time allotted between their announcement as a 2024 AMP Laureate and the deadline for submitting the score and parts to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for the AMP Gala Concert;
- report periodically to the Azrieli Foundation’s Manager, Music, Arts and Culture Initiatives, including identifying any major deviations from the original proposal over the course of its composition, so that such deviations may be adequately discussed and addressed;
- have their work premiered as part of the 2024 AMP Gala Concert; premiered as part of two additional international concerts; and professionally audio recorded, mixed and mastered for a future commercial release;
- be available in person (either physically or virtually, as conditions dictate) for the rehearsals and performances of their Prize-winning work;
- grant the Azrieli Foundation the right to serve as primary commissioner, thereby retaining certain performance rights for the premieres as well as first recording rights; and
- participate in outreach events, workshops, press conferences, media interviews, video shoots, and other such promotional and educational activities as they relate to the Azrieli Music Prizes and its objectives to inform the general public about the enduring appeal and artistic importance of the works that result from engaging with the Prize theme
Letters of Reference (optional)
No more than two referees may submit letters on behalf of the applicant. All letters should clearly indicate the applicant’s name as follows:
“(Candidate’s Name) Letter of Reference, Azrieli Commission for International Music”
All letters of reference should be received via the AMP application portal online at https://azrielifoundation.getacceptd.com.
Some Considerations for a Successful Submission
In addition to the guidelines and requirements stated above, the AMP Juries have provided the following considerations to help shape a more successful submission:
- The Azrieli Music Prizes are open to all composers. The Juries welcome and encourage people from all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds, genders, ages and levels of experience to apply their artistry, creativity and musicality in response to the Prize theme. One of the Foundation’s hopes for AMP is to generate productive intercultural understanding through a rich consideration of what cultural expression through music is and can be.
- Carefully consider the guiding notes in addressing reflections on what constitutes International music. A successful submission will suggest an interesting, appropriate yet compelling response to these reflections in the shape of a musical work. We are calling on composers to extend their creativity, curiosity and thoughtfulness in expressing their response. We are also calling for a deeper, purposeful and conscious consideration of cultural values and experiences that extend beyond simple representations of secular, sacred and/or traditional musical materials. We are seeking proposals that are authentic, original, honest and convincing. In particular, proposals that address the preservation of endangered cultural expressions will be given special attention by the Jury.
- A proposal package must be conceptually and musically balanced. Strong musical examples accompanied by an insubstantial and/or ill-researched proposal text will not succeed within the competition. The inverse is also true: a strong proposal text will not compensate for weak musical examples. The two must go hand-in-hand.
- Please note that the quality of submitted scores and recordings greatly affects the Jury’s ability to evaluate your proposal. Please be sure that submitted scores are easily legible and that recordings are as clear and undistorted as possible. If the quality of the score or sound is so low that it is difficult to ascertain the artistic product, this will impact negatively on the adjudication.
- Please ensure that the CV and musical examples demonstrate an ability to compose for the available musical forces described in these guidelines (i.e. choral music for mixed voices up to 48 singers plus an additional four musicians maximum.)
Review Process and Criteria
Once received, submissions are first registered and screened by our staff for eligibility and completeness.
Submissions are then pre-screened by a small team of staff and Jury members to evaluate their fit and relevancy to Prize theme and guidelines. Those submissions that clear the pre-screening process are then delivered as qualified submissions to the AMP International Music Jury for evaluation.
The Jury reviews and grades the qualified submissions using the following criteria: Artistic Merit, Technical Merit, Thematic Fit and Capacity to Deliver. These criteria are separately weighted to arrive at a score out of 100.
Artistic Merit (60 points)
This is the most important criteria the Jury applies to its evaluations. It is directly tied to the composer’s proven ability to write original choral music of high artistic merit.
The Jury will determine:
- the level of creativity displayed in the conceptual, formal/structural and musical ideas of each qualified submission;
- the level of authenticity, originality and distinctiveness displayed in the composer’s artistic voice;
- the composer’s ability to work successfully within the complex format of Choral music (i.e. music for mixed voices, from 12-48 singers, plus additional instruments); and
- the ability of the submitted musical examples to sustain a listener’s attention over their entire length; and
- the composer’s facility in generating high-quality and professional musical material based on the 2024 AMP guidelines for instrumentation and duration.
Technical Merit (15 points)
The Jury will evaluate each qualified submission with the aim of identifying how well thought-out it is in regard to its use of form, rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, dynamics, articulations and orchestration. They will evaluate these elements especially regarding how well they express or positively reinforce the composer’s purpose and intentions for the proposed work.
Thematic Fit (15 points)
The Jury will evaluate whether the qualified submission offers a topical and original fit to the objectives of the Azrieli Music Prizes based on the approved guidelines and statement of what it determines to constitute International music.
Capacity (10 points)
The Jury will evaluate the qualified submissions for the candidates’ ability to execute the project as proposed. Given the circumstances of requesting a commission and its premiere performance, can the proposal be realistically and successfully achieved? Does the composer demonstrate enough previous experience to assure the Jury that they will deliver on their proposal in the time allotted and with high artistic and technical results? Those proposals for which the Jury can answer these questions in the affirmative will advance in the competition.
All decisions made by the AMP Juries are final and non-negotiable.
There is no appeal process.
What is International Music?
For the purpose of the Azrieli Music Prizes, the Azrieli Foundation defines ‘International music’ as broadly as possible, taking into account the rich and diverse range of humanity’s cultural expressions. Such expressions may vary broadly, and can include historical, sacred, secular, popular, indigenous and/or folk elements.
The Foundation understands International music as being deeply rooted in individual histories, rituals and traditions, yet progressive and dynamic. Therefore, it encourages themes and content drawn from contemporary life and experiences, including those that address future aspirations.
International music can:
- be based purposefully and consciously on musical materials traditionally perceived as belonging to a specific community, region, nation or culture;
- incorporate sacred or secular musical materials from numerous traditions;
- be based on historical subjects, events, characters, legends or themes;
- incorporate ritual/religious practices, traditions, texts and/or symbols;
- draw on languages and/or dialects;
- include or be founded upon cultural texts and literature (e.g. prose, poetry or dramatic writings);
- evoke other cultural forms such as dance/movement, theatre/spoken word, fashion/dress and culinary practices;
- depict in musical terms visual images of cultural connection, such as landscapes, built heritage and scenes of everyday life;
- give voice to culturally specific ideas or concepts; and/or
- have been composed expressly for a commemoration, celebration, ceremony, or other occasion – conceived in some way to represent the nature of that occasion.
For more information about the Azrieli Music Prizes please contact:
Phone: 1-(416)-322-5928 ext. 326
Azrieli Music Prizes
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