Women come in all shapes and sizes, and one competition is sensitive to this fact. The International Alliance for Women in Music hosts an annual Search for New Music Competition with categories ranging from chamber and orchestral works to electroacoustic media and improvisation. No longer does the high-schooler compete against the seasoned professional, or the sound installation piece compete with a string quartet. Eight categories aim to cover a wide range of music and composers, the only restriction to enter being the lack of a Y chromosome. This year, diversity ruled with ninety entries from Austria, Sweden, Italy, South Korea, Australia, England, and the United States.
Below is a complete list of categories and winners.
Theodore Front Prize, $300—Chihchun Chi-sun Lee: Dots, Lines, Convergences—Concerto for Chinese Zheng and Chamber Ensemble
This prize, for a woman no younger than 22, is given for chamber and orchestral works.
Miriam Gideon Prize, $300—Maria A. Niederberger: Full Pockets—A Song Cycle for Soprano, Harp and Flute
Wisdom will get you everywhere here. This prize is given for works written for solo voice and one to five instruments, composed by a woman at the minimum age of 50.
Libby Larsen Prize, $200—Pui-shan Cheung: Dia Pai Dong
If you’re currently enrolled in school, you’re eligible for this prize. Any medium goes.
New Genre Prize, $200—Joanne Cannon: Children of Grainger
Let your creative juices run wild. This prize is given for innovation in form or style, including improvisation, multimedia, or the use of non-traditional notation.
Pauline Oliveros Prize, $150—Jing Wang: LU
Got a buzzing in your ear? Then this prize, given for electroacoustic media, might be for you.
PatsyLu Prize, $500—Ingrid Stolzel: Guilty Pleasures
This prize is for women of color and/or lesbians.
Judith Lang Zaimont Prize, $400—Erin Gee: Mouthpiece VII
If you’re over 30 and just getting on board the composition bandwagon, this prize might be of interest. Given for extended instrumental compositions, meaning large solo or chamber works, only women in or out of school, age 30 and up, whose music has not yet been recorded or published can apply.
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Prize, $200—Becky Lipsitz: Many Waters
Young and talented? This prize is given to women 21 and younger for a composition of any medium.
The panel of judges consisted of Joan Huang, Daniel Rothman, Ronit Kirchman, and Larry Karush. The prizes are named after successful woman composers, some of whom fund their own awards, said Mary Lou Newmark, chairman for the Search for New Music 2006. There is no hierarchy to the awards, but the prize money ranges from $150 to $500. Membership in IAWM is required to enter the competition, but contestants may join at the time of entry.
Guidelines for the 2007 competition will be announced in the fall. Check out their new website at www.iawm.org