Call for Submissions!

Henri Lazarof once said, “The world is big enough for all kinds of composers. … I try to always write for new instrumental forces — to search out the limits of the performer and one’s own limits as a composer.” The Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize will provide support to composers attempting to do the same today.

The annual prize is for the composition of an original work for select instruments. The specific instrumentation will change each year to complement an existing work by Henri Lazarof, and the commissioned piece will be performed alongside Lazarof’s work.

Instrumentation for the 2021 prize is a quintet for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (or any subset of these instruments). Electronic music components and/or multimedia may also be included. The winner will be awarded a $15,000 commission prize, and the winning composition will be performed at Brandeis University in the spring of 2022.


There are no restrictions regarding age, gender, nationality or race. Members of the Commission Prize jury, Brandeis faculty and students currently enrolled at Brandeis University are ineligible. Each candidate may submit only one application. 

to apply

All candidates must submit the following materials online no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on January 31, 2021:

  1. Two scores and recordings of two works (details below) that have been completed within the past five years. To honor anonymity, the candidate must not include any identifying information on the scores and recordings.
  2. Online application form, résumé of compositional activities and nonrefundable application fee of $25 (U.S. dollars). Application fees must be submitted by credit card online.

The Commission Prize uses SlideRoom to accept all materials and application fees. All applicants will need to create an online account to start an application. A link to the online application will be available on this site in November, 2020.

judging and Comission prize regulations

The Commission Prize jury will comprise distinguished composers. A list of jurors will not be made public and participation in the jury will be confidential. The jury’s decision is final.

The Commission Prize submissions are anonymous. The jury will be permitted to review only the scores and sound files in SlideRoom. Any markings, notations, or indications on the scores and any sound elements on the recordings that in any way identify the composer will disqualify the candidate.

The Commission Prize and Brandeis University will not be responsible for the cost of a) preparation of the score or extraction of parts, b) preparation of recordings, c) composer travel and accommodations, or d) any other expenses associated with the premiere performance of the new work.

By applying for the commission prize, each candidate accepts all of the regulations.


  • November 2020: Applicants can access the SlideRoom online portal.
  • January 31, 2021: Deadline for all submissions.
  • March 1, 2021: The winner of the 2020 Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize will be announced.
  • Spring 2021: The first payment of $7,500 will be sent to the winning composer. Payment will be made only after the composer has read and signed all copies of the contract between Brandeis University and the winning composer.
  • January 1, 2022: Deadline for completion and delivery of the new work to Brandeis University. A copy of the work (score and performance parts) must be sent to Brandeis University by the January 1 deadline, at which time the composer will receive the second payment of $7,500 for the new work.
  • Late Spring 2022: The winning composer’s new work will be premiered at the second annual Henri Lazarof Chamber Concert in the Slosberg Recital Hall at Brandeis University. The winner is required to attend the concert premiere of the new work. Travel and accommodation expenses will be the responsibility of the winning composer.

submission requirements


  • Compositions may be for any ensemble; at least one must clearly demonstrate writing for chamber groups.
  • Include date of composition on each score; both works must have been completed within the last five years.
  • Entries printed using music notation software are encouraged. Handwritten scores must be scanned to PDF. Illegible scores will be disqualified.
  • The competition is anonymous. Any and all references on the score to the composer’s name, city, place of employment, or any other identifying notation must be removed completely. Any marks breaking the anonymity of the submission will disqualify the entry.

Recordings (MP3, AIFF, OR WAV FILES ONLY): 

  • These should be MP3, AIFF or WAV files containing recordings of the two scores submitted.
  • Other audio file formats, video files, or online links to personal web sites or commercial web sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc. will not be accepted.
  • Any and all references to the composer’s name, city, place of employment must be removed. Any voices in the sound file breaking the anonymity of the submission will disqualify the entry.

Submitted scores and audio files will be reviewed by judges from a folder identified only by an automatically generated code number to ensure anonymity. Judges will not have access to the applicant’s personal information or any information that can identify the applicant.