Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer’s Award 2023

Ninth Planet is excited to announce the 37th annual Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer’s Award. An award of $1,000 will be given for a new chamber work. Works submitted may have been performed previously. The winning work will be performed in the San Francisco Bay Area during Ninth Planet’s 2023-2024 concert season. Attendance at the performance is encouraged but not required. Works not awarded the prize will also be considered for programming.


Composers of any age, nationality, and educational background may enter. Composers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, as well as women and gender non-binary composers, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Previous winners of this award are ineligible.


Entries may be scored for one to five performers plus conductor. Performers shall be drawn from the core instrumentation of the ensemble Ninth Planet (one player each):

  • flute/piccolo/alto flute/bass flute
  • clarinet/bass clarinet
  • trombone
  • electric guitar
  • piano
  • violin
  • cello
  • double bass

Scoring may include one or two instruments not listed above, including voice(s) and electronics, but must include at least one member of the core instrumentation. There is no limit to piece length.

Examples: a string quartet is eligible, as is a trio for flute, viola and harp. A duo for oboe and French horn is not eligible, nor is a work for voice and harpsichord.

Composers may submit more than one work.


Submit an ANONYMOUS .pdf and streaming audio link (such as SoundCloud or Dropbox) of each score on the submission form. The submitted .pdf’s and audio links must be free of names and identifying marks (including composer, dedicatee, performer, and publisher names). A non-refundable entry fee of $25 USD for one work and $20 for each additional work is due on submission. To pay the fee and to submit your entry, please go to

NOTE: ​If the $25 entry-fee poses a significant barrier to entering the competition, please contact [email protected]


All submitted works will be reviewed a panel comprised of the members of the Ninth Planet Artistic Committee.


Entries must be received by December 15, 2022 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be announced during March 2023. You may reach us at [email protected] if you have any questions.