Each year, we present a commissioning competition for individuals who compose symphonic jazz.

Our Music Advisory Board determines the winner, who is then commissioned to write a new orchestral score. This newly commissioned work is premiered by the 68-piece Symphonic Jazz Orchestra in concert and is entered into the organization’s catalog of symphonic jazz commissions.


PRIZE: $5,000 commissioning prize to compose an 8-10 minute new work for the 68-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (“SJO”), to be premiered in Los Angeles in 2025-26 (the composer is not required to attend the premiere).

PURPOSE: To commission new orchestral work for the SJO, blending the worlds of jazz & classical music – and beyond.

The newly commissioned work will be premiered by the SJO and entered into the SJO’s catalog of symphonic jazz commissions.

Created in 2002, the 68-member SJO is dedicated to blending the worlds of jazz and classical music through its commissioning, performing and educational programs. Led by Music Director, Mitch Glickman, the ensemble has performed throughout Southern California with such leading guest artists as Keyon Harrold, Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, Raul Midon, Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, The Yellowjackets, Miguel Zenon, and our former Co-Music Director George Duke.​

The composer agrees to assign the rental administration of commissioned work (the “Composition”) to Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Music (the “Administrator”), the publishing designee of the SJO.  Administrator will print all orchestra parts and scores. The composer will retain the copyright of the commissioned work.

ELIGIBILITY: No age or geographic restrictions.



  • Completed application form: SJO’s 2024 George Duke Commissioning Prize Entry Form (will open June 17)
    • Representative score of ONE original instrumental work written since 2014. Ideally, this work is scored for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, or large ensemble that integrates elements of jazz or other related genres. Please include your name and the name of the piece. Please attach into the entry form in PDF format.
    • Recording of the work or an electronic realization (optional). Please attach an MP3 audio file.
    • Composer biography as well as a list of compositions.
  • Email with any questions!

JUDGES: Members of the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra’s Music Advisory Board

​ADMINISTRATION RIGHTS: Administrator shall have the exclusive rights to include the Composition into its catalog of commissioned works and to rent print versions of the Composition to other ensembles.