Sarah Kirkland Snider Awarded DSO’s 7th Annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers

Sarah Kirkland Snider

Sarah Kirkland Snider

Sarah Kirkland Snider has been awarded the seventh annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Snider will compose a new work that will be given its premiere in the 2015-16 season. In addition to concerts presenting her work, Snider will receive a $10,000 prize and a one-month residency at the Ucross Foundation, an artist’s retreat in northern Wyoming.

Snider was chosen by the following jury: Evan Chambers, local composer; Johanna Yarbrough, French horn; Joe Becker, principal percussion; Marcus Schoon, contrabassoon.

Last year’s winner, Wang Jie, debuts her work, Symphony No.2, “To and From Dakini,” under the direction of DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin at this weekend’s concerts. Previous winners also include Stacy Garrop, Margaret Brouwer, Cindy McTee, Du Yun, and Missy Mazzoli.

The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award was inspired by composer, teacher, poet, artist and lecturer Elaine Lebenbom, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who died in 2002. The DSO has premiered three of Lebenbom’s works. Kaleidoscope Turning received its world premiere under the direction of DSO Music Director Emeritus Neeme Järvi in 1997. Reflections on a Rainbow and Gamatria were debuted in 2004 and 2007, respectively, both after the composer’s death.

Details and submission deadlines for the eighth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Competition for Female Composers will be announced this fall. The international competition, launched in 2006, is the only annual symphony orchestra sponsored award granted annually to a living female composer, of any age or nationality. Each year, one winner receives a $10,000 prize and the opportunity to have her original work premiered in the DSO’s Classical Subscription Series. The award is made possible by an anonymous donor.

To be considered for the award, participants must submit a resume; a completed application form; sample scores of up to three completed works, including one scored for full symphony; and supporting audio and/or video representation of at least one, preferably the symphonic work. Submitted entries will be judged by a committee formed by the DSO. More information can be found at For questions, please contact Kathryn Ginsburg at

(from the press release)

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