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School of Fine ArtsMusic Department

Sackler Music Composition Prize


The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize offers a $25,000 cash prize, recordings, and  substantial recognition including public performances. The competition will be an biennial event rotating among specific areas of the musical arts. These include: jazz ensemble, choir, opera, wind ensemble, orchestra, children’s choir, chamber ensemble, solo instrument, voice, and electronic music.

The Prize is a part of a broader structure promoting innovation, inventiveness, and the creative spirit within UConn’s School of Fine Arts. It is an extension of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Master Artists Institute and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Artists in Residence Program. It provides the opportunity for cutting-edge creative exploration and productivity.


Each year the University of Connecticut – Sackler Composition Prize committee will select a specific area of composition for the prize. The 2017/2019 prize will be for a composition of approximately 50 minutes duration for

Chamber Opera

The following describes to vocal and instrumental requirements for the Chamber Opera in any combination.

  1. Principals:
    1. Sopranos in any category except dramatic
    2. No more than one each of lyric tenor, lyric mezzo soprano, and lyric baritone (not all voices have to be utilized)
  1. Small chorus
  1. Instrumentation

Chamber ensemble using the following instrumentation pool:
String quartet plus double bass
Woodwind quintet
Piano / keyboard

Additional instruments may be included with the approval of the Artistic Director.
A piano reduction must be supplied for rehearsal purposes.

  1. Minimal set and lighting requirements. Set and lighting will be designed for the opera with the director and composer’s approval upon selection.
  1. The Prize of $25,000 to the winning composer includes score/parts/piano reduction preparation; librettist fees (if the composer chooses not to author the libretto); copyright permissions and fees if an existing text is used. Production expenses, which include sets, costumes and lighting, will be the responsibility of the commissioners. The composer must confer with the Artistic Director regarding all production matters.


Performance Scheduled for March 2, 2017
David Dzubay, 2015/2017 Sackler Music Composition Prize Winner

Concerto for Violin (Solomiya Ivakhiv), Trumpet (Louis Hanzlik) and Ensemble. Instrumentation for the ensemble  will include flute, oboe, saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trombone, tuba, viola, cello, string bass, piano and percussion. The work will be performed by the University of Connecticut Music Department’s students and faculty. The composition will be performed at the UConn Storrs Campus March 2, 2017 in the von der Mehden Recital Hall and recorded at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA on April 14, 2017.

David Dzubay has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the US-Mexico Fund for Culture, and the Fromm and Barlow foundations, among others. Recent honors include Guggenheim, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, Copland House and Djerassi fellowships, a 2011 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2010 Heckscher Prize. His music has been performed by orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia, and is published by Pro Nova Music and recorded on the Sony, Bridge, Centaur, Innova, Naxos, Crystal, Klavier, Gia, and First Edition labels. Currently chair of the Composition Department and Director of the New Music Ensemble at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Dzubay also spent three years as Composer-Consultant to the Minnesota Orchestra and one as Composer-in-Residence with the Green Bay Symphony. He joined the faculty at the Brevard Music Center in summer 2011.