Expanding the Opus

The biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) are approaching their 10th anniversary with the launch of a new prize category and prize fund of $200,000 CAD, cementing its status as one of the world’s most significant international music composition competitions

In 2024, AMP will celebrate their 10th anniversary. This unique competition, which generates leading contributions to music and the arts, encourages composers to look beyond arbitrary musical boundaries to produce creative, original and convincing new works.

The upcoming edition celebrates choral music by focusing on works for up to 48 voices (with the option to add up to four instruments and/or vocal soloists). This distinctive take on a cappella composition aligns with AMP’s desire to provide a platform for applicants to push the boundaries of their practices.

AMP will partner with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Chorus and the Maison symphonique in Montréal, which has extensive musical resources (including one of the world’s three octobasses and the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique) intended to inspire applicants in their endeavours. 

To mark this milestone anniversary, AMP has added a fourth prize to its already extensive programme: The Azrieli Commission for International Music. This prize encourages applicants to submit a composition that explores the spectrum of humanity’s cultural expressions, including historical, sacred, secular, popular, indigenous and folk elements. Embracing this diverse range of musical genres aligns with AMP’s goal of creating greater intercultural understanding through music.

Given the special focus of the Azrieli Commission for International Music, an additional jury has been assembled to evaluate the related submissions. The esteemed jury will include Canadian musicologist and performer Jonathan Goldman, Canadian composer and conductor Samy Moussa, and Cuban-American composer and conductor Tania Léon. 2018 AMP Laureate Kelly-Marie Murphy will complete the jury.

AMP’s fifth biennial competition continues its reputation as a platform to encourage diversity and inclusion in all forms. This draws on its longstanding success in attracting applicants from a diverse range of nationalities, genders, faiths, ages and backgrounds.

In 2022, AMP not only increased its gender diversity but also attracted 30% more applicants from 16 countries. That edition also saw prominent Canadian-born Israeli composer and conductor Aharon Harlap awarded the Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music at the age of 80 for his song cycle Out of the Depths have I cried unto Thee O’Lord for soprano and orchestra. 

AMP is known for advancing laureates’ careers and extending the life and reach of its prize-winning works. The music of its laureates is shared internationally through live performances, audiovisual recordings and educational events. Past prize-winning performances in Prague, Warsaw, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and New York City have generated sold-out, critically acclaimed attention for laureates and their works. And the AMP Performance Fund, established in 2020 to stimulate professional performances of AMP-winning works, has supported more than a dozen additional performances with livestreams and broadcasts in such places as London, New York City, Toronto, Montréal and Be’er Sheva, Israel.

With applications closing at the beginning of May, composers are encouraged to take inspiration from AMP and step beyond their comfort zones. By expanding its reach to embrace all of humanity’s cultural heritage, AMP’s 2024 competition offers a timely opportunity for recovery and growth, when the performing arts are still rebounding from the pandemic’s effects.. 

 Scores, proposals and supporting documents for the prizes are accepted from nominators and individual composers of all faiths, ages, backgrounds, gender and levels of experience. There is no entry fee for the Prizes. Closing date for applications is 5 May 2023, and the four laureates will be announced by 2 November 2023.

The Azrieli Music Prizes