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CCM, Composition, Musicology and TheoryCollege-Conservatory of MusicComposition, Musicology & TheoryUniversity of Cincinnati

CCM, Composition, Musicology and Theory
Alexander Zemlinsky and Arnold Schoenberg

Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition

Louise Zemlinsky

Louise Zemlinsky

Mrs. Louise Zemlinsky endowed the Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition at the University of Cincinnati in 1990 to promote the music of young composers from around the world.  

The Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition serves three purposes:

  • to perpetuate the memory of Alexander Zemlinsky
  • to discover new works for symphony orchestra that are truly original and have the power to communicate with and engage a broad audience.
  • to promote and encourage young composers from around the world

German composer Ulrich Kreppein has been awarded Frist Prize in CCM's 2013 Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition, the third international competition of its kind for young composers.

Learn more about the 2013 grand prize winners here.


The most recent competition opened in December 2012, with entries received from over 200 composers from 32 countries. Judges for the competition were selected by CCM’s Composition, Musicology and Theory Division Head Joel Hoffman, the Alexander Zemlinsky Fund in Vienna and the Austrian Cultural Institute in New York City and included:

  • Robert Beaser, chair of the composition department at the Juilliard School;
  • Zygmunt Krauze, distinguished Polish composer and conductor; and
  • Matthias Pintscher, distinguished German composer and conductor.


Three prizes will be given, and the top two prizewinners will be commissioned to write new works for full orchestra (with or without soloist(s) and 15-25 minutes total duration), with instrumentation to be determined at the time of the announcement of the prizes. The winning composers will be chosen based on submissions following the criteria below:

  1. Eligible composers will submit one score for orchestra of any size (either published or unpublished). Recordings of this work, while not necessary, are encouraged. A MIDI recording is acceptable in lieu of a live performance.
  2. Ten composers will be considered as finalists. From these finalists, three composers will be awarded first, second and third prizes.
  3. The prizes are as follows:

First Prize: $30,000 cash prize plus world premiere performance of the newly commissioned work by CCM's Philharmonia Orchestra in its 2014-15 season (tentatively fall 2014) plus a commercially produced recording by the CCM Philharmonia.

Second Prize: $20,000 cash prize plus world premiere performance of the newly commissioned work by CCM's Concert Orchestra in its 2014-15 season (tentatively spring 2015).

Third Prize: $10,000 cash prize.

Terms of the Awards: For the first and second prizewinners, 50% of the cash prizes will be awarded upon announcement of the prizewinners. The remaining 50% of the cash prizes for the winners will be awarded upon the receipt of scores and parts.  For the third prizewinner, the entire prize will be awarded upon the announcement of the winners.

Past Prize Winners


Enrico Chapela, First Prize

Enrico Chapela is one of the most exciting young talents to emerge from Latin America, with a growing number of international performances and commissions. He studied guitar and composition in Mexico City and Paris/St Denis. His musical style seeks to fuse different geographic traditions and musical soundworlds, so that contemporary techniques can happily coexist with minimalist, jazz or rock idioms. His symphonic poem ¡Inguesu!, a 9-minute musical rendering of the 1999 Mexico vs. Brazil soccer match, has travelled widely since its premiere by the Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra in 2003, including a North American tour in 2007 by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. His music is exclusively published by Boosey & Hawkes.


Narong Prangcharoen, Second Prize

The music of Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen has been called "absolutely captivating." (Chicago Sun Times).  Although still in his early thirties, Prangcharoen has established an international reputation and is recognized as one of Thailand's leading composers.  Prangcharoen has received many international prizes, including the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Competition Prize, the 18th ACL Yoshiro IRINO Memorial Composition Award, the Pacific Symphony's American Composers Competition Prize, the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award, and most recently, the Annapolis Charter 300 International Composers Competition Prize.  In 2007, the Thai government named Prangcharoen a Contemporary National Artist and awarded him the Silapathorn Award, one of Thailand's most prestigious honors.

Cynthia Wong

Cynthia Lee Wong, Third Prize

Cynthia Lee Wong has received international acclaim as a unique personality among the new generation of composers.  Commissioned twice by musica viva and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, she has received praise for her "shamelessly beautiful" music as well as her devotion toward "not only the avant-garde audience, but all classical enthusiasts or indeed all music lovers" (deutsche Zeitung). Current commissions include a work for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, to be premiered October 12-14, including Opening Night at Carnegie Hall, as well as a piece for the Duo Slaato Reinecke. Three Portraits was performed by the Orchestra Teatro Olimpico on November 20, 2011 in Vicenza, Italy.


Katsuji Maeda, First Prize


Moritz Eggert, Second Prize

Number Nine I-III

Kelly-Marie Murphy, Third Prize