Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition

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.

Prize Details

Three prizes will be given as follows:

  • First Prize: $30,000 cash prize, plus the world premiere performance by CCM's Philharmonia Orchestra in its 2020-21 season of a newly commissioned work for orchestra (instrumentation TBD) and ballet, plus a commercially produced recording by the CCM Philharmonia.
  • Second Prize: $20,000 cash prize.
  • Third Prize: $10,000 cash prize.

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

Adjudication: Judges for the competition will be selected by the Dean of CCM, the Alexander Zemlinsky Fund in Vienna and the Austrian Cultural Institute in New York City.

Eligibility and Instructions for Submission

  • Composers of any nationality born after April 1, 1984 could apply.
  • Applications were accepted between November 5, 2018 and February 28, 2019.
  • Eligible composers submited one score of 10-15 minutes for orchestra of any size (either published or unpublished). Recordings of this work, while not necessary, were encouraged. A MIDI recording was acceptable in lieu of a live performance.
  • More information, including the application portal, can be found at

Past Prize Winners


  • Aya Yoshida, First Prize, Double-face
  • Tomasz Skweres, Second Prize, über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne...
  • Joel Järventausta, Third Prize, Cantus


  • Ulrich Kreppein, First Prize, Spiel der Schatten (The Play of the Shadows)
  • Aaron Travers, Second Prize, Fairytale
  • Miguel Farías, Third Prize, Ecos de un Color (Echoes of a Color)


  • Enrico Chapela, First Prize, Inguesu
  • Narong Prangcharoen, Second Prize, Respiration of the Sun
  • Cynthia Lee Wong, Third Prize, Sinfonietta


  • Katsuji Maeda, First Prize, Reflections
  • Moritz Eggert, Second Prize, Number Nine I-III
  • Kelly-Marie Murphy, Third Prize, Utterances

News and Events


CCM Composition welcomes guest artists for Zemlinsky events in...

September 2, 2021

The Composition Program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music brings guest artists from five countries to Cincinnati throughout the 2021-22 school year. Visiting composers and guest artist ensembles present lectures and performances as part of the Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition events.


Aya Yoshida receives CCM's prestigious Zemlinsky Prize for...

December 9, 2019

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is proud to announce that Aya Yoshida has been awarded first prize in CCM’s Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition. The Zemlinsky Prize, instituted in 1990 and awarded every six or seven years, promotes the music of young composers from around the world, while honoring Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942), a composer who is becoming increasingly recognized as among the 20th century's significant musical voices. Previous winners include Ulrich Kreppein, Nerong Prangcharoen and Moritz Eggert.

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