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ASCAP and SJO Accepting Applications for Annual Composing Competition

The winner of the ASCAP/SJO Commissioning Prize, given in honor of George Duke, wins $5,000 to compose an orchestral score

The SJO with
The SJO in concert with (left to right) Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, and Lee Ritenour

Applications are now open for the Sixth Annual ASCAP Foundation/Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) Commissioning Prize, an annual composing competition in honor of the late keyboardist, composer, ASCAP board member, and SJO co-music director George Duke.

The competition, which is open to any direct composer member of ASCAP, offers a $5,000 commission for a new orchestral score, to be performed by the 68-piece SJO in its 2021-22 season. The score is to be, in the SJO’s words, a blend of “jazz & classical music – and beyond.”

Participants are asked to submit a completed application form, a biography and list of works, and a representative, original instrumental score written since 2012, as well as a recording of the work. All applications must be received by August 17, 2020.

The applications will be reviewed and judged by the members of the SJO’s Music Advisory Board: Billy Childs, John Clayton, Joseph Conlan, Rashid Duke, Peter Erskine, Mitch Glickman, Ruth Cameron Haden, Eddie Karam, Christian McBride, Bob Mintzer, and Ernie Watts. The winner will be notified by October 31, 2020.

The Symphonic Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2002 as a vehicle for merging the worlds of jazz and classical music. In addition to its performance schedule, the SJO sponsors commissioning and educational programs. Composer, conductor, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Director of Music Programs Mitch Glickman is the SJO’s founder and music director.


The ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize is made possible in part by a grant from the ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Fund.

For more information, visit the SJO’s website.