Maria Anna Mozart Award

Symphony Nova Scotia is now welcoming applications from women composers across Canada for its third commission through the groundbreaking Maria Anna Mozart Award. The winning composer will be asked to compose an original work to be premiered during an upcoming Symphony Nova Scotia concert.

To learn more about the 2019 winner, Stacey Brown, please click here.

To learn more about the inaugural winner, Kelly-Marie Murphy, please click here.

The Maria Anna Mozart Award was inspired by Jane Gordon, (BA, MA, PhD) who taught Sociology and Women’s Studies in Halifax for almost 40 years. Gordon’s research has been published in academic journals in sociology and feminist studies and as chapters in books. She is a long-time Symphony Nova Scotia attendee, and has a keen interest in the role of women in classical music.

General Description

Launched in 2016, the Maria Anna Mozart Award supports the work of Canadian women composers, providing $10,000 for Symphony Nova Scotia to commission and perform a new symphonic work by a Canadian woman every three years. The Award recipient will compose an original orchestral work for performance by Symphony Nova Scotia during an upcoming concert. The Maria Anna Mozart Award is the only symphony-sponsored award in Canada exclusively for women composers.

Selection Process

Applicants are asked to submit a résumé, completed application form, sample scores of up to three completed works (one scored for full symphony orchestra), and supporting audio or visual representation of at least one (preferably the symphonic) work. Composers will be judged on existing works by a committee formed by Symphony Nova Scotia. The application materials must be received by Tuesday, March 15, 2022, and the winner will be notified in April 2022, with a public announcement being made in March 2023 as part of Symphony Nova Scotia’s 2023/24 Season Launch. The winning composer will receive a cash award of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to be paid upon delivery of the parts and score to Symphony Nova Scotia. The winning composer will also receive an archival recording of the performance and assistance in promoting the work to other orchestras.


The Award will be granted to the successful applicant for a composition of approximately 10 minutes for the core orchestra (*2*2*22 2200 timp str ( with the option of up to three (3) additional parts at the discretion of the composer. The work composed by the winning composer will be performed by Symphony Nova Scotia in the 2023/24 season. The composer will be required to be in Halifax for all rehearsals and performances, and will agree to participate in education activities, pre-concert lectures, symposiums, etc., as requested by Symphony Nova Scotia. The composer’s travel and accommodation expenses will be paid by Symphony Nova Scotia. The winning composer will be responsible for professionally copying the work to specifications provided by Symphony Nova Scotia.


To be considered for this prize, you must:

  • be an emerging or established composer;
  • identify as a woman or non-binary; and
  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.)

Please note: eligible individuals can apply for this award or be nominated by others.


To prepare your application, please include the following:

  1. An application form (completed and saved in PDF format).
  2. Sample original scores of up to three completed works (of at least five minutes in duration, one scored for 25 or more orchestral instruments), and supporting audio/visual representation of at least one (preferably the orchestral) work. Please note: scores must be PDF files, audio must be MP3 or midi files. Printed scores, physical recordings (i.e. CDs or DVDs), and internet links are not acceptable.
  3. A cover letter or letter of interest that includes potential creative vision(s) for your composition if you are the winner.
  4. A résumé or biography.

Please refer to the application checklist and information sheet before submitting your application.


All applications must be submitted in electronic format in a single zipped folder. Please prepare all elements of your application to be submitted via one of the following (or similar) file-sharing websites:

Once your application is ready to share in this format, please send the link to the folder to:

Please read the instructions carefully. If at that time you have questions about the award or the application process, please email [email protected].