Maria Anna Mozart Award

Symphony Nova Scotia is proud to announce the inaugural Maria Anna Mozart Award, offering a cash prize to a woman composer for an orchestral work to be performed by Symphony Nova Scotia on its Masterworks Series. The winning composer will be asked to compose an original work to be performed during Symphony Nova Scotia’s 2017/18 season.

You can find the application form and checklist 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

The Maria Anna Mozart Award is granted tri-annually to a Canadian woman composer in the spirit of recognizing and supporting the creation of new orchestral works by women. The Award recipient will compose an original orchestral work for performance by Symphony Nova Scotia during its 2017/18 concert season. In addition, the winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000. 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 March 1, 2017, and the winner will be notified by May 15, 2017. 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 its Masterworks Series on March 8, 2018 (International Women’s Day) during the 2017/18 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 woman composer
  • 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 full symphony orchestra), and supporting audio/visual representation of at least one (preferably the symphonic) 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 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 file-sharing websites:

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

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