Rudolf Nissim Prize Online Application

Rudolf Nissim Prize Guidelines


About the Award

This $5000 cash prize is presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally. 

The Award honors Dr. Rudolf Nissim, who served as head of ASCAP’s Foreign Department for four decades and also established the ASCAP Concert Music Department. Prior to fleeing to the United States in 1940, Dr. Nissim had been Managing Director of the Austrian Performing Rights Society (AKM) for seven years. Dr. Nissim’s dedication to concert music and concert music creators was an inspiration to his colleagues, and his generous bequest to the Foundation is a reminder of his legacy in perpetuity.

The specific details and requirements of Award are set forth below. Participation in the Award is subject to The ASCAP Foundation Official Awards General Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”). To the extent not specifically defined below, all capitalized terms have the meaning set forth in the Rules.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for the Award, an entrant (each, an “Entrant”) must be, at the time of entry, a writer member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”) in good standing.  For a writer member of ASCAP to be in good standing, such writer must have been elected to membership in ASCAP, be eligible to vote at General Meetings of ASCAP, and have not either (a) resigned from membership or (b) delivered an effective notice of intent to resign from membership. The Foundation may, in its sole discretion, disqualify any Entrant if, at any time prior to the awarding of the Award, such writer is no longer in good standing with ASCAP or becomes affiliated with any performing rights or collective rights management organization other than ASCAP.

Age Requirement: Entrants must be, at the time of entry, at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in the state or country of residence, whichever is older.

No Co-Writing: Co-written works are ineligible.

No Previous Award Recipients: Previous Award Recipients are not eligible to receive the Award. 

Award Period

The “Application Period” begins on September 25, 2020, and ends at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 16, 2020

Submission Requirements

To be considered for the Award, Entrants must complete and submit an Online Application (by clicking the link at the bottom of the page).

In addition, Entrants must submit the following materials to the Foundation (a) a digital PDF of one published or unpublished original concert work (no arrangements) requiring a conductor, scored for full orchestra, chamber orchestra or large wind/brass ensemble (with or without soloists and/or chorus) not previously premiered or scheduled for professional premiere at any future date (the “Score”) and (b) an audio file (if available) containing such realization or recording (collectively with the Application, the “Submission”).

Submissions Under a Pseudonym: All works must be submitted anonymously, with a pseudonym appearing on the Score and Audio (if available) files. Except for your pseudonym, remove all references to your name, the publisher name, as well as all dedications and/or acknowledgements from the Score. Please indicate your pseudonym on the digital score, on the audio files and on the title page of the composition. Do not include the name of the performing ensemble and conductor.

Non-Professional Performance History: A work will not be eligible for Award consideration if its performance history includes, in the sole judgment of the Panel, professional performances. Please note that performances by college, university, conservatory, community and youth orchestras are considered non-professional performances and eligible for this Award. Performances by non-academic concert military bands (i.e., Army, Marine and Air Force Bands) are considered professional and thereby ineligible. Works commissioned by a professional ensemble scheduled for a professional premiere are ineligible.

Clearance of Rights: For vocal compositions setting text or a translation of text, Entrants must provide evidence that the text or translation is either in the public domain or, if still protected, used with written permission from the author or translator or their respective representative (i.e., publisher or estate).

Please direct all inquiries to:
Cia Toscanini, Vice President, Concert Music
The ASCAP Foundation/Rudolf Nissim Prize
250 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10107
Tel. 212.621.6329 • Email:

Judging Procedure & Criteria

Each eligible Submission will be anonymously judged by a panel of three conductors (the "Panel") based on the significance and overall artistry and compositional elements of the musical work or composition. The Panel is selected by the Foundation in the Foundation's sole discretion. Decisions of the Foundation and/or judges (including the selection of Award Recipient(s)) will be final and binding in all respects.

Prize and Award Ceremony

In accordance with the Judging Procedure and Criteria above, eligible Entrants will be selected as the Award Recipients and will receive a monetary prize of $5,000.00 U.S.D. (to be shared equally among all co-writers of the musical work or composition that is the subject of the Submission) ("Prize"). At the sole discretion of the Foundation, an award ceremony may be held to recognize the Award Recipient, the place and time of such celebration determined in the Foundation's sole discretion (the "Award Ceremony").

Notification Date of Award Recipients

February 15, 2021

Rudolf Nissim Prize Online Application