After reviewing 190 submissions from all over the world, we are excited to announce tha
Julie Zhu’s lawrence st.
for saxophone quartet was selected as the winner of the 2023 PRISMS Contemporary Music Festival call for scores.

We also selected four honorable mentions, whose works will be presented at the festival or at next year’s festival:

  • João Pedro Oliveira - Towdah
  • Heather Hindman - Fanfare for an Uncommon Person
  • Iván-Manuel Tapia Bruno - Di(a)sociaciones
  • Becky Brown - On the Ontology of Sound in Multidimensional Space - or -Does My Scholarly Paper Really Need a Soundtrack??

Julie Zhu is a composer, artist, and carillonist.  Her work is conceptual and transdisciplinary, operating on an expansive definition of algorithm.  Zhu has written for and performed with various contemporary music ensembles and soloists, including Wu Wei, Marco Fusi, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, JACK quartet, Quasar, Line Upon Line, Semblance, and Dal Niente. In the last year, premieres have been presented by Radio France, Sansusī Festival, nonclassical, 3537, and Fondation Royaumont.  

Zhu recently completed her DMA in music composition from the Department of Music and Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University and is currently a research fellow at the University of Michigan on music and AI.  She is also a graduate of the Cursus in Computer Music at IRCAM in Paris, Hunter College (MFA in combined media), the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium (Licentiate), and Yale University (BA mathematics, BA art).


ASU’s PRISMS Festival seeks pieces relating to our 2023 theme of “Re-Works.”  One selected composer will receive a prize of $650, and their piece will be performed on our second concert, on Sunday, November 19 in Tempe, AZ.  The concert will also be video recorded and live-streamed on YouTube. 

Pieces must be 15 minutes or less.  Instrumentation may be any of the following:
  1. Saxophone quartet (plus electronics if desired)
  2. Brass quintet (plus electronics if desired)
  3. Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (any subset of three or more instruments from the following:  soprano, two flutes, two clarinets, two percussion, piano and electronics)

Attendance is mandatory;  PRISMS can offer lodging and local transportation.  The winner will also be invited to give a talk and/or participate in a roundtable during the festival.

Selection will be made by the PRISMS Committee.  This competition has no entry fee, no age or geographic limit, and no restriction on whether pieces have been performed, published or awarded in the past.  Composers are free to submit multiple pieces. 

Deadline for application:  August 1, 2023.

Please submit this form to apply.