NEW YORK, November 8, 2007 The opening of the 56th annual BMI Student Composer Awards competition was announced today by BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson. The competition, which is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, will award $20,000 in prizes. Student composers under the age of 28 who are citizens of the Western Hemisphere (North, South and Central America, the Caribbean island nations and the Hawaiian Islands) may apply. All entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 15, 2008.

The Student Composer Awards were established in 1951 to encourage young composers in the creation of serious music, and through cash prizes, to aid in continuing their musical education. Celebrated composer Milton Babbitt serves as the Awards Chairman. Composer luminaries such as William Bolcom, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Donald Martino, Steven Mackey, Philip Glass, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Michael Torke and Charles Wuorinen received their earliest recognition through this program.

There are no limitations as to instrumentation, style or length of work submitted. The prizes, which range from $500 to $5,000, are awarded at the discretion of the final judging panel and compositions are judged completely under pseudonyms. Official rules and entry forms are available at

The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.