2018 Winners Announced

Song of Song of Songs

Words and Music by Marisa Michelson




Book, Music and Lyrics and

 Music by Anna K. Jacobs


Story of an Hour

Music by Michael Valenti, Libretto by Stacey Luftig



On behalf of Quog Music Theater and the Estate of Eric Salzman, we thank all who submitted works for the Eric Salzman Award for New  Music Theater. Selecting the final  winners was indeed difficult. We were thrilled, not only by the  quality of submissions, but also by the variety of works that reflect  the many faces of New Music Theater. We had musicals, opera, operetta  and experimental performance pieces among our submissions, and our winners represent a broad spectrum of styles.

Marcus Paus, Composer, - Past Artistic Director of the Oslo Opera Festival and Norwegian Music Publishers Composer of the Year (2017). Paus' music has been performed by the Bergen Philharmonic (250th Anniversary), the Oslo String Quartet, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Camerata, Oslo Opera Festival to name a few.  His numerous film scores include the original motion picture soundtrack to the award-winning film, Upperdog. Active in the US, where he studied composition with Richard Danielpour, his works have been heard at Carnegie Hall and institutions throughout the country.  

Victoria Bond, Composer/Conductor - Artistic Director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, celebrated American composer, recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’s Walter Hinrichsen Award. Ms. Bond has been commissioned by ensembles including American Ballet Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Houston Symphony, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Her compositions have also been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.  

Scott Joiner, Composer/Singer/Producer - President of Quog Music Theater, Artistic Executor of the Estate of Eric Salzman. His award-winning short operas and opera films have been presented by Opera Carolina, the Center for Contemporary Opera and the Vienna Summer Music Festival and were featured by the National Arts Club in 2018. He worked closely with Eric Salzman as producer and collaborator. His active opera career includes performances with San Francisco Opera, the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and organizations around the world.

Find out more

Eric Salzman Award for New Music Theater


We are privileged to announce the first annual Eric Salzman Award for New Music Theater Composition, given jointly by Quog Music Theater and Welltone New Music. As a composer and the founder of Quog Music Theater, Eric created music theater works that pushed boundaries and defied categorization. As co-founder of the American Music Theater Festival, and artistic director of the Center for Contemporary Opera, Eric fostered the works of many composers who went on to extraordinary careers. He believed in the future of the art form and worked on behalf of the artists who would carry it forward. 

2018 Inaugural Award

To continue Salzman's legacy, the Eric Salzman Award for New Music Theater Composition will be presented annually to two composers. In acknowledgment of historical inequality in the encouragement of women composers, each year at least one of the two awards will be presented to a woman composer. In addition to a monetary award, one of the two winners will have a portion of their work presented on the 2019 Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival at Symphony Space, produced by Welltone New Music, Inc. The work chosen for the Festival will receive additional funds to support costs related to the performance.  The quality of the performance must meet the standards of the Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, directed by Victoria Bond. 

Award Details

The composers of the two award-winning scores will each receive a monetary award of $500.  The piece chosen for performance at the Cutting Edge Concerts will recieve an additional $1000 of funding to put toward the performance. Winners will be announced by or before November 15, 2018. Performance of selected work will be in the first half of 2019. 

In addition to the Eric Salzman Awards, submitted scores will be eligible for the Salzman-Gramercy Opera Advancement Prize.  Gramercy Opera, a bold recent addition to the New York opera scene, will choose one score from the applicant pool for a special performance event in NYC as part of their 2018/2019  Season.  Note: The work chosen for the Advancement Prize will be a piece written in a tonal, lyrical idiom that invites new audiences into the world of opera. Winners of the Eric Salzman Award are still eligible for this opportunity, though it is a separate recognition and may go to another work.

2018/2019 Jury

The 2018/2019 Jury Members will be announced soon!

Submission Guidelines

Submitted work should be a "music theater" work.  It should be a work stemming out of a modern classical tradition for sung theater.  This includes, but is not limited to, modern opera, operetta, Weill/Brechtian theater, experimental and multi-media works. Art-songs and other non-theatrical compositions (such as song cycles) will not be considered for the award. Salzman loosely defined New Music Theater as economically viable, small-scale theater works where music is the dominant driving force. The winning works will conform to these ideas. Total length of submitted works should not exceed 90 - 100 min.  Works with a total length exceeding 100 min will only be considered at the discretion of the jury.  It is recommended that composers consider the musical and theatrical ideas of Eric Salzman before applying.  Visit www.ericsalzman.com for a list of Salzman's writings and more information about the idea of Music Theater.  Works will be pre-screened by Quog staff for adherence to guidelines before being passed to the jury.  You will be notified if your work does not pass pre-screening. 

Submit A Work

Score submissions are open as of May 1, 2018 and will close Sept 1, 2018.  Limit of one submission per composer. Please email (in separate files)  PDF score, libretto and any relevant supporting audio (midi/recorded excerpts) to scott@ericsalzman.com. Submissions should be a single email.  Subject heading should read: Salzman Award, followed by your last name and the name of your work.