The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award was named for the late composer, who lived in the Detroit area and wrote two works that were performed by the DSO. An anonymous donor has provided funding.
The first award will be presented later this year. The DSO will accept submissions, to consist of one to three compositions, through June 30. Women composers of all ages and levels of experience are eligible. The winner will be given $10,000 and the opportunity to write a new work for the DSO.
The judges for the inaugural competition will be composer Jennifer Higdon, DSO resident conductor Thomas Wilkins, composer Michael Daugherty, and members of the orchestra.
"The Detroit Symphony's Elaine Lebenbom Award is unparalleled in providing an incredible opportunity for women composers," Higdon said. "The possibilities of where a composer's career might go after such an award are infinite. I would hope any woman composer would jump at this opportunity."