Prize FAQ (frequently asked questions)

  • Can I mail or ship to you published hard copies / printed sheets of my music scores and compact discs / DVDs / cassette tapes / vinyl LPs / VCR tapes containing my sound files?
    • We are not accepting any physical/hard copies. This will save you money that you'd otherwise spend on printing, making CDs or DVDs, and mailing/shipping costs, while making life much easier for our judges and administrative staff. You'll need access to an Internet connected computer.
  • Can I mail in a personal check/bank check to pay my application fee?
    • We are not accepting personal checks or bank checks. Once you have completed your online application, there will be a window in which you can make your payment online with a credit card or bank card.
  • Can I upload Finale files, Sibelius files, or files from any other music notation program?
    • We are not accepting any music notation program files. All music scores must be exported to and uploaded in PDF format in order to ensure compatibility with any computer used by a judge. You should use your notation program to remove any names, titles, and/or identifying marks to preserve anonymity, save as a new file with a more generic title like "Entry #1", then convert it to PDF before uploading.
  • My score is handwritten. Can I submit it?
    • If it is clean and legible, you can scan it to PDF. Make sure your scanner is set for at least 200 DPI for legibility.
  • Can I upload AAC sound files from iTunes or AIF sound files from my Mac?
    • We are only accepting MP3 files or WAV files in order to ensure compatibility with any computer used by a judge. You can always use a free sound application like Audacity or iTunes to make the file conversion.
  • My best audio recording of a work I want to submit has a member, or members, of the Lydian String Quartet playing on it. Can I submit it?
    • We are not accepting a recording that any of us are playing on because then anonymity will not be possible. If you submit such a recording, you will be disqualified.
  • My best recording of a work I want to submit is on a concert video. Can I submit it?
    • We are not accepting video files or links to YouTube / Vimeo / Soundcloud, etc.. You need to extract the audio from your concert video into a separate audio file and format it as an MP3 or WAV file for uploading.
  • My best audio recording of a work I want to submit is a MIDI/synthesizer realization of the live instrument parts. Can I submit it?
    • We prefer recordings of real players playing on real instruments. A composer may submit a MIDI/synthesizer realization of a work, but should recognize that anybody who sends a recording with actual playing by people will make a better impression.
  • Can I use Dropbox / Google Drive / YouSendIt / some other file transfer system for my file uploads?
    • You must use our online application for all of your file uploads. We will not accept files sent to us using any other method.
  • Is there a file size limit for uploading audio files?
    • There is no such limit, but please be reasonable; if your work is more than half an hour long, an MP3 file won't take up as much space as a WAV file on a judge's computer, and will be quicker to transfer.
  • What if I have completed my application, submitted it, and then want to change it?
    • If you wish to change anything in your uploaded portfolio, you can log in to your account and edit/redo any entry you have made or uploaded until the application deadline cutoff date.
  • Why do I keep seeing screens/emails referencing the Brandeis University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences / GSAS when I'm applying only for this prize and not applying to be a graduate student at Brandeis University?
    • This application is being hosted by the Brandeis University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences / GSAS, and therefore some branding may be shared between the Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize Application and GSAS. When given the choice in any given window, it will likely be pre-selected for Lydian String Quartet, but make sure you select us if not.
  • How will you ensure anonymity?
    • Your scores and sound files will be filed by a code number generated by our online program. Judges will only be able to review these files from a folder with the code number, and will not be able or allowed to see any personal information connected to this code number.
  • I'm having issues with the online application; how do I get help?
    • You can contact our administrative staff about application issues by emailing, and they will forward your issue to the relevant technical person to assist you in completing your application.
  • If I'm the winner, where will the concert take place?
    • The concert will be at the acoustically superb Slosberg Music Center at Brandeis University which is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, a short drive or commuter train ride from the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the USA.


Return to top

Return to About The Prize page

Return to Contest Regulations / Application Login page