The Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards to be Launched in New York on November 18, 2019


The enduring legacy of one of America’s most decorated composers is the basis for launching the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards, aimed at recognizing and enabling the next generation of music composition talent. The inaugural concert event has been organized in collaboration with Queens College and will take place at Lefrak Concert Hall of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Monday, November 18 at 7 pm. The event will feature a performance by the Aaron Copland School of Music and the presentation of the inaugural Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards to emerging composers in the category of Film/Media Scoring. The full line-up of special guest artists and presenters will be announced closer to the November 18th event.

The Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards has as its mission to champion the musical talent of youth and emerging composers from around the world. The awards have been created to honor the late Marvin Hamlisch, paying tribute to his remarkable legacy as both an artist of incomparable accomplishment, as well as an advocate for emerging talent. Mr. Hamlisch was one of only two people (along with fellow American composer Richard Rodgers) to have won an Emmy Award, Grammy Award, Oscar and Tony Award, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize, for his ground-breaking musical, “A Chorus Line.”

The awards first began as the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest, presented by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit CINE since 2013. Hundreds of composers worldwide competed annually in this unique contest for emerging media composers. The Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards will now expand the competition categories. Emerging composers will be able to apply for the following categories: Composition for Musical Theatre, Film/Media Scoring, Classical Composition and Jazz Composition. Composers worldwide will be eligible to compete in categories for youth (under 18) and emerging composers (pre-professional composers aged 18+) for sponsored prize packages.

“I am so honored and moved to see that the legacy of Marvin Hamlisch is not only alive and well but enabling the next generation of composers,” says Terre Blair-Hamlisch. “Creating opportunity for young and upcoming talent was always a passion for Marvin. This international music competition, which takes place in the 75th year of his birth, is a wonderful tribute to Marvin’s enduring legacy which lives on in all who love and create music. He would be so proud of these young artists and of those who are creating such a prominent platform to showcase their talent.”

“Marvin Hamlisch reached people of every walk of life through his extraordinary musical talent and infectious personality,” said Board Members and Co-Founders Peter H. Gistelinck and Betsy Walters. “He was very much ‘the people’s composer,’ whose compositions are forever a part of the Great American Songbook. But he was also cherished for his dedication to cultivating young musical talent and creating opportunity for their growth as artists and career potential.”

“When we started the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest at CINE, we had no idea how popular or vital it would become,” said Betsy Walters, CINE’s former Executive Director and Board Member of the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards. “Over 700 composers competed in 2018, and I’m thrilled that even more composers worldwide will have access to this amazing opportunity.”

Composers from around the world are eligible and encouraged to compete, by registering online for the 2020 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards. Registration opens on November 18, 2019 at

“Queens College, home of the famed Aaron Copland School of Music, is proud to be founding partner of the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards and honor its legendary alumnus Marvin Hamlisch,” said Queens College President William Tramontano. “Preserving Hamlisch’s legacy through this partnership will create a multitude of opportunities for young composers around the globe.”

The Marvin Hamlisch international Music Awards is grateful for the support of its founding partners: Queens College, Concord, Caroline’s Cakes, the Aegon/Transamerica Foundation, Orange Tree Samples, MOTU, Embertone and Score a Score. Their generous contributions will help expand the impact of the Marvin Hamlisch Scholarship fund at Queens College for many years to come.

For more information and to purchase tickets for this exclusive and limited event, please visit

The Marvin Hamlisch international Music Awards is a New York State registered charitable not-for-profit corporation, governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees with a 25-member Honorary Board of Trustees, comprised of members who were all close personal friends and colleagues of Mr. Hamlisch. The mission of the organization is to foster and champion a new generation of composers through an international music competition with the vision of recognizing talent and building a community of young composers worldwide.