The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award Opens to Applicants Starting July 29, 2019

A $10,000 Grant for a Female Musical Theatre Composer

The Ziegfeld Club, one of the first New York City performing arts charities to benefit women is thrilled to announce that they will offer the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for the Fifth consecutive year in a row.  

A prestigious grant in the amount of $10,000, The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award aims to celebrate an emerging female composer or composer/lyricist who compellingly demonstrates outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing and clearly demonstrates how the grant money & mentorship will further her artistic career.

The application process will remain open from July 29 through August 23, 2019.

Past recipients of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award include composer/lyricist Masi Asare, composer Anna Jacobs, composer & singer Shaina Taub (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), and Lucille Lortel Award nominated composer Julianne Wick Davis (Southern Comfort).

The recipient of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award will be selected by a committee of industry professionals chosen by the Ziegfeld Club and will be presented at a private reception in New York City in November 2018.

Interested applicants can submit all application materials (see list below) via Dropbox to submissions@theziegfeldclubinc.com.

The following application materials are required for consideration:

  • Demo recordings of 3 contrasting songs from at least two separate original works of musical theater. Professional recordings are appreciated but not necessary. Piano-and-vocals are sufficient. The songs should be sent as individual MP3 files, and labeled with both the candidate’s name and the songs’ titles (Last Name, First Name- Title). Applicants retain all copyright of their work. Please do not submit live recordings.
  • Dramatic context and lyric sheets. Please include piano/vocal music, or scores if available.
  • An Artistic Statement of one page or less (no more than 500 words) describing your work in musical theater, and how the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award will aid you in your artistic and professional goals. 
  • A current Resume that lists your experience and production history as a musical theater composer. Applicants will be considered eligible as emerging artists if, in the judgment of the committee, they have not already received substantial recognition in American musical theater.

Click Here for Application Form 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?
  • The BBZA is open to an emerging individual female composer, or individual composer- lyricist who compellingly demonstrates outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing, and who can clearly show how the grant money and mentorship will further her artistic career.
When can I apply?
  • The application for the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award will be open from July 29th – August 23rd 2019.
I’ve applied for the award in the past; can I apply again?
  • Yes.
I write with a collaborative team. Can we apply together?
  • No, the BBZA Award is only open to an individual female composer or individual composer-lyricist.
Can I apply if I am still in school?
  • The BBZA award is not intended as a scholarship. Ideal candidates should be working professionals.
Are there any age restrictions?
  • No, although an ideal candidate must classify as emerging, meaning that they have not already received substantial recognition in American musical theater.
What are the criteria for selection?
  • The ability to show professional initiative, outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing, and who can clearly show how the grant money and mentorship will further your artistic career.
Can the songs I submit be from different works?                                             
  • Yes, they must be from at least two different works.
Can I still apply if I cannot be New York City in September for an interview?
  • Yes, however, in person interviews are encouraged. A Skype interview can be arranged if necessary.

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Billie Burke (1884-1970) was an American actress remembered for her sparkling comic technique and distinguished career on stage and screen. Making her stage debut in 1903, Burke starred in dozens of Broadway and West End plays, as well as silent and talking films. In 1914, Burke wed Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., the Broadway impresario whose legendary series of Ziegfeld Follies—featuring statuesque show girls with elaborate feathered headdresses—“Glorified the American Girl” from 1907-1931. Their daughter, Patricia, was born in 1916. Upon Ziegfeld’s death in 1932, Burke continued to honor her husband’s legacy through the establishment of the Ziegfeld Club Inc. in 1936. She also produced the 1934 and 1936 editions of The Ziegfeld Follies.

Burke became a beloved character actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and was nominated for a 1939 Academy Award for her performance in Merrily We Live. The recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she is eternally recognizable to all generations as Glinda the Good in MGM’s classic The Wizard of Oz.


About the Award

The Ziegfeld Club, one of New York City’s first performing arts charities to benefit women is proud to announce the second Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award to honor a female composer in musical theatre. The recipient will be honored in November 2017 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and will receive a prestigious grant of $10,000 plus a year of professional mentorship. The recipient will be selected by an expert panel chosen by The Ziegfeld Club Board of Directors.

The grant which aims to celebrate an emerging female composer, or composer/lyricist who compellingly demonstrates outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing was inspired by a noticeable lack of female composers being produced on Broadway today.  The Ziegfeld Club enables the recipient to put the grant to the best use possible to help further the composer’s creative endeavors.