History of Winners

This competition, founded and chaired by Ben Steinberg, is held annually to promote young Jewish composers’ works. The award is one of the few composition awards of any kind which provides the winner with a cash award, a first performance, transportation to the performance, and the possibility of the winning selection being published by Transcontinental Music Publications (TMP).

The YCA Competition is funded and managed by the GTM.  The Zipser Endowment Fund provides additional funds to offset production and publishing costs for winning compositions.   Contributions to the Zipser Endowment Fund are welcomed.

  • Ben Steinberg Honored by GTM The Guild of Temple Musicians Honors Ben Steinberg by Re-Naming the Young Composer’s Award for it’s 25th Anniversary. In 1990, composer Ben Steinberg, in an effort to encourage trained, skilled young Jewish composers to write serious, text-based music for synagogue use, created “The GTM Young Composer’s Award.” The project, which encourages young composers to produce fully realized solo and ...
  • 2014 YCA Winner 2014 Winner: Michael Summa Michael Summa, a 2008 graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, has won his second Guild of Temple Musician’s Young Composer’s Award this time for 2014.  He won last year for his setting of Psalms. This year, Mr. Summa, currently a second year student in the ...
  • YCA 2013 – Michael Summa Michael Summa, a 2008 graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD for composition and voice, is the winner of the Guild of Temple Musician’s Young Composer’s Award for 2013.  Mr. Summa, currently a second year student in the Rabbinic program at the Jewish Theological Seminary, won for his settings ...
  • YCA 2012 – Joshua Fishbein The Guild of Temple Musicians, an affiliate of the American Conference of Cantors, is pleased to announce that Joshua Fishbein of Los Angeles, CA is the 2011-2012 recipient of the Young Composer’s Award for his “Two Prayers for the Sabbath Evening: V’shamru and Oseh Shalom.”   The 26 year old, currently a PhD student in Music ...
  • YCA 2010 – Russell Nadel Russell Nadel, 28, graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2006, having earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Music Composition and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  While at Peabody, his primary instructors were Drs. Bruno Amato and Harlan Parker.  Mr. Nadel has had original compositions commissioned and performed by adult ...
  • YCA 2009 – Aviv Kammay Aviv Kammay grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. He studied composition and music education at Levinsky College of Education and Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, achieving various honors and awards for composition and academic excellence in both institutions. Among his teachers were renowned Israeli composers Hagar Kadima, Oded Zehavi and Amnon Wolman. Aviv ...
  • YCA 2007 – Scott Michael Stein Scott Stein is a New York-based pianist, composer, conductor and arranger. A native of Akron, OH, Scott received a B.M. in Composition and a B.A. in Jewish Studies from The Ohio State University where he studied with composers Marc Ainger and Donald Harris as well as jazz pianists Mark Flugge and the late Hank Marr. ...
  • YCA 2004 – Matt Davidson A native of Cleveland Ohio, Matt Davidson studied music at Indiana University, graduating with a dual degree in composition and film studies. He then went on to pursue post-graduate work at the University of Southern California, where he received an advanced studies degree from the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program, studying with such legendary ...
  • YCA 2003 – David Shukiar The music of David Shukiar has been heard in synagogues and theatres all over North America and in Israel.  David has twice been awarded the Guild of Temple Musicians’ Young Composer’s Award, an honor shared by only three other composers in the history of this prestigious award.  He has enjoyed commissions from cantors and synagogues ...
  • YCA 2002 – Matt Davidson A native of Cleveland Ohio, Matt Davidson studied music at Indiana University, graduating with a dual degreein composition and film studies. He then went on to pursue post-graduate work at the University of Southern California, where he received an advanced studies degree from the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program, studying with such legendary composers ...
  • YCA – 2001 – Allan Naplan Allan Naplan’s choral works have been heard at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, The White House, and in the 2002 Academy Award nominated documentary, SING!.  A two-time winner of the Guild of Temple Musicians “Young Composers Award” for his original settings of Mi Chamocha and Yitgadal, Naplan’s music for children’s choirs ...
  • YCA 2000 – David Shukiar The music of David Shukiar has been heard in synagogues and theatres all over North America and in Israel.  David has twice been awarded the Guild of Temple Musicians’ Young Composer’s Award, an honor shared by only three other composers in the history of this prestigious award.  He has enjoyed commissions from cantors and synagogues ...
  • YCA 1997 – Allan Naplan Allan Naplan’s choral works have been heard at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, The White House, and in the 2002 Academy Award nominated documentary, SING!.  A two-time winner of the Guild of Temple Musicians “Young Composers Award” for his original settings of Mi Chamocha and Yitgadal, Naplan’s music for children’s choirs ...
  • YCA 1996 – Paul Richards Born in New York City in 1969 to a musical family, composer Paul Richards has been engaged with music since childhood, including forays into various popular styles, the Western canon, and Jewish sacred and secular music through his father, a cantor.  All of these experiences inform his creative activities, which have included numerous orchestral, vocal, ...
  • YCA 1995 – Paul Richards Born in New York City in 1969 to a musical family, composer Paul Richards has been engaged with music since childhood, including forays into various popular styles, the Western canon, and Jewish sacred and secular music through his father, a cantor.  All of these experiences inform his creative activities, which have included numerous orchestral, vocal, ...
  • YCA 1994 – Boaz Ben-Moshe Dr. Ben-Moshe is an accomplished composer, arranger, guitarist and teacher. A mixture of backgrounds, all of which derives from a methodical search for Israeli identity, inspires his music. His music has been commissioned by a range of public organizations and orchestras such as the Israeli Festival, The days of music in the upper Galilee-K’far Blum- Festival, ...
  • YCA 1993 – Andy Cohen Andy Cohen (born in 1973 in Miami, Florida) has written music in a wide variety of styles for a wide variety of media. He has composed classical instrumental works for orchestra and chamber groups, jazz pieces for radio airplay, music and sound design for dance and theatrical performances, and songs for rock and pop bands. ...
  • YCA 1992 – Paul Nauert Paul Nauert began activities in composition and piano performance around the age of 10, and received national awards in composition from MTNA and BMI during his pre-college career. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the McCurdy Prize in composition, and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in ...
  • YCA 1991 – Elaine Broad Ginsberg Dr. Elaine Ginsberg received her degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Ball State University, and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Dr. Ginsberg has been teaching at Keene State College for six years; she has also served as the Choral Director at Hampshire College in Massachusetts for the past ten years. Previously, ...
  • YCA 1991 – David Lefkowitz DAVID S. LEFKOWITZ, a native of New York City,  currently works as Associate Professor at the UCLA  Herb Alpert School of Music where he chairs the Composition Department. He studied music composition at The Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, and University of Pennsylvania, where his principal teachers were Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, George Crumb, ...