Canada Council – Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music – Due June 1, 2024

Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music

$ 7500

Portrait of Vahram Sarkissian

Vahram Sarkissian

Photographer(s): Arman Karakhanyan

Current winner

Vahram Sargsyan (Sarkissian) for his composition, “Quiet Songs” (2023).

Vahram Sargsyan is an Armenian-Canadian composer and conductor residing in Montréal.

His musical language seamlessly combines ancient European and non-Western traditions and innovative performance techniques. His compositions have been widely performed across Europe, Asia and North America. Commissioners of Sarkissian’s music include Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Germany), CBC Radio, Oxford University Press (UK) and many others. He has received various honours, including the POLYPHONOS 2017 Competition Award (USA) and the Third BCE Commission Competition Award (USA, 2010), to name a few.

His composition Joyful Լight has been performed more than a hundred times around the world. His arrangement of an Armenian chant, Great Mystery, is part of the OUP anthology World Carols for Choirs, and has been recorded by the BBC Singers. Sarkissian’s instrumental piece, Hunting the Hunter, premiered at Carnegie Hall, conducted by the composer himself. His expertise in extended vocal techniques is regularly showcased at international choral festivals and symposia.

The prize

Awarded annually, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music is a competition for professional composers and sound creators from Canada, designed to encourage the creation of new chamber music.


To be in the running for this prize, you must submit an application to the Canada Council for the Arts.


The prize was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, then Governor General of Canada.


Application submissions are processed through the Prizes – Submission Portal.

To apply:

  1. Open the Guidelines webpage to access and review the eligibility requirements and forms.
  1. If eligible, download all forms available on the Guidelines webpage.
  1. Complete all forms and gather all support material:
  • Identification form
  • Application form
  • Curriculum vitae or resume (3 pages maximum)
  • A copy of your score
  • A complete audio recording on 1 track or a link to one audio or video recording
  1. Select Submit an application for Jules Leger Prize on the Guidelines webpage. This will direct you to the Prizes – Submission Portal where you can apply online.

Please note:

Do not apply until you have completed the forms and gathered support material. The Prizes – Submission Portal does not allow you to save or return to your application.

Guidelines and application

Additional information

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 6004