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Award seems to be the preferred word for musical composition, but you might want to say "awards and prizes" instead of choosing. Googling "award prize for composers," award prevailed, but look how the words are used interchangeably to refer to the same honor: The ninth annual British Composer Awards will take place at Stationers' Hall, London on Wednesday 30 November 2011. The Awards are presented by BASCA ...; he ASCAP Foundation provides Awards to emerging composers and ... This $5000 cash prize is presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work ...; The Gaudeamus International Composers Award is a European award issued by ... The prize is awarded at an annual ceremony in the Netherlands to a young ...; Additionally, two special Carlos Surinach Prizes, underwritten by a fund established by the late composer, are awarded annually to the two youngest winners of ...; www.composersinc.org/lee-ettelson.html - En caché12 Jun 2011 – 2012 Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer's Award Entry Information ... and has worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Zwilich ...; Activities for Young Musicians ... 2010-2011 Composer's Award .... at the Barbican Centre in London).
It is in the context of artistic acknowledgement of a composer who received several annual awards for his works, some of them given by his contemporaries, and some by different institutions like the Ministry of Culture...
I would say that they are pretty much interchangeable and that institutions adopt one or the other as they see fit. However, it must be pointed out that award can also function a verb without a shift in meaning (to prize meaning to cherish) and that award is normally used when someone is being honored (lifetime achievement award) and has not necessarily entered a formal or informal competition (the Nobel prize being an exception unless you look at it from the viewpoint that there is a lot of competition out there). Perhaps someone else will have some deeper insights.
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5 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +6
award for good work, prize for competition
Explanation: Awards are usually given by a jury or panel for excellence in some domain such as the arts, sciences, maths, etc. etc. People don't normally "enter" for an award. Often, the achievement being recognized has been a fairly long process. The concept of "winner" does not apply.
Prizes are given for competitions, which are entered in the hope of winning. There is usually a winner, and other placed entrants (and losers).
claude-andrew France Local time: 02:43 Native speaker of: English