Wednesday, September 22, 2010


DEADLINE December 15, 2010

Cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition will be awarded to the first winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance, a series of new, non-profit performing arts competitions now accepting applications in the form of recorded performances.

Classical pianists at the professional, college/university, community and secondary school levels are eligible to apply by submitting recordings. There are separate divisions for solo piano and for concerto performance, with few repertoire restrictions and no age limits. The postmark deadline for the first round of The American Prize in Piano Performance is December 15, 2010. Winners will be announced in March 2011. Complete information, including competition guidelines and application forms, is available on the competition website:

Founded in 2009, The American Prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians. With the performing arts in America now virtually ignored by the national news media, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves many excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize will recognize and reward the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known. 

The American Prize was first awarded this past spring, when choruses, orchestras and conductors nationwide were singled out for their excellence. A complete list of winners may be found on the competition website.  Additional competitions in vocal performance, opera and musical theater production, band/wind ensemble performance and composition are also scheduled. Please see the website.

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz was the founder and for twelve years chief judge of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice international competition and has adjudicated for the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, among many others.

Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience and as geographically diverse as Katz hopes the winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance to be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing a dozen states from every region of the country, the group includes individuals associated with professional, university, community and secondary school music-making, including distinguished performers and tenured professors.

 Application fees for The American Prize are $35 for individuals, far less than the costs associated with traveling to adjudicated music festivals. Financial awards range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the category and the number of applicants. In addition to cash prizes and commentary from judges, winners will be profiled on The American Prize website, with video and audio links to winning performances.

“Winning prize money is good, of course,” Katz said, “but the rewards of The American Prize are more than financial. By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize in Piano Performance receive visibility and world-class attention to help build or sustain careers. Any musician worthy of the name knows excellence when he hears it, regardless of its pedigree,” Katz said, “The American Prize will tell you about it.”

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut. Complete information, including competition guidelines, application forms and judges’ bios may be found on the website:

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