Friday, October 1, 2010

The SCHORR AWARDS—unique career builder for singers

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Awards is a competition unique in scope and structure, an inexpensive and valuable career builder in which all semi-finalists, finalists and winners derive benefit, regardless of who the final winners may be.

The postmark deadline for applications is October 26, 2010.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. Among their many notable students were Cornell MacNeil, Ezio Flagello and Arthur Thompson. The Award recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2010, based on applications submitted in two divisions—art song and opera/operetta. There are no age limits.

There are no expenses relating to travel for the Schorr Awards. The competition is judged solely through submitted recordings, whether on DVD, CD of VHS. You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility,  provided the general guidelines listed for each competition have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of semi-finalists, finalists and winners. Specific requirements for the tapes in each category may be found on the website:

Semi-finalists received personalized certificates recognizing their selection and are announced by the competition office to the national media, to professional contacts you provide (including local media, schools, managers and conductors, if you wish) and on our blog, where we will include links to personal websites, when provided. (A sample of a winning certificate—from our spring 2010 choral competitions—is posted above.)

Finalists receive the same benefits, and also get written, unbiased evaluations of their performances, authored by noted professionals in the field, evaluations applicants can then utilize in any way that may be valuable to them.

Winners additionally receive cash awards of between $100—$500, are profiled on our website, with bios, photos and weblinks, and on YouTube, where excerpts of winning performances are uploaded.

Although the benefits of participating in The American Prize Schorr Awards are more than financial, the size of the cash awards in each division (opera/operetta or art song) is based on the categories in each particular competition (gifted high school, community, pre-professional, professional), and on the number of applicants, but in no case is the prize less than $100. The decisions of the judges are final.

Eligibility is open to all U.S. citizens, whether living here or abroad, and to non-citizens working, living or studying in the U.S. at the current time.

The art song and the opera competitions are judged separately. The application fee is $35 per competition, so a vocalist skilled enough to wish to enter both the opera and art song competitions should send two copies of each recording for each competition, two copes of each application form and both fees.

All applications will be acknowledged by email. The American Prize follows a strict timeline for the announcement of semi-finalists, finalists and winners. The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

The American Prize
was founded in 2009 and awarded its first prizes, which included more than $2000 in cash awards to orchestras, choruses and conductors, in spring 2010.

If you have any questions about The American Prize that do not seem to be addressed in our blog or our our website, please email David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, at or

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