(Ensemble division winners of the Bacon Award are posted separately.)
Among the many contests of The American Prize, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music is unique. It recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, based on submitted recordings. Applications are accepted from professional, college/university, community and high school age solo artists, chamber ensembles and conducted ensembles, competing in separate divisions, and from composers with excellent recordings of their works. Beginning in 2017-18, categories were expanded to encompass performances of American music in practically any instrumentation or genre, with very few repertoire restrictions.
Focused exclusively on works by American composers from any period and in any style, the contest not only judges performances, but in the case of new or unfamiliar works, the music itself.
Ernst Bacon (1898—1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers who, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, found a voice for American music. Winner of a Pulitzer Scholarship (for his Symphony in D minor) and no fewer than three Guggenheim Fellowships, Ernst Bacon set out to create compositions that expressed the vitality and affirmative spirit of our country. It is fitting, and with honor, that The American Prize created an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American music worldwide. To learn more about the music & legacy of Ernst Bacon, please visit the website of the Ernst Bacon Society.
Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: email@example.com
The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, PROFESSIONAL solo artist division, 2017-18
The American Prize winner:
Ann Marie Wilcox-Daehn, soprano,
and Elizabeth Avery, piano
The Forgotten Songs of Sergius Kagen
|Ann Maire Wilcox-Daehn|
An advocate of the music of living composers, Avery has given world premiere performances on stages such as New York City’s Steinway Hall and Weill Recital Hall, and has premiered Italian operas with the International Opera Theater in Umbria and Piemonte. Other notable engagements have included the Eastman Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, and several summers as an official coach/pianist for the “Deutsch für Sänger” program at Middlebury College’s prestigious German Language School. During recent summers, Dr. Avery has become established as a faculty coach at the Up North Vocal Institute, a unique young artist program that focuses not only on training the voice, but the mind and body as well.
Second Place (there was a tie):
Luke Cissell, composer and performer
New York NY
String Quintet—Luke Cissell
Second Place (there was a tie):
Judith Lang Zaimont, composer,
and Elizabeth Moak, pianist
Sonata for Piano: Nocturne—La fin de siecle—Zaimont
|Judith Lang Zaimont|
William Popp, composer and accordion
music by Kleinsinger, Gart, Antonio
Finalist—Special Judges' Citation:
"Championing American Piano Music"
Peter Seivewright, piano
Piano Sonatas by Carter, Rozsa and MacDowell
Peter Seivewright has appeared as Piano Concerto soloist with leading Orchestras and given recitals in major Festivals and concert venues throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Denmark (eight recital tours), Latvia, Estonia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Australia (four recital tours), China, India, Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America, Russia, and the Donetsk People's Republic. Orchestras he has appeared as Piano Concerto soloist with include the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Scottish Baroque Soloists, Camerata Scotland, the Scottish Sinfonietta, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, the Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the S.S.Prokofiev State Academic Symphony Orchestra in Donetsk. In March 2017 the S.S.Prokofiev State Academic Symphony Orchestra awarded Peter Seivewright the Distinguished Artist Citation, the highest award the Orchestra can bestow.
Peter Seivewright's CD discography is extensive, and includes the Complete Piano Music by Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) issued by Naxos, CDs for Merlin Classics and Rondo Records (Copenhagen), and numerous CDs issued by The Divine Art Recordings Group, for whom he now records exclusively. From 2008 to 2011 Peter Seivewright was the inaugural Professor of Music (Full Professor) at the Academy for the Performing Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. He will spend the academic year 2017-2018 as Professor of Pianoforte Performance at the Phnom Penh International Institute of the Arts, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. His home is near Glasgow, Scotland.
Christopher Nichols, clarinet
Dr. Nichols is a versatile clarinetist with performances as a soloist and in ensembles across the United States and abroad. He regularly performs with orchestras such as the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Kennett Symphony and the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Christiana Winds and has recently collaborated with the acclaimed Serafin String Quartet, the Taggart-Grycky Duo, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has served for over a decade in the Army Music Career program with performances throughout the United States, Germany, France and Austria.
Dr. Nichols has appeared as a featured soloist at conferences of the International Clarinet Association, European Clarinet Association, and College Music Society. His live performances have been selected for inclusion in the Audio Performance Archive of College Music Symposium and broadcast on Kansas and Michigan Public Radio. In 2015, Dr. Nichols work as a solo recitalist was recognized with an Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts.
As a Légère Reeds Endorsing Artist and a Buffet Artist Clinician, Dr. Nichols performs exclusively on Légère Signature Series reeds and Buffet clarinets. Additional information is available at his personal website www.christophernicholsclarinet.com.
Lisa Dawson and Tammie Huntington, sopranos,
Phoenix Park-Kim, pianist
“Portraits of Women”
—music by David Horace Davies, Robert Denham, Lenna Kirchoff
|Lisa Dawson and Tammie Huntington, sopranos, Phoenix Park-Kim, pianist|
The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY solo artist division, 2017-18
The American Prize winner:
Corinne Rydman, soprano
San Francisco CA
The Art Songs by Florence Price
Through her devotion to social justice, Corinne fell in musical love with the forgotten African-American pioneer Florence Price, premiering some of her songs never before previously published. Corinne also performs musical theater such as the roles of Liliane La Fleur (Nine), Woman 2 (Closer Than Ever), Weathergirl (As Thousands Cheer), and Mrs. Prysselius (Pippi Longstocking). Her next projects are two productions with the Bay Area’s Opera Theater Unlimited — the 48-Hour Festival and a world-premiere composed by Joseph M. Colombo with libretto by Caitlin Mullan.
UNLV Wind Orchestra
Thomas Leslie, conductor
Las Vegas NV
Bordello Nights—Jennifer Bellor
|UNLV Wind Orchestra|
Recognized for a fresh, interpretative style among collegiate wind orchestras, Thomas Leslie and the UNLV Wind Orchestra continue to excel in their commitment to commission new works by the next generation of the world’s finest young composers. This ensemble, under Professor Leslie’s baton, has premiered numerous pieces commissioned by UNLV, Professor Leslie and the Wind Orchestra. Professor Leslie has conducted, and recorded twenty compact disc recordings with the UNLV Wind Orchestra. They are: 1994 – The UNLV Wind Symphony; Ghost Train; Gawd$illa Eats Las Vegas; It Takes a Village; Monkey; No Mo’ Chalumeau; Chunk (all title tracks commissioned by Thomas Leslie); BCM… Saves the World; Bandanna, the complete Daron Hagen opera; 3 Steps Forward, the premiere disc in the new UNLV Wind Orchestra Series for Klavier Recordings; Spiritual Planet; 4 Flew Over the Hornet’s Nest; The Quest; Vegas Maximus; Concerto for Marienthal; Marquee Mojo; Lost Vegas; Ventanas; The Return; and 24K Gould, the newest release in the collection. All of these recordings have received noteworthy acclaim in professional journals in addition to high praise from colleagues throughout the world.
Bellor holds a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. She is Visiting Lecturer in composition and theory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series Nextet. Currently, she is the Composer-in-Residence for the percussion quartet, Clocks in Motion, and is working on her first of four quartets that will be completed over the three-year residency. Her music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, and her website, www.jenniferbellor.com.
Third Place (there was a tie):
Natalie Dietterich, composer
New Haven CT
conversations with strangers—Natalie Dietterich
Third Place (there was a tie):
Vaibhav Mohanty, composer,
and Jake Tilton, saxophone
Rhapsody No. 1 for Alto Saxophone and Piano