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 or 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 creates an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American orchestral music worldwide. To learn more about the music & legacy of Ernst Bacon, please visit the website of the Ernst Bacon Society.
As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.
All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.
NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, PROFESSIONAL soloists or composers, 2019-20
NM Performing Arts Society and The Santa Fe Women's Ensemble
Santa Fe NM
Lo Lanu Ha-Shem
Cedar Falls IA
Jazz Variations, Elegy and Dance, Deep
Kiss Me Not Goodbye Po'moner, Litany, Compensation
New York NY
Hyunjung Rachel Chung
My Cherished Garden
Alice Anne Light
Abide with Me: 5 Songs of Love (Price Walden)
Highland Park IL
Pieces of China; Ballade in F-sharp minor; Piano Sonata; Toccata (Gould/Vazquez/Copland)
Robert G. Patterson
Rhodes College Mastersingers, Coro Rio, Memphis Symphony
Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House
Kurt Sander PaTRAM Institute Singers
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
New York NY
The Great American Songbook
Sonata for Clarinet and Organ
Lincoln Highway Suite
Ann Marie Wilcox-Daehn
Songs to the Moon (Heggie)
Heidi Louise Williams
Sonata for Piano, Op. 26 (Barber)
NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, semi-finalists, COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY soloists or composers, 2019-20
Ann Arbor MI
Prayer of the Burdened
Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Barber)
CCM Wind Ensemble
Dr. Terence G. Milligan, conductor
Ballade in F minor; Arabesque; Olympus
Young Jun Lee
New Threat Saxophone Quartet
New York NY
Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
Small Talk (A Portrait of Social Skepticism)
We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.
Here is a sample announcement:
"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, 2018-19. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "
Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.
Congratulations to all semi-finalists.