Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Power has returned (but not for 10s of thousands of others still waiting.) We will publish an update about all competitions tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, August 29, 2011

TWATAP—but first Hurricane Irene

We plan to publish an update this week about The American Prize, with lots of information for semi-finalists, finalists and winners, but at the moment, no electricity—I'm sitting outside a (closed) McDs just to email everyone that we lost power during Irene and it may be several days before it is on again. TAP info as soon as we can! Thanks for your patience.


Monday, August 22, 2011


In the highly competitive annual contest for The American Prize in Choral Performance, The American Prize has singled out three choruses for special citations in 2011. Although the citations carry with them no monetary award, they are awards of distinction, acknowledging unique organizations, performances or musical contributions that might otherwise go unrecognized.

Two choirs will receive citations for Unique Choral Programming in 2011:

Cantori New York, Mark Shapiro, music director—for their March 2011 concert at Church of the Holy Trinity, New York City, featuring Romancero Gitano by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the world premiere of Night Keeps its Promise, by Frank Ezra Levy, and selections by John Dowland.

Currently in its 27th season, three-time recipient ASCAP Programming Award recipient Cantori New York has been praised by The New York Times for its “spirit of exploration” and “virtuosity,” winning acclaim for its artistic excellence and innovative programming. Cantori’s collaborators have included Tony winner Maryann Plunkett, the Cassatt String Quartet, and the Prism Saxophone Quartet; Cantori has been presented by Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center, and GEMS and MATA at Le Poisson Rouge. 

Milwaukee Choral Artists, Sharon Hansen, director—for their 10th Anniversary compact disc on the Clarion label made up entirely of commissions and world premieres.
The Milwaukee Choral Artists is Wisconsin's premiere professional choral ensemble, and one of only a handful of professional women’s choral ensembles in the country. With its signature lush sound, MCA brings a distinctive repertory of choral and vocal masterworks— including well-known pieces, new music, and seldom-performed works—to concert audiences throughout the region. Committed to presenting music from diverse cultures, the ensemble has performed music in twenty-eight languages from more than forty world cultures. 


Sistrum—Lansing Women's Chorus, Meredith Bowen, music director will received a Joy of Music citation, honoring the ensemble for the depth of its artistic vision and its infectious performances in "an exuberant and delightful recording entitled Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn."

Sistrum is an inclusive women's chorus committed to creating music together that Inspires, Empowers, and Entertains. We strive to provide a musical haven where women may find their voices and enjoy the camaraderie offered by the Sistrum community.  We further endeavor to create a choral instrument by which our members can use their voices to raise beautiful music and powerful energy.  It is our intent to challenge and entertain our audiences and ourselves, such that all are moved to emotion, thought and action. We believe in the magic and joy of raising our voices together.  In doing so, we lend our spark to the worldwide struggle for peace, equality and freedom for all people.

To view recent winners of The American Prize in Choral Performance, as well as winners in other categories, please scroll down or use the archive feature to the right.


A veteran music director and a young conductor have been singled out by The American Prize for special citations in 2011. Although the citations carry with them no monetary award, they are special distinctions, acknowledging important musical skills or unique contributions of certain Prize applicants which might otherwise go unrecognized.

The two conductors receiving citations in 2011 are:

Robert Butts, music director of the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey and Opera at Florham, will be recognized for Excellence in Music Education, Enrichment and Outreach. 
The citation recipient provided this short bio: Maestro Butts brings musicology and conducting skills together with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey.  His concerts are the most varied in the state, featuring concertos for flute, oboe and bassoon as well as for violin and piano.   His concerts feature music from the 17th through the 21st centuries.   Maestro Butts edits oratorios and concertos by Baroque and Classical composers for modern day premieres, composes music for the ensemble, and interprets the great works of orchestral literature.

In acknowledging Maestro Butt's contributions, the competition wrote:  "As your work demonstrates, excellence in music education, enrichment and outreach is not confined to the classroom or to the applied music studio. Conductors, whether leading school ensembles, community or professional organizations, have a major role in education, teaching not only the performers they lead, but also audiences of all ages, boards, donors, media, parents, and the community at large. In fact, everyone who comes in contact with an ensemble and its musical leadership benefits from the learning the conductor facilitates. As we witness more and more music programs in peril, as the study of (and the knowledge of) music becomes more and more of an afterthought in many communities, it is conductors such as you who assume a greater role than ever before in bringing the value of this great art to the attention of American society...Congratulations."


Jason Lim will receive a special Young Conductor citation, recognizing his burgeoning leadership skills, in evidence both in rehearsal and performance in a broad array of repertoire.
The citation recipient provided this short bio: Jason Lim born in Malaysia, received his formal training in conducting in Canberra, Australia, serving as apprentice with the Canberra Youth Orchestra and assistant conductor with the Ku Ring Gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney. Jason added to his awards and achievements the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Scholarship. In 2000 Jason led the NOVA Ensemble in its first commercial recording in under the auspices of the “Equilibrum” label, conducting the world premier performance of Brian Bavelander’s Distant Visions for orchestra and pre recorded tape. Jason was Music Director and Conductor for two years. In 2005, Jason conducted the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra Classical subscription concert and conducted the Abilene premier of Michael Remson’s opera, Sibanda with  Hardin Simmons University Opera.

To view recent winners of The American Prize in Conducting, as well as winners in other categories, please scroll down or use the archive feature to the right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


We are currently in the process of updating the winners' pages on The American Prize website to reflect 2011 results in all competitions and categories. We will announce when the conversion is complete. During the transition, winners and runners-up from all competitions in 2010 and 2011 may still be found here on our blog. Use the archive feature to the right to find what you are looking for. Many thanks.

Monday, August 1, 2011

TWATAP: August 1, 2011

This week at The American Prize we continue to contact national media about winners, runners-up and honorable mentions. We will also email local media with press releases tailored to those individual contestants. (Copies of press releases will be forwarded.)

We also hope to announce several citation recipients later in the week who deserve additional recognition for their work.

The American Prize office will be closed from August 8-21. We will have limited access to email during that time.

The office reopens August 22 at which time we will begin to send packets to orchestral, choral, opera and conducting contestants, including prizes, evaluations and certificates to winners; evaluations and certificates to runners-up and finalists; certificates to semi-finalists.

All contestants (semi-finalist or higher) will receive The American Prize logo and official seal, to use in print and online publicity, as well as our catalog of The American Prize signature gifts. Look for a “free shipping” code to appear on our facebook page later in the month to use for orders placed before the deadline. (Proceeds from the sale of The American Prize merchandise directly support the non-profit competitions.)

The Winners page on the website will be updated to reflect the results of 2011 competitions and applications and information about 2012 competitions will soon be available on the website.

All judges will be contacted later in the month concerning their participation.

Many thanks.