Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The American Prize announces five HONORED ARTISTS for 2015

Five American musicians have been chosen as Honored Artists of The American Prize, 2015, by the national nonprofit competitions in the performing arts.  Honored Artists are individuals who have proven themselves to be musicians of “sustained excellence" over a number of seasons as contestants in the competitions.

The American Prize competitions are unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States, based on submitted recordings. The American Prize is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts and has awarded nearly $35,000 in prize money since its founding in 2010.

Additional information about the competitions may be found on the website:

In 2014, Maestro David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize, expressed a hope for the competitions "to do more" to advance the art. The creation of the Honored Artist designation is one way the competition seeks to bring additional recognition to laureates it deems especially worthy.

Honored Artists will be highlighted in a separate section on The American Prize website and on the competition’s Facebook pages, will receive expanded listings on The American Prize blog, will be featured in individualized press releases sent to local, regional and national media, and receive a special, framed certificate. Honored Artists also receive an application fee waiver for a future competition.

CRITERIA (revised 2015): The American Prize Honored Artists must meet these criteria:
  • May be nominated by any member of The American Prize national judging panel.
  • Will have reached finalist status or higher and/or received an Honorable Mention or Special Judge's Certificate in at least three different competition years, which need not be consecutive.
  • Will have won The American Prize (first place) no more than one time in the past two years.
  • Will have consistently received exceptional evaluations in their chosen area of endeavor.
  • Will be honored during a season in which they are an active participant.
  • Accept the designation.
  • There is no minimum or maximum number that will be awarded each season.
Abraham R. Katz
"Honored Artists of The American Prize" are given in memory of David Katz’s father, Abraham R. Katz, a gifted amateur musician, who died in 1999.

The five Honored Artists of The American Prize for 2015 in alphabetical order are:

DONALD APPERT, conductor—Vancouver, WA


2011—Winner: Orchestral Programming
2013—Runner-Up: Orchestra Performance
2014—Runner-Up: Orchestral Programming
2015—Runner-UP: Orchestral Programming

ROBERT BUTTS, conductor—Madison, NJ

2011—Citation Recipient
2012—Runner-Up: Opera Conducting
2013—Runner-Up: Opera Conducting

PEGGY DETTWILER, conductor—Mansfield, PA

2011—Winner: Choral Performance
2011—Runner-Up: Choral Conducting
2013—Runner-Up: Choral Conducting
2013—Finalist: Choral Performance

JONATHAN HANDMAN, conductor—LaGrangeville, NY

2011—Winner: Orchestra Performance (high school orchestra)
2012—Winner: Orchestra Performance (high school orchestra)
2013—Winner: Orchestra Performance (youth orchestra)
2014—Runner-Up: Orchestra Performance (youth and high school orchestra)
2015—Runner-Up: Orchestral Performance (youth and high school orchestra)

ROBERT WENDEL, composer—New York, NY

2011—Finalist: orchestral composition
2014—Finalist: choral composition
2015—Finalist: choral composition


Individual listings, including biographies of the artists, will be posted to The American Prize blog shortly.


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