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.
"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK
If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
As the contests unfold, 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 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. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.
NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, PROFESSIONAL division, soloists or composers, 2018-19
Chris Gekker, trumpet
Ching-chu Hu, composer
Hu—Spheres of Influence
Mary Mackenzie, soprano
Heidi Louise Williams, piano
Holy the Firm—James Primosch
Lansing McLoskey, composer
The Crossing / Philadelphia PA
Patrice Michaels, composer & soprano
Michaels—The Long View: A Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ian Mitchell, clarinet
Bass Clarinet and Friends - a miscellany
Michael Rickelton, composer
Rickelton—Time and Memory
Benjamin Shorstein, composer
Shorstein—Partita for Solo Violin
Valerie Stern & Karen Spurney, pianists
Los Angeles CA
Gershwin / Copland / Bolcom
Reed Tetzloff, pianist
Ives—Piano Sonata #2 (Concord)
Griffes—The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan / Sonata
Rzewski—Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues
Kenneth Thompkins, trombone
Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals
Ludwig Tuman, composer
Chamber Choir of CA State University—Long Beach CA
Tuman—Lord of the Cranes; Cat's Protector; The Happy Man's Shirt
Nathan Williamson, piano
Rain Worthington, composer
Croatian Chamber Orchestra
Worthington—In Passages—for violin solo and string orchestra
NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY division, soloists or composers, 2018-19
Martin Hebel, composer
Brno Philharmonic Orcherstra
Hebel—Symphony No.3 in E Minor
Solene Le Van
Princeton University Orchestra
Barber—Knoxville: Summer of 1915
John Wilson, pianist
Bernstein—Symphony No. 2: Age of Anxiety
We invite 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 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 results 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.