Thursday, April 2, 2020

Finalist COMPOSERS (instrumental chamber music—all divisions), 2019-20

We are relaxing requirements in all the composition contests, to make it easier to apply, including accepting PDFs in place of sending hard copies of scores. Details on the website soon.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST composers of instrumental chamber music for 2019-20 in professional and student divisions. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

"The American Prize never designates a set number of finalists: the quality of the candidates' work directly influences that outcome. We also try hard not to be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination—one reason 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.

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:

We invite 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 FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (professional division), 2020

Aaron Alter  
Carlsbad  CA
Solar Rays

Bruce Babcock
Pasadena  CA
The Present Moment

Jack Du Wayne Ballard Jr.
Alliance  OH
Four Seasons on Works  by Robert Florczak

Navid Bargrizan  
McKinney  TX

Jennifer Margaret Barker 
Newark  DE
Na Tri Peathraichean  

John G. Bilotta
Concord   CA

Luke Carlson
Hollister  MO

Ryan Carraher
Boston  MA
"Colors" he says to the screen's black lattice 

Gustavo Casenave
Astoria   NY

Brian Ciach  
Mountain View CA
California Ballad

Michael Coleman
Pensacola  FL
String Quartet No. 1

David Colson 
Kalamazoo  MI
Dionysian Mysteries

Mark Dal Porto  
Portales  NM
Exotic Animals Suite

Robert Denham 
La Mirada  CA
Speaking of Beginnings

Amos Gillespie  
Chicago   IL
Musics II for flute, clarinet, alto sax and cello  

Kyle Grimm  
Hartford  CT
"Pitchforks & Crow's Feet" 

Paul Lombardi
Vermillion   SD
Pieces of Mind and Matter 

Alejandro Viramontes Nunura 
Boston  MA

Jakub Polaczyk
Cliffside Park  NJ

David P. Sartor 
Hermitage  TN

Walter Saul
Fresno  CA
Sonatina for Piccolo and Piano

Andrew Sigler 
Knoxville  TN
The Gentle Churches

Joseph T. Spaniola
Pensacola  FL

Neil Stipp  
Glendora  CA
Sonata for Clarinet and Organ 

Kyle Vanderburg 
Fargo ND

William Vollinger  
Woodcliff Lake  NJ
The Violinist in the Mall  

Tyler Goodrich White  
Lincoln   NE
Three Views From The Mountain 

Kevin Wilt
Boynton Beach FL
Elemental Dance 

Judith Lang Zaimont
Maricopa  AZ
A Strange Magic

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (student division), 2020

Shelby Rawlings Blalock
Charlottesville   VA
 Internal Combustion  
Daniel Farrell
Brooklyn  NY
Puppet Show 

Stella Gitelman Willoughby 
Cambridge  MA
Led, a Trio for alto flute, vibraphone and violin
Joseph Foster Harkins
Middletown   PA
Mountain Streams of Consciousness 
Hans Bridger Heruth 
Liberty   MO
In the Shadow of the Moon
Patrick Holcomb
Ocean View   DE
Ghost-light; The Sun Rising  
Elisa K. Johnson
Seattle   WA
Dayton Kinney 
Raleigh   NC
Hand Carved Names and Railroad Tracks 

YoungJun Lee
Boston  MA
Ming-Jui Liu
Arcadia   CA
Mirror of the Sunshine, op. 3

Zachary Ploeger
Pipestone  MN
Trio for Trumpet, Violin and Piano
Matt  Ridge  
Bloomington  IN

Benjamin Shaw
Newport   RI
String Quarter no. 1
Chris Shelton
Windermere   FL
Serpent Mound

Austin Smith  
North Truro  MA
Patrick Andrew Thompson
Jersey City   NJ

Daniel Whitworth  
Highland Park  IL
Ripples in Infinity 
Foo Jeng Wong
Brighton  MA
Seeking Passage


We encourage 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.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing winners in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: or follow the news on Facebook: or Twitter: "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

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