Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Finalists: CONDUCTORS (orchestra), 2019-20

If there ever were a year to encourage conductors and all performing artists—to thank them for their service to music, to music education and to enriching their players and audiences with the spiritual nourishment that only the arts can provide—this is the year. The talented individuals listed below all deserve some good news at such a dark time for the world.

We anticipate winners and runners-up in the orchestral conducting category will be announced in June. —DK

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 FINALIST conductors in orchestra divisions. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results 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 complete the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email:

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.
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.

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit for complete contest information.


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional orchestra division, 2019-20

Roberta Carpenter
Hradec Kralove Philharmonic 
Oconomowoc WI 

Steve Lewis
Midwest Chamber Ensemble
Overland Park KS 
Ryan Murray
Modesto Symphony
Modesto CA 

Victor Shlyakhtenko  
South Coast Symphony
Orange County CA 

Markand Thakar
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra 
Baltimore MD 

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division, 2019-20

Ricardo Averbach
Miami University Symphony Orchestra 
Oxford  OH   

John Young Shik Concklin
Vanderbilt University Orchestra
Nashville TN   
Daniel Cook
Northwestern University Chamber Ensemble
Evanston IL   

Robert Denham
Biola Conservatory New Music 
La Mirada CA   

Dr. Thomas Dickey
OSU Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK   

Jeffrey Klefstad
All University Orchestra-Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA   

Hon Pan Benson Lee
TCU Chamber Orchestra
Fort Worth TX   

Michael Moore
Bob Jones University
Greenville SC   

Ryan Murray
Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra 
Sacramento CA   

Joel Neves
Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra 
Houghton MI   

Ian Passmore
Indiana University Symphony Orchestra 
Bloomington IN   

David A. Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra 
Seattle WA   

Ji Hyun Yim
U-Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra
Madison WI   
Chad Hutchinson conductor

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community orchestra division, 2019-20

David Anderson
Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra 
Lake Geneva WI   

Kaleb Benda
Oklahoma Chamber Symphony
Oklahoma City OK   

Daniel Bruce
Burlington Civic Symphony
Burlington VT   

Richard B. Brunson 
Marshfield Symphony Orchestra 
Marshfield WI   

Dr. Thomas Rainey
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra 
Round Rock TX 

Ivan Shulman
Los Angeles Doctors Symphony  
Los Angeles CA   

Michael Isadore 
Houston Civic Symphony
Houston TX   

Taka Matsunaga
Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra 
Schaumburg IL   

Verena Mosenbichler-Bryant
Durham Medical Orchestra
Durham  NC   

Mark Perlman 
Willamette Falls Symphony, Tualatin
Oregon City and Tualatin OR   

David P. Sartor
Parthenon Chamber Orchestra 
Nashville TN   

Martha Stoddard
Oakland Civic Orchestra 
Oakland CA   

Scott E. Woodard 
Charleston Chamber Orchestra  
Charleston WV   

Ji Hyun Yim
Madison Medical Orchestra 
Madison WI

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—youth & school  orchestra division, 2019-20

Orlando Cela
North Carolina Governor's School  Orchestra
Arlington MA   

Mary Gerard
All About Music San Diego
San Diego CA   

Michael Webster
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX   

Kevin Pearce
Lone Star Youth Orchestra
Irving  TX   

Ulli Reiner
Bernardo Heights/Twin Peaks HS Symphony
Poway CA 

Alex Wise
MISA Summer Festival Youth Orchestra 
Shanghai China   

Michael Shane Wittenburg
Elite Academy for Strings Chamber 
Englewood Cliffs  NJ   


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.

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 results 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment