Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Finalists: COMPOSERS (instrumental chamber music—student division), 2021

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time. 

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2021 FINALIST composers in the student instrumental chamber music division. Congratulations!

Finalists in the professional division will be announced on Friday, June 4 at 5pm EDT on this blog.

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.

From Maestro Katz: 

"Why so many finalists?" Different from some other contests, The American Prize is first and foremost about encouraging artists, not about eliminating contestants. Are each of the works below equal in terms of quality or interest? Of course not. But each of the individuals below was judged to be worthy of further consideration as we move towards selecting winners and runners-up in the various divisions. At the end of the contest year each will receive a written evaluation. Especially during this most difficult time for the performing art everywhere, we welcome these works and hope the recognition conveyed by finalist status will prove valuable, both personally and professionally. Thanks to all these individuals for their creativity. —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.

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022: 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, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit for complete contest information.

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.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts. The American Prize is unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings. Now in its tenth year, The American Prize was founded in 2010 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Contestants hail from all fifty states, representing literally hundreds of communities and arts organizations across the nation. 

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Instrumental Chamber Music (student division), 2021 
(SEE "Why so many finalists?"—above)

Micheal Barnes                 

Cincinnati   OH       



Jacob Beranek  

Oconomowoc   WI   

Wind Quintet   


Nicolas Bizub    

Cincinnati   OH   Fill 

The Swamp 


Elillian J. Daugherty

Bellbrook    OH   

Quintet for Winds   


Zach Gulaboff Davis    

Jersey City  NJ   

On the Trajectory of Light    


Liam Diethrich

Highland Park IL   

Mobius Strip


Richard Drehoff Jr.   

Virginia Beach    VA   

shadow of a difference / falling    


Isaiah Evans    

Burnt Hills  NY   

New Ground, for string quartet


Julian Fueyo    

New Haven    CT   



Martin Hebel    

Hamden  CT   

Rust and Bone  


William Horsley  

Reno    NV   



Elisa Johnson  

Seattle WA   

We have Wings  


Feona Jones    

Pleasant Hill CA   



Rachael S. Kim 

Sammamish    WA   

The Voyager


June Young Kim 

Roslyn  NY   

A Sigh Into Thin Air


Jihyun Kim 

Houston TX   



Jared M. Lane

Hartsel CO   

Looking Inward, Looking Outward; Ice & Warmth; A Quiet Hope 


YoungJun Lee 

Boston  MA   

Shin-byeong for violin solo  


Joohun Lee 

Alexandria   VA   

Revenant Legends    


Nicole Liang    

Clarksville  MD   

Childhood Innocence 


Joan M. Low 

Oxnard  CA   

Elysian Fields 


David Wang Lu  

Ellicott City MD   

Quarantine Quintet  


Alan Mackwell 

Boston  MA   

Eggs for Breakfast 


Luis McDougal 

McAllen TX   

Guitar Preludes


Tai O'Malley 

San FranciscoCA   

Esoma Buelos; Starshine Overture; Dusk Cavalry 


Craig Peaslee 

Oostburg WI   

The Death of a Nation    


Michael Andrei Pogudin  

Park City    UT   

Septet in C Major, Waltz in C#


Cody Ray 

Wadsworth    OH   

A City Moving Forward    


Deovides A. Reyes III

Saint Meinrad IN   

Bells of Saint Meinrad   


Calvin Rice

Lake Forest Park  WA   

String Quartet no. 1


Nicholas Shaheed  

Seattle WA   

Another Good One is There


Ryne Siesky   

Miami   FL   

Art Miniatures


Johnny Smith-Wilson  

Atlanta GA   

String Quintet No. 2 "Lawurl"  


Gary Kaiji Wang

Rochester    NY   

Lullabye and Dreams 


Thomas L. Wilson   

Baton Rouge  LA   

Flash Photography   


Adam Winograd 

Weston  MA   

La endecha del violin solitario


Qingye Wu  

Cincinnati   OH   

Winter Sketches


Christina Xiao

Lexington    MA   

Ambler; Baby River


Yifei (Michael) Xu  

Upland  CA   

Quartet for Wind instruments and piano  


Xuesi Xu 

Tallahassee  FL   

Red Winter 


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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