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The American Prize Announces Winners in Opera Performance & Conducting
The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2011, winner: Crane Opera Ensemble, SUNY-Potsdam, NY, Carleen Graham, director for Ravel: L'enfant et les sortileges
Astoria Music Festival, Astoria, OR, Keith Clark, artistic director, placed second with Berg's Wozzeck.
Lowell House Opera, Cambridge, MA, Channing Yu music director, Michael Yashinsky, stage director, placed third with Puccini's Tosca.
The American Prize in Opera Conducting, 2011, winner: Keith Clark, artistic director, Astoria Music Festival, Astoria, OR
Channing Yu, music director, Lowell House Opera, Cambridge, MA, placed second.
Michael Sakir, music director of the Boston Opera Collaborative, placed third.
The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize, evaluate and reward the very best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on recorded performances. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts. Complete information on the website: www.theamericanprize.org
The American Prize grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.
With the performing arts in America marginalized like never before, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.
David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz is author of MUSE of FIRE, the acclaimed one-man play about the art of conducting. Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience as we hope the winners of The American Prize will be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing virtually every region of the country, the group includes professional vocalists, conductors, composers and pianists, tenured professors and orchestral and choral musicians.
“Many artists may never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or perhaps ever even be nominated,” Katz said, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward. Quality in the arts is not limited to the coasts, or to the familiar names, or only to graduates of the most famous schools. It is on view all over the United States, if you take the time to look for it. The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence. ”
By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize receive world-class bragging rights to use in promotion right at home. “If The American Prize helps build careers, or contributes to local pride, or assists with increasing the audience for an artist, ensemble or composer, builds the donor base, or stimulates opportunities or recruitment for winning artists and ensembles, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.
In 2011 The American Prize sponsors competitions for conductors, ensembles, vocalists, pianists and composers. The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.
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