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Brian Holmes Wins The American Prize in Composition (choral)
The composer provided this autobiographical sketch: Largely self-taught as a composer, Brian Holmes usually composes for chorus or solo voice. His works include three operas, two musicals, a Requiem Mass, two extended works for chorus and orchestra, ten song cycles, over one hundred works for chorus, and a variety of works for orchestra, band, and chamber groups. He has numerous commissions, composition prizes, recordings, and publications to his credit. He has been composer in residence to four choruses in the San Francisco Bay area. Holmes is a professor of Physics at San Jose State University, where he teaches a course on the physics of music.
For a complete list of winning composers and runners-up for 2012, please follow this link: http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2012/05/winners-in- orchestral-composition-2012.html
Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on recorded performances. In addition to monetary rewards and written evaluations from judges, winners are profiled on The American Prize website, where links will lead to video and audio excerpts of winning performances.
THE AMERICAN PRIZE—History & Judges
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, he 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 orchestra and choral musicians.
“Most artists may never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or perhaps 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 or ensemble, builds the donor base, or stimulates opportunities or recruitment for winning artists and ensembles, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.
In addition to composition awards, in 2012 The American Prize sponsors competitions for conductors, ensembles, vocalists and pianists. 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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