The American Prize

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The American Prize is a set of annual nonprofit national competitions in the performing arts which recognizes and rewards commercial and noncommercial recorded performances of classical music in the United States based on submitted applications. There is no live competition.[1] The award is bestowed at professional, college/university, community, and high school levels in a number of areas including composition, piano, voice, chamber music, conducting, and ensemble performance.[2][3] The jury consists of well known performing artists in each area, with the conductor and composer David Katz serving as chief judge.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Artists and ensembles self-nominate through an application process or are nominated by a teacher, parent, board member or colleague.[11] Evaluation is a key component of the competition; applicants who reach finalist status or higher receive a written evaluation from a member of the judging panel. Among judges are composer Judith Lang Zaimont, pianist Jeffrey Biegel, and Metropolitan Opera soprano Sharon Sweet.[12] Winners of each category receive a cash award.

Top prize winners[edit]

Winners of the first prize award by year in all professional categories.[13]


Orchestra Choral Chamber Music Band Opera / Theater / Film / Dance
2011 Jesse Ayers Ted Vives not awarded not awarded not awarded
2012 Michael Gatonska Brian Holmes not awarded not awarded not awarded
2013 Alessandra Salvati Jonathan Santore Michael Deak Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn not awarded
2014 Gregg Wramage Dominick DiOrio Piotr Szewczyk Laurence Bitensky Todd Goodman
2015 Angelique Poteat Travis Alford tie: David Garner /

Judith Lang Zaimont

David Avshalomov Yiguo Yan
2016 Jennifer Bellor Lansing McLoskey Justin Dello Joio Miguel Roig-Francolí Justin Dello Joio
2017 Brian Ciach (pending) instrumental: Ching-chu Hu /

choral: (pending)

Robert Denham Jocelyn Hagen
2019 Nilo Alcala Eric W. Sawyer
2019-20 Tyler Goodrich White major works: John Muehleisen /

shorter works: Donald Skirvin

instrumental: Jakub Polaczyk /

vocal: William Vollinger

Shawn Okpebholo Zach Redler


Solo Concerto
2011 Lin-Yu Wang not awarded
2012 Nathanael May Sarah S. Chan
2013 Petronel Malan Anthony Michael Cornet
2014 Nassib Nassar Kasandra Keeling
2015 Michael Angelucci Bill John Newbrough
2016 Jeremy Samolesky Thomas Yee
2017 Roberto Plano Richard Bosworth
2019-20 Lei Weng Anna Dmytrenko


Opera / Operetta (women) Opera / Operetta (men) Art Song / Oratorio (women) Art Song / Oratorio (men)
2011 Laura Strickling Jonathan Beyer Christine Steyer Blake Friedman
2012 Suzanne Vinnik Christian Ketter Sharin Apostolou Matthew Garrett
2013 Suzanne Vinnik Christian Ketter Emily Marvosh Darren Chase
2014 Megan Marino Mitchell Hutchings Sarah Davis Leo Rado
2015 Aundi Marie Moore Peter Lightfoot Tania Coambs Jorell Williams
2016 Samantha Britt Keith Brown Margaret Lias Stephen Lancaster
2017-18 Meredith Mecum Ryan Francis Burns Kristina Bachrach Justin John Moniz
2018-19 Jacqueline Piccolino Logan Tanner Emily Yocum Black Justin John Moniz
2019-20 Madison Marie McIntosh Leo Radosavljevic Ann Cravero Bryan Pinkall

Chamber music[edit]

2014 Atlanta Chamber Players
2015 The New Consort
2019-20 Eason-Seregow Duo


Orchestral performance Conducting
2010 Lancaster Festival Orchestra Gary Sheldon, Lancaster Festival Orchestra
2011 Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Christopher Zimmerman, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
2012 National Philharmonic Dirk Meyer, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra
2013 not awarded not awarded
2014 Park Avenue Chamber Symphony not awarded
2015 Western Piedmont Symphony Olivier Ochanine, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
2018 Allentown Symphony Orchestra
2019 Symphony Number One David Bernard
2019-20 Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra Markand Thakar


Choral performance
2010 Roomful of Teeth
2011 Washington Bach Consort
2012 not awarded
2013 not awarded
2014 not awarded
2015 Houston Chamber Choir
2019-20 co-winners: Dallas Chamber Choir /


College/university prize winners[edit]

Winners of the first prize award by year in college/university categories.[13]


Orchestra Choral Chamber Music Band Opera / Theater / Film / Dance
2013 Roberto Kalb Joshua Fishbein not awarded not awarded not awarded
2014 Texu Kim Saunder Choi Rodrigo Bussad not awarded not awarded
2015 Patrick O’Malley Kyle Randall Derek David not awarded not awarded
2016 Jihyun Kim Matthew Recio Lara Poe Derek Jenkins Georgi Dimitrov
2017 Antonio Juan Marcos (pending) instrumental: Olga Amelkina-Vera /

choral: (pending)

Tyler Bouque Michele Cheng


Opera / Operetta (women) Opera / Operetta (men) Art Song / Oratorio (women) Art Song / Oratorio (men)
2015 Sarah Bauer Galeano Salas Paulina Nastasha Yeung not awarded
2016 Natalie Logan Quinn Bernegger Samantha Schmid Quinn Bernegger
2017 tie: Sarah Cooper / Kellie Motter Ben M. Reisinger Lauren Elizabeth Walker David John Davani


Orchestral performance Conducting
2010 Texas Chamber Group Orchestra Ricardo Averbach, Oxford Chamber Orchestra
2011 University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra Kenneth Kiesler, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
2012 University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra Gemma New, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
2013 not awarded not awarded
2014 St. Olaf Orchestra not awarded
2015 Baylor Symphony Orchestra Boon Hua Lien, Eastman Philharmonia


Choral performance
2010 Washington & Jefferson College Camerata Singers
2011 Mansfield University Concert Choir
2012 East Carolina University Chamber Singers
2013 Iowa State Singers
2014 The University of North Dakota Concert Choir
2015 USC Thornton Chamber Singers

Community prize winners[edit]

Winners of the first prize award by year in community categories.[13]


Choral performance
2010 Choral Arts
2011 Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union
2012 Ensemble Companio
2013 Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble
2014 Choral Arts Initiative
2015 Peninsula Women's Chorus


  1. ^ "The American Prize rewards the best-recorded performances by individual artists and ensembles in the U.S." MidlandsBiz, Columbia, SC, October 8, 2014.
  2. ^ Eiseman, Lee. "National Prize Recognizes Local Composer." The Boston Musical Intelligencer, September 24, 2014.
  3. ^ "Michael Angelucci Wins the American Prize in Piano," The Peabody Post, November 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Lewis, John. "Tom Hall & Choral Arts Win American Prize Awards." Baltimore, October 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "UNLV Opera director wins American Prize." Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "Tara Curtis places second in The American Prize in Voice." KCMetropolis, Kansas City, KS, September 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "Nashville composer Daniel Elder shines in the American Prize." ArtsNash, Nashville, TN, September 26, 2014.
  8. ^ "Crane director wins 'The American Prize in Opera Performance' for Menotti's opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors." North Country Now, Potsdam, NY, January 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "SSYO Places Third Nationally in the American Prize Competition." Saratoga Today, Saratoga Springs, NY, October 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "Composer Michael Gatonska Awarded The American Prize in Composition."
  11. ^ "FAQs". Retrieved Sep 11, 2019.
  12. ^ "Judges 2017-18". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  13. ^ a b c "The American Prize". Retrieved 2018-04-15.

External links[edit]