American Prize 2014

Anna Edwards wins 2014 American prize in Conducting

SCO Ties for 2nd Place in Community Orchestra Division

The American Prize

For the second year in a row, the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra and its music director, Anna Edwards have been honored by the American Prize in the community orchestra division.

Anna is the 2014 winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the community orchestra division. She was selected from applications reviewed this summer from all across the United States. Among judges’ comments: “clear, musically and emotionally involved, expressive… Higdon especially impressive.”

In addition, this year the orchestra as a whole tied with last year’s winner, the Park Avenue Chamber Orchestra of New York, NY, for second place in the community orchestra division. Among judges’ comments: “…sensitive ensemble playing, very accurate and musical. There are exceptional individual players in the orchestra.”

Additional information about the competition is in on the American Prize website: www.theamericanprize.org.

About The American Prize

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Complete information on the website: www.theamericanprize.org.

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 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, band 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. 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.

The American Prize sponsors competitions for conductors, ensembles, vocalists, composers, stage directors 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.