8 November 2016

OPERA NEWS Awarded ASCAP Foundation's Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism

OPERA NEWS has won a Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism in the concert field, Paul Williams, President of the ASCAP Foundation, announced today. 

The prize was awarded to Washington Post critic and OPERA NEWS contributor Philip Kennicott for his essay "Suffering the Truth," which recounted the author's personal connection to Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci on the eve of the Metropolitan Opera's then-new production of the double bill. The piece appeared in the April 2015 issue of OPERA NEWS. The magazine has previously won five Deems Taylor Awards, the most recent having been awarded for Russell Platt's 2009 profile of Dominick Argento, "The Lady Killer."

The awards were first established in 1967 in honor of the composer, critic, writer and ASCAP president Deems Taylor, who died in 1966; in 2014, the ASCAP Foundation renamed the awards to also honor the memory of composer and critic Virgil Thompson (1896–1989), who served on the ASCAP board of directors. 

This year's awards, the forty-eighth, honored outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music. Additional awards also went to Bob Boilen, the host and creator of the Tiny Desk Concert Series for NPR Music; Seth Boustead, the host, composer and Executive Director of Access Contemporary Music for WFMT's Relevant Tones, the world's only weekly syndicated radio program featuring the music of living composers; and composer Kirke Mechem, who received the Nicolas Slominsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the concert field, for his memoir, Believe Your Ears: Life of a Lyric Composer.

The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards judging panel for 2016 included ASCAP members Jonathan David, Julie Flanders, David Massengill and Paul Moravec.

Founded in 1975, the ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs, including songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. spacer 

More information can be found at www.ascapfoundation.org. 

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