Keep Your Ears on the Prize: A Hyperhistory of American Composition Awards

One of composition’s larger awards, the $50,000 William Schuman Award is administered through Columbia University. Given irregularly every few years, it has gone to William Schuman (1981), David Diamond (1985), Gunther Schuller (1989), Milton Babbitt (1992), and Hugo Weisgall (1995). The elusive nature of this award is such that almost no administrators or faculty at the Columbia Music Department or School of the Arts know that it exists, and even Babbitt, who also sat on the Schuman panel in 1995, could not refer me to someone in charge.

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