Sylvia Goldstein Award Established at Copland House

Sylvia Goldstein with Ned Rorem and others

Sylvia Goldstein is seen at a 1997 Copland House luncheon, talking with (left to right) Ned Rorem and Martin Bookspan. In the background (left to right) are then-New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Schuyler Chapin and dance critic Francis Mason. Photo by Chris Lee, courtesy Copland House

When Sylvia Goldstein died on January 21, 2002, the new music community lost one of its most dedicated supporters. Over the span of 50+ years in the business, serving as corporate vice president of Boosey & Hawkes and on the boards of the American Music Center and Copland House, she supported the careers of three generations worth of American composers from Copland to Rorem to Reich, as well as acting as a mentor to a large number of industry professionals.

But her devotion to all aspects of American compositional life goes on even after her death with the Sylvia Goldstein Award, an annual prize that will serve “to help underwrite the recording, performance, or publication of an outstanding work written at least in part at Copland House by a resident composer.” The amount of the award will fluctuate each year, depending upon the magnitude of the chosen piece and the requirements of the project at hand.

The establishment of the award was announced at the one-year memorial of Ms. Goldstein’s death held at Lincoln Center‘s Clark Studio on February 10. The creation of the award was made possible by a major bequest by Ms. Goldstein to the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and will be implemented under the auspices of Copland House. Eligible candidates for the prize include composers of works in any medium that had been worked on during a Copland House residency. A rotating panel of prominent musicians will be charged with selecting the annual award recipient and the first winner is expected to be named early this summer.

This award marks Goldstein’s final contribution to Copland House, an organization for which she served initially as a member of its steering committee and eventually as a member of its board of directors. Copland House Artistic Director Michael Boriskin, says of Goldstein’s involvement with the organization and the establishment of the award, “Although Sylvia initially became interested in Copland House because of her decades-long friendship with Copland, she was among the first people to sense the symbolic importance of turning his longtime home into a symbol of America’s rich musical legacy and a kind of mecca for composers and their work. It’s completely typical of Sylvia’s devotion both to composers and to Copland House that she would have conceived of this wonderful way of recognizing and assisting outstanding new works created during residencies there.”

More information about the award can be obtained by calling (914) 788-4659 or sending an email to