The winners of the 45th annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Awards for outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music were honored at a special invitation-only ceremony and reception on Thursday, November 14th at ASCAP's New York offices. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been distributed in cash prizes to winning authors, journalists and broadcast producers and personalities.
The Awards were established in 1967 to honor the memory of composer, critic and commentator Deems Taylor, who died in 1966 after a distinguished career that included six years as President of ASCAP. The 45th ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Awards are made possible by the generous support of ASCAP, The ASCAP Foundation and the Virgil Thomson Foundation. Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) was one of the great 20th century composers and music critics. Thomson served as a member of ASCAP's Board of Directors from 1975 to 1982.
The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award honored the decades-long and distinguished radio career of broadcast personality and musical tastemaker Jonathan Schwartz, currently heard on WNYC FM in New York and on www.thejonathanchannel.org. Performing in honor of Schwartz was singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli, who delivered two standards written by Jonathan Schwartz’s father, ASCAP member Arthur Schwartz: “Rhode Island Is Famous for You” and “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan.”
The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award honored The All-Star Orchestra, a new PBS program featuring performances of classic and contemporary concert works by an orchestra of top players selected and conducted by Music Director Gerard Schwarz. Receiving Deems Taylor Awards were Schwarz, executive director Paul Schwendener and video producer John Forsen.
The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Media Award recognized the online magazine ICareIfYouListen.com and its founder and editor, Thomas Deneuville. The I Care If You Listen web site aims to provide accessible information and opinion on contemporary concert music (as well as art and technology).
The Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the concert music field honored Howard Pollack for his book Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World, published by Oxford University Press. This award was established to honor the memory of Slonimsky (1894-1995), the Russian-American composer, conductor, musicologist and critic. The composer’s daughter, Electra Slonimsky Yourke, was on hand to present the award. Soprano Amy Burton and pianist-composer John Musto helped celebrate the award with a performance of the song, “I Wish It So,” from the Blitzstein musical, Juno.
The Timothy White Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the pop music field recognized When I Left Home: My Story, written by Buddy Guy with David Ritz and published by Da Capo Press. This award honors the memory of the late Tim White (1952 - 2002), the author of many acclaimed musical biographies and an Editor-in-Chief of Billboard magazine.
The Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology Book honored Tricia Tunstall, for her book Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema and the Transformative Power of Music, published by W.W. Norton & Company. The award was established in memory of the great Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist, Béla Bartók (1881-1945).
The authors and publishers of the other books and articles honored at the ceremony are:
- Anthony Heilbut for The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, The Rise of Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church and Other Meditations, published by Alfred A. Knopf
- Jesse Rodin for Josquin’s Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel, published by Oxford University Press
- Stephen Wade for The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, published by The University of Illinois Press (Wade performed a medley of traditional banjo tunes at the event)
- Sean Wilentz for 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story, published by Chronicle Books
- Christoph Wolff for Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune, published by W.W. Norton & Company
- Aaron Cohen for his liner notes to Clifford Brown: EmArcy Takes Volume 2: The Singers Sessions, released by Verve/Universal Music Enterprises
- Ben Edmonds for his article “Kill City Revisited: Confessions of a Fool for The Stooges,” published by Warner Music Single Notes
- Jeremy Eichler for his articles “String Theorist,” published by The New Yorker; and “Ives’s Last Journey” and “Composed in Marble,” published by The Boston Globe
- Rachel Harris for her liner notes to Borderlands: Music of Central Asia Vol. 10, released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
- Isaac Schankler for his article “Sounds Heard: Anatomy of a Truth-Bender,” published by New Music Box/New Music USA
- Marie Sumner-Lott for her article “At the Intersection of Public and Private Musical Life: Brahms’s Op. 51 Quartets,” published by The Journal of the Royal Musical Association
- David Trippett for his article “Bayreuth in Miniature: Wagner and the Melodramatic Voice, published by The Musical Quarterly,” published by Oxford University Press
- Jaan Uhelszki for her articles “Gleaning Gold: Neil Young’s Harvest Turns 40,” published by Relix Magazine; “The Search for Ronnie Montrose,” published by Classic Rock Magazine; and “Donald Fagan: The Steely Dan Mainman Reels in the Years,” published by Uncut Magazine
Two books were honored with Deems Taylor Special Recognition Awards:
- Jon Burlingame for The Music of James Bond, published by Oxford University Press
- Leonard Slatkin for Conducting Business: Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro, published by Amadeus Press/Hal Leonard
The members of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards Judging Panel for 2013 are Paul Moravec, Daniel Felsenfeld, Jonathan David, Richard Miller, Julie Flanders, David Massengill, Matthew Shipp, Pat Irwin and Wesley Stace.
About The ASCAP Foundation
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. Included in these are 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. www.ascapfoundation.org