The ASCAP Foundation Names Recipients of 2020 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards

June 8, 2020

NEW YORK, June 8, 2020 --  The ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams today announced the recipients of the 2020 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, which encourage talented young creators of concert music ranging in age from 12 to 30.

“Every year, it is both an honor and a pleasure for The ASCAP Foundation to recognize the gifted young composers who are selected as Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipients,” said Williams. “Nurturing the next generation of music creators is an essential part of our mission, and we congratulate our 2020 recipients on their success and thank our dedicated panel of ASCAP composers who selected them from over 400 submissions. 

The 2020 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards composers/judges were: Kathryn Alexander, Tamar Muskal, Steven Burke, Kenneth Fuchs, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Eric Nathan and Huang Ruo.

The 2020 Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipients are listed below with their current residence, and place of origin. Recipients under the age of 18 are listed by state of residence:  Sturdivant Adams of Los Angeles, CA (Mill Valley, CA); Benjamin Beckman of New Haven, CT (Los Angeles, CA); Christian-Frédéric Bloquert of Los Angeles, CA (Paris, France); Chen Yihan of Princeton, NJ (Changzhou, China); TJ Cole of Philadelphia, PA (Athens, GA); Alistair Coleman of Bethesda, MD (Washington, D.C.); Emily Cooley of Philadelphia, PA (Milwaukee, WI); Tyson Davis of New York, NY (Raleigh, NC); Julián Fueyo of New Haven, CT (Tampico, Mexico); Ross Griffey of Houston, TX; Yuri Lee of NY; Piyawat Louilarpprasert of Ithaca, NY (Bangkok, Thailand); Leo Major of CA; Zev Malina of Harrisburg, PA (Greensboro, NC); Jane Shaulan Meenaghan of Los Angeles, CA; Annika Socolofsky of Boulder, CO (Edinburgh, Scotland); Max Vinetz of Houston, TX (San Diego, CA); Jonathan Weiss of Boston, MA; Jungyoon Wie of San Francisco, CA (Seoul, South Korea); and Athena Zhang of MA.

The following composers received Honorable Mention (recipients under the age of 18 are listed by state of residence): Jack Frerer of New York, NY (Sydney, Australia); Ian Gottlieb of Los Angeles, CA (Santa Monica, CA); Maya Miro Johnson of Philadelphia, PA (Salt Lake City, UT); Michael Kropf of Ann Arbor, MI (Danbury, CT); Qi Li of Acton, MA (Beijing, China); Ian J. Lin of RI; Peyton Nelesen of CA; Paul Novak of Houston, TX (Reno, NV); Julian Ossa of NJ; Nicky Sohn of Houston, TX (Seoul, South Korea); Benjamin Webster of Los Angeles, CA (Wrentham, MA); and Shiv Raj Yajnik of Dallas, TX.

Established as The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards in 1979 with funding from The ASCAP Foundation Jack and Amy Norworth Fund, the program grants cash prizes to concert music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition.  These composers may be American citizens, permanent residents or students possessing U.S. student visas.

In addition to The ASCAP Foundation Jack and Amy Norworth Fund, The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund also provides financing for the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Caesar was best known as the lyricist of “Tea for Two” and “Swanee,” while Jack Norworth wrote such standards as "Shine On Harvest Moon" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." 

TJ Cole was recognized by the panel with the 2020 Leo Kaplan Award. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the award, created in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP Special Distribution Advisor.

The annual ASCAP Foundation Young Composer program was dedicated to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Morton Gould’s memory following his death in 1996 to honor his lifelong commitment to encouraging young creatorsA child prodigy himself, Gould’s first composition was published by G. Schirmer when he was only six years of age. Gould served as President of ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation from 1986 – 1994.

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 around the

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 825,000 members representing more than 16 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

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Cathy Nevins | ASCAP