The American Prize

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up in the orchestra division of The American Prize in Composition, 2015. We are also pleased to highlight a large group of composers in this category with special citations recognizing the quality of their work as they serve diverse communities in unique and creative ways. Congratulations!

The American Prize in Composition—Orchestra (professional division)

JUDGES CITATION: “Special Achievement in the Art of the Concerto”

KEITH LAY for “Children on the Playground”
as performed by Sir Tamas Kocsis, violin
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Strings, conducted by Christopher Wilkins

(b.1958) Keith Lay grew up listening in rural Ohio and by the age of 17 had composed and conducted for band, piano, jazz orchestra and chamber ensembles. After receiving Master of Music Composition from the University of Akron, his career focused on composing, engineering, producing media for commercial broadcast, record labels and teaching. In commercial music Keith has won national Telly, regional Addy and Golden Reel awards and is a voting member of the Grammys.

“Children on the Playground” was the Grand Prize winner of the Riverside Competition from over 500 submissions and performed at Lincoln Center. The New York Times’ chief classical music critic Antonio Tommasini hailed Keith as “a composer to watch for”. Gramophone described his work, “Earth Caoine”, recorded by Richard Stoltzman, as “unapologetically emotional”.
Keith is a decorated teacher, a Department Chair at Full Sail University, and a founding judge of the National Young Composers Challenge.

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