The American Classical Music Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the induction of its newest member, composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Hall of Fame President Gary L. Ingle presented Zwilich with her commemorative medallion at a reception following the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center concert on Sunday, April 8, 2018.
A prolific composer in virtually all media, Zwilich’s works have been performed by most of the leading American orchestras and by major ensembles abroad. Her works include five Symphonies and a string of concertos commissioned and performed over the past two decades by the nation’s top orchestras.
Zwilich is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in Music (the first woman ever to receive this coveted award), the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Chamber Music Prize, the Arturo Toscanini Music Critics Award, the Ernst von Dohnányi Citation, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, four Grammy nominations, the Alfred I. Dupont Award, Miami Performing Arts Center Award, the Medaglia d’oro in the G.B. Viotti Competition and the NPR and WNYC Gotham Award for her contributions to the musical life of New York City. Among other distinctions, Zwilich has been elected to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1995, she was named to the first Composer’s Chair in the history of Carnegie Hall, and she was designated Musical America’s Composer of the Year for 1999. Zwilich, who holds a doctorate from The Juilliard School, currently holds the Francis Eppes Distinguished Professorship at Florida State University.
Founded in 1996, The American Classical Music Hall of Fame seeks to build and sustain enthusiasm for classical music in America by celebrating diverse facets of classical music excellence. The Hall of Fame Inductees are selected through a rigorous process involving nominations and voting. The process is overseen by members of the Inductee Selection Committee, which included Earl Rivers, chair; Janelle Gelfand; Brian Shepard and Marie Speziale. Additional oversight comes from a National Artistic Council, chaired by composer Samuel Adler.
In May, 1998, the first induction took place at Cincinnati’s Historic Music Hall during a concert by the United States Marine Band. This event marked the launch of the Hall of Fame as an award-granting body. It now has over 100 inductees, which it honors through special events nationwide and via its website: www.americanclassicalmusic.org.