American Composers Orchestra's George Manahan Wins 2012 Ditson Conductor’s Award
Columbia University will award George Manahan, Music Director of American Composers Orchestra, the 2012 Ditson Conductor’s Award for the advancement of American music.
Image credit: Richard Bowditch
The award will be presented Friday evening, Jan. 18, at a 7:30 concert of American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. Augusta Read Thomas, a member of the Ditson Advisory Committee, will present the award. Mr. Manahan will be awarded $5,000 and a citation on behalf of Columbia’s President Lee C. Bollinger.
Previous to American Composers Orchestra, Manahan served as Music Director of the New York City Opera for fourteen seasons and was hailed for his leadership of the orchestra.
In May 2011 Mr. Manahan was honored by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his “career-long advocacy for American composers and the music of our time has enriched and enabled Concert Music both at home and abroad.”
His many appearances on television include productions of La Boheme, Lizzie Borden, and Tosca on PBS. Live from Lincoln Center’s telecast of New York City Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly under his direction won a 2007 Emmy Award.
George Manahan’s wide-ranging recording activities include the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Tehillim for ECM; recordings of Edward Thomas’s Desire Under the Elms, which was nominated for a Grammy; Joe Jackson’s Will Power; and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His enthusiasm for contemporary music continues today; he has conducted numerous world premieres, including Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, David Lang’s Modern Painters, Hans Werner Henze’s The English Cat, and the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner. As Music Director of the Richmond Symphony (VA) for twelve years, he was honored four times by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his commitment to new music.
He received his formal musical training at the Manhattan School of Music, studying conducting with Anton Coppola and George Schick, and was appointed to the faculty of the school upon his graduation, at which time The Juilliard School awarded him a fellowship as Assistant Conductor with the American Opera Center. Mr. Manahan was chosen as the Exxon Arts Endowment Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and he made his opera debut with the Santa Fe Opera, conducting the American premiere of Arnold Schoenberg’s Von Heute Auf Morgen.
Four Columbia faculty were awarded Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are Mark Churchland, assistant professor of neuroscience; Wei Min, assistant professor of chemistry; Simha Sethumadhavan, associate professor of computer science; and Wei Zhang, assistant professor of mathematics.
Alondra Nelson, associate professor of sociology, won the 2012 book award from the Association for Humanist Sociology for Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.