48th Annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award Winners Announced

November 8, 2016

11-8-foundation-deems-taylor-awardsNew York, Nov. 8, 2016: The winners of the 48th annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/ Virgil Thomson Awards for outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music were announced today by Paul Williams, President of The ASCAP Foundation.  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.  In 2014 the Awards were renamed to also honor the memory of Virgil Thomson (1896 – 1989), one of the leading American composers and critics of the 20th Century, and a former member of the ASCAP board of directors. The 48th ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards are made possible by the generous support of the Virgil Thomson Foundation. The inaugural ASCAP Foundation “Loved the Liner Notes” Award was established and is funded by ASCAP Foundation President, Paul Williams. 

The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/ Virgil Thomson Internet Award recognizes Bob Boilen, the host and creator of the Tiny Desk Concert Series for NPR Music. The show hosts intimate musical performances at Boilen’s desk which are recorded as videos and made available through podcasts, apps and NPR.org.  Boilen is also the current host and creator of NPR's online music show, “All Songs Considered.”

The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Radio Broadcast Award honors Seth Boustead, host, composer and Executive Director of Access Contemporary Music for “Relevant Tones,” the world’s only weekly syndicated radio program featuring the music of living composers, which was launched at WFMT in Chicago in 2011. 

The Paul Williams “Loved the Liner Notes” Award for concert music recognizes Playing ‘Til Your Soul Comes Out! Music of Macedonia, written by Martin Koenig and Sonia Tamar Seeman, released on Smithsonian Folkways.

The Paul Williams “Loved the Liner Notes” Award for pop music honors New Orleans Brass Bands:  Through the Streets of the City by Michael White, released by Smithsonian Folkways.

The Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the concert music field was awarded to Kirke Mechem for his work, Believe Your Ears: Life of a Lyric Composer. This award was established to honor the memory of Slonimsky (1894-1995), the Russian-American composer, conductor, musicologist and critic.

The Timothy White Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the pop music field recognizes The Man That Got Away:  The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen by Walter Rimler. 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 Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism in the concert music field was awarded to Philip Kennicott for his work, Suffering the Truth. The article appeared in Opera News.

The Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism in the pop music field recognizes Elijah Wald for his book, Dylan Goes Electric:  Newport, Seeger, Dylan and the Night that Split the Sixties, published by HarperCollins.

Other book honorees are:


  • Kimberly Francis for Teaching Stravinsky: Nadia Boulanger and the Consecration of a Modernist Icon, published by Oxford University Press for concert books.
  • Ted Gioia for Love Songs:  The Hidden History, published by Oxford University Press for pop books.

The authors and publishers of the award-winning articles are:


  • Geoffrey Himes for his pop article “The Feeling of Space:  How Sun Ra Integrated Sci-Fi in Music,” published by Paste magazine. 
  • Matt Mendez for his concert article “No Strings Attached: A Prism on the Saxophone Quartet,” in NewMusicBox.org published by New Music USA. 

The ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards Judging Panel for 2016 are ASCAP members Jonathan David, Julie Flanders, David Massengill, Paul Moravec. Special thanks to Jim Steinblatt for his professional guidance and advice.

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

About the Virgil Thomson Foundation
The purpose of the Virgil Thomson Foundation is to further and promote the performance, preservation, dissemination and public appreciation of serious music in general and the music and writings of Virgil Thomson in particular. http://www.virgilthomson.org

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