BMI composers received some of the most prestigious awards given out by the American Academy of Arts & Letters, which honors the preeminent artists, writers, architects and musicians at work today.
The Charles Ives Living Award was given to BMI composer George Tsontakis, who will receive $75,000 annually for the next three years. This award is given to free a promising talent from the need to devote his or her time to any employment other than music composition during the period of the award.
Steven Stucky was the sole composer inducted this year into the Academy’s department of music. The department includes 47 members, 29 of whom are BMI composers.
Other awards won by BMI composers include the $7,500 Academy Award in music, which went to Chester Biscardi, while Jeffery Cotton received the Walter Hinrichsen Award for music, established by the publisher C.F. Peters in order to support the publication of a work by a mid-career composer
$7,500 Charles Ives Scholarships, given to composers at the start of their careers, were awarded to Trevor Gureckis and Dan Visconti. Visconti was the recipient of a BMI Student Composer Awards in 2003.
Barry Wyner accepted the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, which will support a reading of his work, Calvin Berger. Wyner has been a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and in 2006 received the BMI Foundation’s Jerry Bock Musical Theatre Award for that work.