Applications for the The American Prize CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD

(open competition selecting soloists for a performance of

Handel's MESSIAH in December 2019 in Chicago)

are being accepted through October 21, 2019.


Other contests for the 2019-20 season are now closed, except for those 2018-19 contestants who are awaiting certificate packages. If you are in that category and wish to apply for the 2019-20 contest season, please email the office for details at theamericanprize@gmail.com





The American Prize

National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts

is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts.


The American Prize is nonprofit, unique in scope and structure, and is

designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings.

There is no live competition.

The American Prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $60,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.


To start, click on "Competitions" in the menu bar, above, to see the range of contests The American Prize sponsors each year.



The American Prize:
recognizing and rewarding American excellence
in the performing arts since 2010.

* The American Prize evaluates recorded performances only (online or on disc).
* There is no live competition.
* No age limits.
* Limited repertoire restrictions.
* Separate categories based on age or education.
* Cash prizes to winners.
* Written evaluations to those who rank finalist or higher.
* Nonprofit organization.

To join our email list to receive "On TAP" our free e-newsletter, please click the link below. Questions? theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize WINNERS PAGES are being completely redesigned in 2018. Winners may be found by visiting The American Prize blog. Use the chronological navigation tool in the right hand column to find the contest
in which you have interest.


The American Prize is delighted to announce that internationally acclaimed
Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, SUSANNE MENTZER, has joined its distinguished panel of judges. Click "judges" to read her biography.




MUSICAL AMERICA honors DAVID KATZ and The American Prize:

David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize national nonprofit competitions in the performing arts, has been selected as one of Musical America's "Professionals of the Year, 2016" for his work creating and sustaining
The American Prize.

Read the full story here:
Musical America Top Professionals


In 2015, the American Prize warmly welcomed internationally acclaimed
Metropolitan Opera dramatic soprano, SHARON SWEET, to its distinguished panel of judges. Click "judges" to read her biography.

Leonard Atherton



NOW—you have the option to pay application fees online—or by check, credit card or money order.

NOW—you have the option to provide online links to your audition selections, or send recordings by mail.

NOW—you have the option to fill out the application on your computer and email it directly to the office—or print out, fill by hand and send by mail.

Sign up for "On TAP" our e-newsletter

For winners, click the winners' box: Winners!            For the latest competition updates: American Prize Blogspot

The American Prize

is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts unique in scope and structure,

providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition.

Each year, The American Prize rewards the best recorded performances by individual artists and ensembles

in the United States

at the professional, community/amateur, college, university, church and school levels.


You probably record your performances already.

Now it is time to win The American Prize and

receive the accolades you or your ensemble has earned.

"...in cities large and small all across the United States,

great art is being made–in schools and churches, in colleges and universities,

and by community and professional musicians, actors and composers.


The media does not always tell us about these artists, but they are there,

entertaining audiences, educating young people, and contributing

to the quality of life in the communities they serve.

It is time their work was recognized.

That is the reason for The American Prize..."

—Preamble to Creating the American Prize, (2009)

Annual Competitions

(click on each link below for complete competition information)

Receive professional feedback about any audition DVD or CD recording, resume or other marketing/application materials, at any time during the year, by request. (There is a modest fee for this service.)

Contests for Organizations & Ensembles:

Bands/Wind Ensembles
Opera Companies
Music Theater Companies
Arts Administrators
Chamber Music Ensembles

Contests for Individuals:

Stage Directors


American Prize Blogspot American Prize Facebook YouTube Page American Prize Twitter