Ellen Harris receives ASCAP award

Nicolas Slonimsky Award

Ellen T. Harris, MIT Music and Theater Arts Class of 1949 Professor of Music Emeritus and President of the American Musicological Society, received The Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the concert music field for her book George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends, published by Norton. This award was established to honor the memory of Slonimsky (1894-1995), the Russian-American composer, conductor, musicologist and critic.

47th Annual Deems Taylor/Wirgil Thomson Award Winners Announced

New York, October 5, 2015: The winners of the 47th 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. Last year 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 47th ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards are made possible by the generous support of ASCAP, The ASCAP Foundation and the Virgil Thomson Foundation.

The award recipients will be honored on November 17 at a special invitation-only ceremony and reception hosted by Paul Williams at ASCAP’s New York offices.

About Ellen Harris

Ellen T. Harris (eharris@mit.edu) B.A. ’67 Brown University; M.A. ’70, Ph.D. ’76 University of Chicago, Class of 1949 Professor Emeritus at MIT is a musicologist whose work focuses on Handel, Baroque opera, and vocal performance practice. She is currently President of the American Musicological Society.

Her most recent book, George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends, was published by W. W. Norton (2014). Her previous book, Handel as Orpheus: Voice and Desire in the Chamber Cantatas (Harvard University Press, 2001) received the 2002 Otto Kindeldey Award from the American Musicological Society and the 2002-03 Louis Gottschalk Prize from the Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her earlier publications include an edition of cantatas for alto voice (Oxford University Press, 2001), a critical facsimile edition of Handel’s opera librettos (13 vols.: Garland, 1989), Henry Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (Oxford, 1987), an edition (with Edward Dent) of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Oxford, 1987), and Handel and the Pastoral Tradition (Oxford, 1980).

Articles and reviews by Professor Harris have appeared in numerous publications including Journal of the American Musicological Society, Händel Jahrbuch, Notes, and The New York Times. Her article “Handel the Investor” (Music & Letters, 2004) received the 2004 Westrup Prize. 

She has enjoyed residencies at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College at Harvard University (1995-96) and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (2004). She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998) and named an Honorary Member of the American Musicological Society (2011). For the 2013-14 academic year, she was chosen as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and in 2005 won the Gyorgy Kepes Prize for her contributions to the arts at MIT. Professor Harris also has performed as a soprano soloist; she sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park in 1991 and in 1997 appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops, John Williams conducting.

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