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2024 Music Awards

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 12, 2024 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters announces the twenty recipients of its 2024 Awards in Music, totaling $465,000 in prizes to honor both established and emerging composers. Since 1942, music awards have been selected annually by Arts and Letters members to recognize and support fellow artists. The 300 members nominate candidates for the awards, and a rotating committee of composers select the winners. This year, the award committee members were Christopher Theofanidis (chair), Stephen Hartke, Shulamit Ran, Roberto Sierra, Wadada Leo Smith, and Chinary Ung.

Michael Fiday, Keith Fitch, Stephen A. Taylor and Amy Williams will receive Arts and Letters Awards of $10,000 each to acknowledge composers as artists who have arrived at their own voice. These awards are accompanied by an additional $10,000 grant towards the recording of a recipient’s work. Since 2015, works by the winners of these awards have been presented each spring in a concert in the Arts and Letters library.

The biennial Virgil Thomson Award of $40,000 for an exceptional American composer of vocal works will be given to Rhiannon Giddens. The annual Benjamin H. Danks Award of $20,000, given in rotation to a composer of ensemble works, a playwright, and a writer, will go to composer Aaron Helgeson.

The Andrew Imbrie Award in Music of $10,000, which recognizes a mid-career composer of demonstrated artistic merit, goes to Anthony Cheung. The biennial Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Award of $10,000 for an experienced composer is being given to James W. Newton Jr.

Two Goddard Lieberson Fellowships of $15,000 each, given annually to composers of extraordinary gifts, will go to Vijay Iyer and Žibuoklė Martinaitytė.

The Walter Hinrichsen Award, established by the C. F. Peters Corporation for the publication of a work by an American composer, will be given to Jesse Jones.

Since 1970, Arts and Letters has recognized outstanding composers with Charles Ives Fellowships and Scholarships. Two fellowships of $15,000 each will go to Fang Man and Susie Ibarra.

Elise Arancio, Jacob Beranek, Luke Blackburn, Liam Cummins, Isaac Santos, and Justin Weiss will receive Charles Ives Scholarships of $7,500 each.

The Charles Ives Living, which provides an income of $100,000 a year for a period of two years in order to free a promising talent from employment other than composition, will also be awarded in 2024 to Sean Shepherd. This award was previously announced in September 2023.

Committee chair Christopher Theofanidis noted: “The committee is proud to honor this exceptional group of composers, whose creativity and craft are an inspiration to all of us.”

The music awards will be presented alongside the architecture, art, and literature awards at the American Academy of Arts and Letters’s annual Ceremonial in May.

A full list of the 2024 music award recipients follows.

American Academy of Arts and Letters

The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of artists, architects, composers, and writers who foster and sustain interest in the arts. Our 300 members distribute over $1.2 million in awards annually; fund concerts and new works of musical theater; purchase and commission contemporary art for donation to museums across the country; and present exhibitions, talks, and events for the public at our historic buildings in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

To learn more about the American Academy of Arts and Letters, please visit

Media Inquiries for Music Awards

Ardith Holmgrain
(212) 368-5900


2024 Music Award Recipients List

Charles Ives Living
Sean Shepherd

Arts and Letters Awards in Music
Michael Fiday
Keith Fitch
Stephen A. Taylor
Amy Williams

Virgil Thomson Award in Vocal Music
Rhiannon Giddens

Benjamin H. Danks Award
Aaron Helgeson

Andrew Imbrie Award in Music
Anthony Cheung

Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Award
James Newton

Goddard Lieberson Fellowships
Vijay Iyer
Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Walter Hinrichsen Award in Music
Jesse Jones

Charles Ives Fellowships
Fang Man
Susie Ibarra

Charles Ives Scholarships
Elise Arancio
Jacob Beranek
Luke Blackburn
Liam Cummins
Isaac Santos
Justin Weiss

Photo by John Mazlish

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