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AMC Honors Shorter, Zorn

Wayne Shorter and John Zorn (pictured) were among the handful of musicians honored last night at the American Music Center’s (AMC) 2003 award ceremony in New York City. AMC, an organization founded by composer Aaron Copland that supports the proliferation of new American music and runs the Web site, awarded Shorter with its Letter of Distinction, putting him on a list with Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Morton Feldman, Dizzy Gillespie and others. Zorn was given the new Trailblazer Award, which, as the name suggests, recognizes individuals who work to push music into unknown territory. Zorn is one of those, mos def.

George Steel of Columbia University’s Miller Theatre was also given a Trailblazer Award, and four other artists were honored with a Letter of Distinction as well: George Crumb, Ronald Freed (in memoriam), Kyle Gann, Steve Reich. More info on AMC is available at their Web site, And, because we know you love data, below is a full list of AMC Letter of Distinction recipients.

2003 Wayne Shorter; George Crumb; Ronald Freed (in memoriam); Kyle Gann; Steve Reich

2002 Henry Cowell (in memoriam); Phyllis Curtin; Sylvia Goldstein, Ursula Oppens, John Schaefer

2001 Donald Erb, Hale Smith, Mark Swed, Lyn Austin (in memoriam), Teresa Sterne (in memoriam)

2000 Composers Recordings, Inc.; John Harbison; Robert Hurwitz; K. Robert Schwarz (in memoriam); Michael Tilson Thomas

1999 Ellis Freedman; Philip Glass; California EAR Unit; Harvey Lichtenstein; Mel Powell (in memoriam)

1998 Arnold Broido; Yo-Yo Ma; George Walker; Bette Snapp (in memoriam)

1997 Merce Cunningham; Tania Leon; Paul Sperry; Jacob Druckman (in memoriam)

1996 Earle Brown; Thomas Buckner; Randy Weston; Ulysses Kay (in memoriam)

1995 Ed London and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Max Roach; Gregg Smith

1994 David Baker; Arthur Cohn; Francis Goelet

1993 Morton Gould; Modern Jazz Quartet; Dizzy Gillespie (in memoriam); Stephen Albert (in memoriam)

1992 (none awarded due to schedule change)

1991 Bang On A Can; New World Records; Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust

1990 Muhal Richard Abrams; Pauline Oliveros; Lawrence Leighton Smith and the Louisville Orchestra

1989 Leo Ornstein; Minna Lederman Daniels; and Jan DeGaetani (in memoriam)

1988 Cecil Taylor; Sylvia Smith and Smith Publications; Peter Garland and Soundings Press

1987 Ornette Coleman; Kronos Quartet; Morton Feldman (in memoriam); Vincent Persichetti (in memoriam)

1986 Lou Harrison; Betty Freeman

1985 Gunther Schuller; Margaret Jory (in memoriam); Leonard Fleischer of Exxon, Howard Klein of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Frank Hodsoll of the National Endowment for the Arts for the Meet the Composer Orchestra Residencies Program

1984 Milton Babbitt; KPFA/Charles Amirkhanian; St. Louis Symphony/Leonard Slatkin

1983 Robert Erickson; C.F. Peters Corporation/Evelyn Hinrichsen; Paul Jacobs (in memoriam)

1982 Henry Brant; Institute for Studies in American Music/H.Wiley Hitchcock, founding director;

Robert Miller (in memoriam)

1981 Conlon Nancarrow; American Composers Orchestra/Francis Thorne, Dennis Russell Davies

1980 Meet the Composer/John Duffy; Samuel Barber

1979 John Cage; Lawrence Morton

1978 Leonard Bernstein; Nicolas Slonimsky

1977 Hugo Weisgall; Martin Bookspan

1976 Virgil Thomson; Paul Fromm

1975 Aaron Copland; Otto Luening

1974 Koussevitsky Foundation; Olga Koussevitsky

1973 Elliott Carter; Roy Harris

1972 Hugo Weisgall; Max Pollikoff

1971 Howard Hanson; Roger Sessions

1970 Aaron Copland; Leopold Stokowski; Benjamin Steinberg

1969 Stefan Wolpe; George Balanchine; Samuel Rosenbaum

1968 Roger Sessions; Alberto Ginestera

1967 William Schuman

1965 Adele Addison; Milton Feist; Henry Allen Moe; Thomas Scherman

1964 Claire Reis; Donald Engle; Richard Franko Goldman; Virgil Thomson

Originally Published