The American Pianists Association, in Indianapolis, United States has this week announced that they will award each of the five 2021 'American Pianist Awards' finalists a cash prize of US $50,000 - even before the public adjudication process has begun.
This year's recipients are: Dominic Cheli, Kenny Broberg, Mackenzie Melemed, Michael Davidman and Sahun Sam Hong.
Each of the pianists will receive $10,000 cash immediately, $10,000 in early 2021 - plus $30,000 following the June 2021 competition.
The decision comes in response to the dire situation that musicians are facing amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As we struggled to face the challenges for artists and audiences brought about by the pandemic, it became clear that our normal competition process, which spans an entire concert season, was not viable ... ”APA President Joel Harrison has this week told The Violin Channel.
“Together with the Board, we considered alternatives to our traditional format that would retain the artistic core of our process and have a reasonable chance of succeeding ... out of that conversation came the idea of doing as much as possible to support these brilliant young artists in meaningful ways with substantial cash awards as a way to sustain the artists throughout the year,” he has said.
On top of the $50,000 cash, the 2021 winner will receive the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship - consisting of career assistance for two years, publicity, performance engagements, an Artist-in-Residence post - plus a recording contract with the Steinway & Sons record label.