The Boston Symphony Orchestra has presented John Harbison with the Mark M. Horblit Merit Award for distinguished composition by an American composer. The award was created in 1947 by the late Boston attorney Mark M. Horblit to “foster and promote the writing of symphonic compositions by composers resident in the United States.” Harbison is the 22nd recipient of the award, which includes a cash prize of $5,000. A formal award ceremony will take place during the fall in Boston. The Horblit Award was first bestowed to Aaron Copland, and most recently to Elliott Carter. To mark the BSO’s presentation of the Horblit Award, the orchestra will release the composer’s six symphonies as digital downloads, available at on July 9. These live recordings of all six symphonies were made during the BSO’s 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. On July 11 at Tanglewood, the orchestra and chorus of Boston-based Emmanuel Music will perform Harbison’s opera The Great Gatsby at Ozawa Hall. The performance will be preceded by a discussion about the creation of the opera with the composer, lyricist Murray Horowitz, former G. Schirmer president Susan Feder, and Gatsby editor and violinist Rose Mary Harbison. In addition, a video podcast at the Media Center features interviews with former Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer, Harbison, and Emmanuel Music Artistic Director Ryan Turner on the production of The Great Gatsby.

Posted July 9, 2013