Chamber orchestra wins national merit

The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and its music director have won a major national prize, while a local performer and educator also won first place in her division.

Eckart Preu

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts. Founded in 2010, the prize is unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, directors, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings. 

Winning in the orchestral programming division, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra is an independent ensemble of 32 professional musicians that marked its 45th anniversary in 2019 and is widely recognized as one of the leading performing arts organizations in the region. Eckart Preu was named CCO music director in October 2016. Under Preu’s leadership, the CCO’s main festival has experienced unprecedented growth in the past two years.

The local orchestra beat out Indiana University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra and the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra for first place in the category.

For instrumental performance in the professional division, Denise Tryon of Cincinnati won first place. Since 2018, Tryon has been the associate professor of horn at University of Cincinnati College of Conservatory of Music. Tryon has released three albums, including 10 new commissions. 

Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on recorded performances. The prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater Inc., a nonprofit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Conn.

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