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Kurt Weill Prize – 1999

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, American Musicological Society, American Society for Theatre Research, and Modern Language Association are pleased to announce the two winners of the 1999 Kurt Weill Prize for distinguished scholarship in twentieth-century music theater (including opera), the third awards since the Prize was established in 1995. Awards to the winners in the book and article categories were presented at the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award ceremony on 8 December at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse in New York City.

Jennifer Robertson’s Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan, published by the University of California Press (1998), was awarded a cash prize of $2,500 and a plaque. Takarazuka analyses the popular Japanese all-female Takarazuka Revue and its fanatical fans, describing the evolution of the Revue in response to socio-political changes in Japan. The prize committee praised Ms. Robertson’s book for originality in topic and depth of research and noted that it contains a mass of information on a subject unknown to most Western readers.

The $500 prize winner in the article category was Michael V. Pisani’s “A Kapustnik in the American Opera House: Modernism and Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges” (The Musical Quarterly, Winter 1997). Writing about the 1921 premiere of Prokofiev’s opera in Chicago, Pisani outlines the circumstances under which the work was composed and investigates musical and theatrical techniques employed in its creation. The committee cited the article’s combination of discussion of influences on the opera and commentary on its reception.

Also named as finalists in the book category were Herbert Lindenberger’s Opera in History: From Monteverdi to Cage (Stanford University Press); and Edward Baron Turk’s Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette MacDonald (University of California Press). Sharon Aronofsky Weltman’s “Performing Goblin Market” (Essays on Transgressive Readings, The Edwin Mellon Press) was a finalist in the article category.

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