American composer wins the inaugural Virgil Thomson Award for vocal music.

Lowell Liebermann has been announced the winner of the innaugural Virgil Thomson Award for vocal music. The $40,000 award from The Virgil Thomson Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters recognises the vocal works of an American composer.

Liebermann, who is head in composition at the Mannes College The New School for Music, was among five finalists nominated by the AAAL for the award. Their works were studied closely by a special jury of composers which included David Del Tredici, Carlisle Floyd, Ezra Laderman, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, as well as poet and librettist J.D. McClatchy.

Commenting on the way Liebermann's has used the voice in his works over the past 30 years, J.D. McClatchy said that "he is sensitive to the text and to the voice, while sustaining them with music that radiates grace and gravity. The traditions of vocal music are honored, even as he extends them in directions that are emotionaly rich."

Liebermann is to be presented the award at the American Academy of Arts and Letters annual Ceremonial.