ALTADENA — Southern California composer William Kraft has taken home the top prize in the prestigious 1990 Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards for New American Music.
One of four finalists, Kraft was presented with the award Oct. 28 at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Kraft shares the first-place slot with Chicago composer Ralph Shapey. Each received $4,000.
"Of course anyone would want to be the first-place winner," Kraft, 67, said from his hillside Altadena home. "But I am very proud to be the first-place winner along with Shapey. He's an extremely respected composer, and I'm very honored."
During the ceremony, the Orchestra of the Mannes School of Music, conducted by Michael Charry, played the four chosen works for a small audience and for the three judges: Tim Page, a New York Times music critic, and conductors David Zinman and Werner Torkanowsky.