Presser Graduate Music Award

Invited annually, graduate schools of music at accredited colleges, universities and independent institutions of higher education have been invited to present the Presser Graduate Music Award to an outstanding graduate music student whom they select. The program is designed to encourage and support in a special way the advanced education and career of truly exceptional graduate music students who have the potential to make a distinguished contribution to the field of music. The Presser Foundation operates under the will and Deeds of Trust created by its founder, Theodore Presser. It is one of the few foundations in the United States dedicated solely to the support of music and music education. The prize associated with this award is $10,000.


2022       Meng Ren, ethnomusicology
: In support of her dissertation "Forbidden Sound: The Art, Culture, and Politics of Chinese Hip-Hop."

2021       Alexa Torres Skillicorn, MM, jazz violin
  Ethnography of Practice: Oral History for the Development of Embodied Jazz Violin Praxis

2020       Bree Nichols, DMA, voice
  Create an anthology of Czech opera arias for soprano, the very first of its kind, focusing on works that lack existing scholarship and bridging the language gap by creating translations and pronunciation materials for English-speaking singers. 

2019       Lana Kuščer, DMA, flute
Collaborate with British composer Charlotte Bray on a piece for flute and piano in Berlin, conduct an extensive interview of Bray, perform premiere recitals of the work in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Ljubljana and Amsterdam and record the work for a recording for the Slovene National Radio Music Program.

2018       Yuxin Mei, MA, ethnomusicology
Eight-week itinerary of intensive study and training in Chinese ensemble music.

2017       Jonathan Thompson, DMA, oboe
One month study abroad in Mexico, recording project and international conference presentation in order to collect, catalog and promulgate the oboe music of Mexican composers.

2016       José R. Torres-Ramos, PhD, ethnomusicology
Two-month performance-research practicum in Mexico to include the development of an ethnomusicological praxis for mariachi teaching and performance.