Award-winning American Psalmody collection premieres twenty-three first and only recordings of works by 20th Century American composers including Adler, Neswick and Rorem
October 1, 2019— Director Emeritus, Elizabeth Patterson and Gloriæ Dei Cantores have been awarded the 2019 American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award, recognizing Maestra Patterson’s conducting and leadership, as well as the ensembles’ performances and promotion of American music. The American Prize is the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts.
In addition to championing new American composers at home, Maestra Patterson led Gloriæ Dei Cantores on numerous international tours, using music as a bridge between Americans and other countries and nationalities. From New York to San Francisco, London to Venice, Prague to Moscow and Siberia, Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Ms. Patterson brought not only American music to foreign countries, but also the music native to the countries in which they were performing. Elizabeth Patterson has overseen the development of a repertoire incorporating over 2,400 works including world premieres and commissions by American composers Samuel Adler, Dominick Argento, Gerald Near and Mark O’Connor. Maestro Patterson’s dedication to international understanding and cultural integrity have won her critical acclaim in concert halls throughout Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Wales.

“Ms. Patterson is a true choral alchemist, and never fails to draw truly golden sound and beautifully nuanced singing from her hard-working musicians. Sacred illumination is their mission, and they achieve it with spiritual sincerity and power.” ―American Record Guide

Critical Acclaim for Gloriæ Dei Cantores“Superb!”   BBC“They sing with absolute fluency and authority”   GRAMOPHONE“Seamless ensemble, seductive phrasing”   LOS ANGELES TIMES “A world-class concert choir”   WASHINGTON POST“Beautiful, affecting music”   CHICAGO TRIBUNE“Expert renditions of Gregorian chant”   NEW YORK TIMES“Perfectly captures the exultation in every note”   FANFARE

Elizabeth Patterson and Gloriæ Dei Cantores are awarded the winners of The American Prize for their recorded performances of:

“I Will Set His Dominion in the Sea” by Bruce Neswick, recorded on The Lord is My Shepherd


“Two Psalms and a Proverb” by Ned Rorem recorded on The Lord is My Shepherd


“A Psalm Trilogy” by Samuel Adler on By the Rivers of Babylon


The American Prize  is the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts providing awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at all levels (Professional, University etc.) Among the many contests of The American Prize, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music is unique. It recognizes and rewards the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, based on submitted recordings. 


Ernst Bacon (1898—1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers who, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, found a voice for American music. Ernst Bacon set out to create compositions that expressed the vitality and affirmative spirit of our country. It is fitting, that The American Prize created an annual award in the memory of Ernst Bacon, recognizing the finest performances of American music worldwide.
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