Two York luminaries honoured with ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards

Left: Lise Waxer (photo by Pablo Delano)

Right: Austin Clarkson

Two York University luminaries, Lise Waxer and Austin Clarkson, are among the winners of the 36th annual American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) Deems Taylor Awards for outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music.

The awards ceremony, to be held this evening in New York City’s Lincoln Centrer, will recognize the late Lise Waxer, brilliant Toronto-born ethnomusicologist (MA ’91) for her book, The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves, and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia (Wesleyan University Press, 2002).

Waxer’s book also received the American Recorded Sound Collections Award for excellence in musicological research, as well as the 2003 Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) Alan P. Merriam Prize, which is awarded annually to recognize the most distinguished, English-language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology published during the previous two calendar years.

Waxer, who had been teaching at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, died suddenly last year at the age of 37. Her publisher, Wesleyan University Press, said: “Although we are extremely proud of this recognition by her peers, we are greatly saddened that these awards have been bestowed posthumously, and that Lise is not here to share the news with us and her family.”

For further details about Waxer, see the Nov. 20 edition of YFile.

Austin Clarkson, York professor emeritus and president of New Music Concerts, is sharing a Deems Taylor Award with the pianist David Holzman for the liner notes for Stefan Wolpe: Compositions for Piano (1920-1952) (Bridge Records, 2002).

The CD was nominated for a Grammy Award. Clarkson is general editor of the music and writings of the American composer and edited the new book, On the Music of Stefan Wolpe: Essays and Recollections (Pendragon Press, 2003).




Established in 1914, ASCAP is the world’s largest performing-rights organization. It is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the society’s members, based on performances.