Helen M. Thompson Award

The deadline for nominations for the 2014 Helen Thompson Award has passed. The following information is provided for reference only.

In 1981, an award was created to celebrate the life and work of Helen M. Thompson, the person who, more than any other, championed symphony orchestras in the United States. Beginning in 1943, Helen Thompson’s 27 years of inspired leadership and service to the League encouraged smaller-budget orchestras to develop higher standards and to serve their communities well.

The 2014 Helen M. Thompson Award will be given to an outstanding music director, at an early career stage and working at a small budget orchestra in the U.S. or Canada. The award will be presented at the League’s 2014 National Conference in June, and includes a cash prize of $2,500.

Award nominees should exhibit excellence and dedication to their orchestra(s) through exceptional musical leadership and commitment to organizational vitality. Nominees should be able to demonstrate superior talent and possess potential for continued artistic growth.


Candidates must be nominated by an officer of the orchestra’s board, an executive director or a musician in the orchestra. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Previous winners are not eligible. Please read the Guidelines before submitting.

To nominate a candidate, please complete this short form. Required materials include: nominee resume, conducting excerpts, and evaluation questions.

Deadline: March 10, 2014



If you have questions, please contact James Barry, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4045.