Sister Bay, Wis. (December 29, 2023) – Will Healy, Midsummer Music’s current composer-in-residence, received the 2023 Leonard Bernstein Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation.
Created in 1988, the award honored Leonard Bernstein on his 70th birthday. Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, explains, “Every year since then, the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein award has provided support to a talented, early-career concert composer. Our recipient for 2023 is a very Bernstein-like multitasker: composer, pianist, and improviser Will Healy. A two-time recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Award, Will is the artistic director and founder of ShoutHouse, a collective of hip hop, jazz, and classical musicians.”
Healy stated that Bernstein is one of his all-time favorite composers and someone whose music inspired him to become a composer. For the award ceremony, Healy composed and performed an “Anniversary” piece called “Prelude for Rita” in honor of Bernstein’s short “Anniversaries” works, which were written over the course of 40 years as gifts for his friends and acquaintances on their birthdays. Healy said, “Thank you to the Bernsteins and everyone at ASCAP for believing in me and supporting my music!”
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music enthusiasts from around the globe to the magical Door County Peninsula.