Hermitage Prize at the Aspen Music Festival and School

Each summer of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2013, an exemplary composition student attending the AMFS has been awarded the distinguished Hermitage Prize in recognition of their accomplishments and to foster the development of future work. The recipient is selected by a distinguished panel of AMFS composition faculty and leadership, and receives a residency at the Hermitage, along with a $1,000 stipend. The idea for this recognition was first conceived when Hermitage Fellow Robert Spano, Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony and the AMFS, was in residence at the Hermitage. Spano emphasized how beneficial the Hermitage had been for him and his work: “The opportunity to be so focused and undistracted – it’s unbelievable – not only because of the time, but because of the space itself.” Thus, the Hermitage Prize in Composition was created to offer the same experience to young talented composers just beginning their careers.

The video here celebrates and explores ten years of this award and the awardees' experience.


Since then, nine gifted young composers have had the privilege of being honored with this recognition, and a tenth recipient will be selected this summer. (The Aspen Music Festival was on a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic.) For most recipients of this honor, it is their first professional experience of uninterrupted time to focus on their craft and create their music. The Hermitage Prize is the only student residency awarded amidst approximately 75 curated residencies each year; all other Hermitage Fellows are accomplished working professionals and national leaders in their respective fields. This provides the recipient of the prize the opportunity to share this unmatched Hermitage experience with trailblazing artists from all around the world, including 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, multiple Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winners, national Poets Laureate, MacArthur 'Genius' Fellows, and more. Hermitage Fellows regularly describe their time at the Hermitage as "magical," "transformative," and "life-changing."


Past Recipients of the Hermitage Prize in Composition at AMFS:

2013 - Patrick Harlin

2014 - Thomas Kotcheff

2015 - Phillip Sink

2016 - Andrew Hsu

2017 - Joel Thompson

2018 - Sid Richardson

2019 - Chelsea Komschlies

2021 – David Clay Mettens

2022 – Sofía Rocha


About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:
The Hermitage is a non-profit artist retreat located in Manasota Key, Florida, inviting accomplished artists across multiple disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hermitage artists are invited to interact with the local community, reaching thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors each year with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage Fellows have included 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, Poets Laureate, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, and multiple Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar winners and nominees. Works created at this beachside retreat by a diverse group of Hermitage alumni have gone on to renowned theaters, concert halls, and galleries throughout the world. Each year, the Hermitage awards the $30,000 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, the newly announced $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award for an original theater commission, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

The Hermitage is supported by: Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by The State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes), as well as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.