It is our pleasure to announce that Dr. TIFFANY CHANG, Conductor of the New England Repertory Orchestra (NERO) and Music Director for the North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) Opera Project in Boston, MA, is the 2017-18 winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the community opera division.

Dr. Chang was selected from applications reviewed recently from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $50,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.

“We wholeheartedly congratulate Dr. Tiffany Chang for this prestigious achievement! Dr. Chang has inspired our community with her musical talent, passion and excellence in display for seven years as the Music Director for NEMPAC’s Opera Project, since its founding in 2011, and we look forward to continuing this partnership,” expressed Sherri Snow, Executive Director at NEMPAC

Dr. Tiffany Chang is a versatile, award-winning conductor based in Boston, MA. Dr. Chang serves as Interim Director of Orchestral Studies at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music. She is the conductor of the New England Repertory Orchestra and Music Director for the North End Music & Performing Arts Center’s Opera Project. She also served as Acting Director of Orchestral Activities at Boston University. Dr. Chang has been engaged with OperaHub, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, ALEA III, Xanthos Ensemble, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, and Parkway Concert Orchestra. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from Boston University and degrees in cello performance, music education, composition, and music theory from Oberlin Conservatory. Dr. Chang studied orchestral conducting with David Hoose and Bridget-Michaele Reischl; other mentors include Gustav Meier, JoAnn Falletta, Robert Spano, Gunther Schuller, Larry Rachleff, and Donald Schleicher. 

Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on recorded performances. In addition to monetary rewards and written evaluations from judges, winners are profiled on The American Prize websites, where links will lead to video and audio excerpts of winning performances. 

Link to official announcement:

For runners-up in this category and for additional winners already announced in 2017-18 in other competitions, please follow this link:


About THE AMERICAN PRIZE—History & Judges:

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts grew from the belief that a great deal of excellent music being made in this country goes unrecognized and unheralded, not only in our major cities, but all across the country: in schools and churches, in colleges and universities, and by community and professional musicians.

With the performing arts in America marginalized like never before, The American Prize seeks to fill the gap that leaves excellent artists and ensembles struggling for visibility and viability. The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best America produces, without bias against small city versus large, or unknown artist versus well-known.

David Katz is the chief judge of The American Prize. Professional conductor, award-winning composer, playwright, actor and arts advocate, he is author of MUSE of FIRE, the acclaimed one-man play about the art of conducting. Joining Katz in selecting winners of The American Prize is a panel of judges as varied in background and experience as we hope the winners of The American Prize will be. Made up of distinguished musicians representing virtually every region of the country, the group includes professional vocalists, conductors, composers and pianists, tenured professors, and orchestra, band and choral musicians.

“Most artists may never win a Grammy award, or a Pulitzer, or a Tony, or perhaps ever even be nominated,” Katz said, “but that does not mean that they are not worthy of recognition and reward. Quality in the arts is not limited to the coasts, or to the familiar names, or only to graduates of a few schools. It is on view all over the United States, if you take the time to look for it. The American Prize exists to encourage and herald that excellence.”

By shining a light on nationally recognized achievement, winners of The American Prize receive world-class bragging rights to use in promotion right at home. “If The American Prize helps build careers, or contributes to local pride, or assists with increasing the audience for an artist or ensemble, builds the donor base, or stimulates opportunities or recruitment for winning artists and ensembles, then we have fulfilled our mission,” Katz said.

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Connecticut.

For more information about the competitions, please visit the website:



The North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community arts organization operating out of the heart of the North End and surrounding communities in Boston. Founded in 2001, NEMPAC has enriched Boston’s North End Waterfront and local neighborhoods through quality, accessible music education and performing arts programs. As we continue to grow as a Performing Arts Center, we continue to ensure we are engaging our audiences with creative, quality, and innovative programming.

The NEMPAC Opera Project was founded in 2011 with a mission to serve Boston’s artistic community of singers, instrumentalists and artistic staff, as well as the general public by providing affordable opera in urban Boston. This initiative produces operas that excite audiences, artists, and the greater community of Boston.

For more information, please visit NEMPAC’s website and the Opera Project page.


About NERO:

The New England Repertory Orchestra (NERO) project is an endeavor that hopes to provide professional training experiences for students and recent graduates in the Boston area. NERO was recently recognized as the 2014 Third Prize winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance – college/university division. Initiated in the fall of 2010, the project aims to provide young musicians with invaluable opportunities to gain experience and engage in a vibrant professional networking environment.

NERO’s repertoire strives toward wholesome diversity in style, genre, and ensemble size. The repertoire has ranged from ambitious symphonic works to large-scale collaborations to intimate chamber works. Its unique opportunities have attracted and retained over 300 young musicians and 30 soloists.

For more information, please visit their website.