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Annual Awards

Annual Awards

Congratulations to this year’s EMA award winners, Lyle Nordstrom, Eric Rice, and Nina Stern/S’Cool Sounds for their achievements in the early music field. Please find their bios underneath each award description below. 

If you would like to nominate an early musician and/or educator for annual Early Music America award, please complete the nomination form at the bottom of this page.

Thomas Binkley Award


Eric Rice is the 2019 recipient of the Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble. This award is named for the legendary lutenist and educator Thomas Binkley, who taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, made ground-breaking recordings with the Studio der Frühen Musik, and served as founding director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in both performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college collegium musicum.

“I am deeply honored to receive Early Music America’s Thomas Binkley Award. Robert Greenlee, who introduced me to the richness of early repertory at Bowdoin College, was a student of Binkley’s, and so in some ways, the gratitude I feel for entering a field that has given me so much joy is due to Binkley as well. I am grateful to my colleagues at the University of Connecticut and in Ensemble Origo, particularly Mary Gerbi, who has shouldered many a logistical burden for me. I am also extremely grateful to my students, whose hard work and advocacy for the repertory and their ensemble is an inspiration.”
-Eric Rice

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  • 2018: Risa Browder and John Moran
  • 2017: Angela Mariani
  • 2016: Julie Andrijeski
  • 2015: Paul O’Dette and Christel Thielman
  • 2014: Adam and Rotem Gilbert
  • 2013: Robert Eisenstein
  • 2012: Arthur Haas
  • 2011: Wendy Gillespie
  • 2010: William Mahrt
  • 2009: Steven Plank
  • 2008: Hank Knox
  • 2007: Sarah Mead
  • 2006: James Tyler
  • 2005: Ross Duffin
  • 2004: Robert Mealy
  • 2003: Jeffery T. Kite-Powell
  • 2002: Gerald Hoekstra
  • 2001: Mark Cudek
  • 2000: Lyle Nordstrom
  • 1999: Jack Ashworth
  • 1998: Daniel M. Johnson

Howard Mayer Brown Award


Lyle Nordstrom is the 2018 recipient of the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. This award is named in memory of the renowned and beloved musicologist from the University of Chicago, Howard Mayer Brown.

During his 56 years of performing early music, Lyle’s thrust has always been as a strong advocate and teacher of this music. Leading people into the workings and joys of this music, both as performers and listeners, has brought a great satisfaction to him and his wonderful wife, Patricia, who has been performing and facilitating at every stage along the way.

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  • 2018: Ross Duffin and Bev Simmons
  • 2017: Thomas Forrest Kelley
  • 2016: Louise Basbas
  • 2015: William Monical
  • 2014:  Jeanne Lamon
  • 2013: James Nicolson
  • 2012: José Verstappen
  • 2011: Kathleen Fay
  • 2010: Benjamin Bagby
  • 2009: Stanley Ritchie
  • 2008: Robert Cole
  • 2007: Mary Springfels
  • 2006: Alejandro Enrique Planchart
  • 2005: Friedrich and Ingeborg von Huene
  • 2004: Laurette Goldberg
  • 2003: Joel Cohen
  • 2002: Philip Brett 
  • 2001: Timothy McGee
  • 2000: Michael & Kay Jaffee
  • 1999: George Houle
  • 1998: George Hunter

Laurette Goldberg Award


Nina Stern and S’Cool Sounds are the 2019 recipients of the Laurette Goldberg Award for lifetime achievement in early music outreach. Named for teacher, performer, author, and musical innovator Laurette Goldberg, this award recognizes ongoing, outstanding achievement in educational or outreach endeavors by individual performers, teaching artists, or ensembles. With the Laurette Goldberg Award, EMA celebrates work that draws new audiences or practitioners, or engages such communities in a new manner; that achieves remarkable breadth or depth of reach, seen in numbers of people engaged or in hours of engagement; and that stands to leave a lasting mark on the historical performance field, by transforming the communities served or by modeling practices that can be replicated and developed by others in the profession.

“What began as a vision is now a community that believes in social connectedness, in stimulating creativity and imagination, and in giving the gift of music. By making music together we tell our stories and listen closely to the stories of people around us and far away – communicating and connecting in a way that is more important than ever.”
-Nina Stern

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  • 2018: The Rose Ensemble
  • 2017: Voices of Music
  • 2016: Ron Cook
  • 2015: Shulamit Kleinerman
  • 2014: Margriet Tindemans
  • 2013: Grant Herreid
  • 2012: Chatham Baroque
  • 2011: Piffaro, The Renaissance Band
  • 2010: Phillip Serna
  • 2010 Lifetime Early Music Outreach Award
    • Judith Davidoff
  • 2009: Jerry Fuller
  • 2009 Special Early Music Outreach Award
    • Grace Feldman
  • 2008: Arcadia Players
  • 2008 Special Early Music Outreach Award
    • Tina Chancey
  • 2007: Sarasa Ensemble

Early Music Brings History Alive Award 1998-2006

This award acknowledged the importance of educational outreach in early music, and exposing the next generation to its delights and wonders.


  • 2006: New York State Early Music Association
  • 2005: Nina Stern
  • 2005 Special Award for Outstanding Contributions to Early Music Education: Mark Cudek
  • 2004: Peggy Monroe
  • 2003: Piffaro, The Renaissance Band
  • 2003 Honorable Mention: David Coffin
  • 2002: American Classical Orchestra
  • 2001: No Award
  • 2000: Ensemble Musical Offering
  • 1999: Chatham Baroque
  • 1998: Nottingham Fair

Please complete the form below to enter a nomination for an EMA Annual award in 2020. Deadline for nominations is December 31, 2019.

The Howard Mayer Brown Award recognizes lifetime achievement in the field of early music.

The Thomas Binkley Award recognizes outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.

The Laurette Goldberg Award recognizes ongoing, outstanding achievement in educational or outreach endeavors by individual performers, teaching artists, or ensembles.

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