Donald Portnoy, music director and conductor of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, has received Columbia's 2004 Ditson Conductor's Award for his commitment to the performance of works by American composers.
Portnoy is recognized as one of America's most dynamic and inspiring symphony orchestra conductors. He has earned fame as guest conductor with the major orchestras of Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Buffalo, and with other major and regional orchestras in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, China, England, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Taiwan and South Korea.
An accomplished violinist, he founded the renowned American Arts Trio, which has toured extensively in the United States , Europe and South America. The Trio also had its own television series, "Three to Make Music," which was enjoyed by audiences nationwide.
Robert Ward, chair of the Ditson Advisory Committee, recently presented the citation from President Lee C. Bollinger and a $5,000 award from the Alice M. Ditson Fund to Maestro Portnoy at special performances with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra.
The Ditson Conductor's Award, the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to American music, was established in 1945 by the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University. Past recipients include: Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Tilson Thomas and James DePreist.