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Prix de Rome

Prix de Rome. Prizes awarded annually since 1803 by Institut de France to candidates selected by competition from comp. students at Paris Cons. First prize (Grand Prix de Rome) entitles winner to live in Rome for 4 years at Villa Medici (Fr. Acad.) while engaging in study and creative work. 2nd prize is a gold medal. Exam. takes place en loge (in isolation); candidates must set to mus. a cantata on a given subject. Jury's verdict must be ratified by entire Académie des Beaux-Arts. Among winners have been Berlioz (1830), Gounod (1839), Bizet (1857), Massenet (1863), Debussy (1884), and Charpentier (1887). Ravel's failure to win was subject of famous scandal. Belg. awards prize of same name and does not insist upon residence in Rome. An Amer. Prix de Rome was instituted in 1905, the winner to reside at the Amer. Acad. in Rome. No award was made until 1921 (Sowerby). Fr. comp. suppressed 1968; promising young composers etc. now sent to Rome on teachers’ recommendations.

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