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Emery Kerekes Selected as Winner of the 2022 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism

Latest SFCM News

Lev Mamuya is Runner-Up in the Annual Writing Competition; both will receive a paid writing internship, mentorship and a cash prize

June 20, 2022 by Mark Taylor

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) today announced the winners of the 2022 Stephen and Cynthia Rubin Institute for Music Criticism. Emery Kerekes, a graduate of Yale University, was chosen by a panel of leading national music critics to receive the $10,000 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism for demonstrating outstanding promise in music criticism. 

Lev Mamuya, a graduate of Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music, was selected as runner-up and will receive a $1,000 award. 

As part of the Rubin Institute’s mission to advance and maintain qualitative discourse on music, the two cash prizes are intended to support further endeavors in the field of music criticism. 

“Emery and Lev really stood out among an exceptionally talented and diverse cohort,” said Opera Canada and Artsfile writer and panelist Natasha Gauthier. “The panel congratulates them and we can’t wait to see the work they produce in the future. But we’re confident that a bright future awaits all our fellows, whether they choose to pursue a career in music criticism or in another field.”

The awards were announced at the Institute’s closing ceremony today. It was held for the first time inside SFCM’s new Bowes Center

In addition to the cash prizes, Kerekes and Mamuya will be offered internships with the San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV), a major Bay Area music publication. As part of SFCV’s Emerging Writers Program, the interns will write one review a month from wherever the writers are based in the country and will work under the mentorship of some of SFCV's most highly accomplished music critics. 

The two winners were chosen out of 18 fellows selected for this year’s convening.

“This year’s class was a stand-out as we drew individuals from across the nation,” said SFCM President David Stull. “They are not only outstanding writers but believers in the future of music and in their ability to contribute on an ongoing and permanent basis. I am deeply grateful to Steve Rubin for his tremendous support of this program.” 

“I was participating in the Rubin Institute for the first time, and it was inspiring to witness the talent and dedication of all the fellows, and how much they grew in just a few days,” said Zachary Woolfe, classical music critic for the New York Times. “Our deliberations were lively because of just how impressed we were by so many of these young critics; we can't wait to read many of these names as bylines in the years to come.”

Full details on the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, including biographies for this year’s fellows, concert programs, and more may be found at the Institute’s website.


The Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, the $10,000 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism, and the $1,000 Runner-up Prize is made possible by the generosity of Stephen Rubin.