Los Angeles Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in February at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the L.A. Chamber Orchestra were among the 18 classical-music ensembles honored this week at the annual awards presented by the League of American Orchestras and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

But neither orchestra received the top prizes, which went to the Albany Symphony Orchestra for its commitment to American music, and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra for innovative programming.

The prizes were handed out at the annual shindig of American orchestras, which is being held in St. Louis. The national conference is scheduled to run through Thursday.

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The L.A. Philharmonic placed first this year among major orchestras in the field of programming contemporary music -- the same honor the orchestra received last year. Music director Gustavo Dudamel wasn't in attendance because he is in Europe. The second and third place prizes in the category went to the Seattle Symphony and the Nashville Symphony, respectively.

The L.A. Chamber Orchestra received second place in the same category for the "Group 2" ensembles -- the orchestral equivalent of the middleweight category in boxing. The first-prize winner was New York's Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. 

The Orpheus also won the prize for the programming of American music on foreign tours.

Winning is something the L.A. Philharmonic has become accustomed to at these national gatherings. The orchestra has won the top prize for innovative programming -- the Morton Gould Award -- three times in a row, starting in 2009. The orchestra has put new music at the center of its programming since Esa-Pekka Salonen began his tenure as music director in 1992.

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