Conductors Kent Nagano and Hugh Wolff have been named the first recipients of the Seaver Conducting Award, a biennial honor given by the Seaver Institute, a locally based foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage the development of American conductors.
Nagano, 33, music director of the Berkeley Symphony and the 1985 Ojai Festival (which opens tonight), and Wolff, 31, associate conductor of the National Symphony, will each receive $75,000 over a two-year period. The formal presentations will be made in San Francisco on June 14 during the American Symphony Orchestra League conference.
The conductors were chosen through a lengthy selection process developed by Affiliate Artists Inc., a New York-based arts support organization.
Advisers included Ernest Fleischmann, John Nelson, Andre Previn, Michael Steinberg, Henry Fogel, Tom Hall and Christoph von Dohnanyi.