Andrys Basten Piano Prize Established!

The California Association of Professional Music Teachers has officially established a piano prize in honor of Andrys Basten. CAPTMT President Noreen Wenjen made the announcement December 9, 2018, via email:

Our California Association of Professional Music Teachers Executive Board unanimously passed a motion to establish an Andrys Basten Prize in the State Finals for the Honors, Contemporary and Concerto Competitions.  A committee has been established to continue to develop the details of this prize. I will keep you informed as the details progress. We are exceptionally grateful for this generous donation that will surely help to reward and inspire our music students, in the name of Andrys Basten.

Needless to say, Andrys’ family and friends are exceedingly pleased with this news and look forward to how the special committee will implement the award as well as to an announcement of when it will debut.

It took a while for Andrys’ long-time friend, Fred Feinberg, to get past non-responsive prospective partners and locate a respected music organization eager to make our idea a reality. And even after the CAPMT entered the picture in early summer, their proposed October meeting to deliberate on the issue meant that other projects and commitments could demand my full attention and allow me the luxury of waiting until I “heard something.” The first half of November found me on a cross-country trip, yet there was still no news of their action on my return. So, after weeks of procrastination, I emailed Fred at 12:27 PM today to see if he’d heard anything, even though I knew he hadn’t or he’d have emailed me immediately.

At 12:55 PM, before Fred could even respond, we were both included on the email quoted above, the first communication from the CAPMT in nearly two months and the first initiated entirely by them, a coincidence that even statistics professor Fred found “spooky” and a “most remarkable Timing Kismet Moment.”

I’m no stranger to synchronicities. And though I read no specific meaning into this one, my personal experience convinces me that the universe supports group actions undertaken with truly charitable motives. Our collective, good faith effort to benefit young pianists in the name of a woman we loved and respected is reason enough for the universe to respond with a wink, especially at this time of year. 

ETA 12/11/18:

If you would like to contribute to the award fund in this season of giving, please visit the GoFundMe campaign page.