Eva Judd O'Meara Award

Eva Judd O'MearaAn annual award for the best review published in Notes.

Eva J. O'Meara (1884–1979) was Yale University's first music librarian. During her long professional career she was a leading figure in national music library affairs, and was one of the founding members of the Music Library Association (along with Carleton Sprague Smith of the New York Public Library, Otto Kinkeldey of Cornell University, W. Oliver Strunk of the Library of Congress, Barbara Duncan of the Eastman School of Music, and George Dickinson of Vassar College). She served as editor of the first series of Notes (1934–1941), and for several years was the chair of MLA's Cataloging Committee. Her distinguished service to the profession was recognized by the association with the MLA Citation, presented to her in 1965.

Prior to her years at Yale, O’Meara worked in the public libraries of Seymour and Derby, Connecticut, the McGill University Library, and the private library of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill. In 1914, she began work as an assistant in the Catalog Department of the Yale University Library. Among her many duties was the cataloging of a backlog of music. In 1917, when the Yale School of Music moved into Sprague Hall, the dean, Horatio Parker, requested help in establishing a music library. Given O'Meara's experience in cataloging music, the assignment fell to her, at first part time, but beginning in 1924 full time, and she remained the music librarian until her retirement in 1952. Her main activity in the early years was to bring together about 2,000 volumes of books and scores that had been acquired by the School of Music, 600 volumes of collected works and Denkmäler from the University Library, and the remarkable private library of Lowell Mason, consisting of 10,300 volumes.

After her retirement, at the initiative of Ralph Kirkpatrick, she was honored by friends and colleagues in 1974 on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday by the establishment at the Music Library of an endowed book fund for the purchase of reference materials. O’Meara’s last public appearance was on October 6, 1979, when she spoke to an audience of sixty members of MLA's New England and New York City chapters on the founding of the Music Library Association.

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2020 recipient:

The recipient of the O'Meara Award is Edward Komara, for "Review of The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff." Notes 74, no. 4 (2018): pp. 658-661.

The Publication Awards Committee wrote:

Drawing on his own experience on the subject matter, Komara finds connections and scholarly accomplishments in Abbott and Seroff’s four-part scholarly account of the history of Blues music. Komara’s strong background and understanding of the Blues provides him the insight and knowledge to describe how the Original Blues fits into the remainder of the scholarly series. Komara is a storyteller not only in the way he reviews the contents of the Original Blues but also in the way he connects the content to broader scholarship on the Blues. Komara also exposes the reader to a wide range of secondary sources on the performers mentioned in the volume, making this review its own introduction to Blues and African American music in the early twentieth century. Komara ends with suggestions on how the volume and research in Blues could continue beyond this series. For the reader looking to develop their own interests in Blues music, Komara provides a thorough understanding of the scope of this book in addition to its connection to overall Blues scholarship.


Past recipients

2019 Derek Stauff, "Review of Musicalischer Andacht Erster Theil (1638), HaWV 43–63; Sirachs Lob- vnd Danckspruch, Concert à otto & nove Voce (1634), HaWV 1; Hertzliche Auffmerckung und heiliger WeihnachtGruß (1639), HaWV 64, Herausgegeben von Michael Heinemann und Sven Rössel, unter Mitarbeit von Konstanze Kremtz, and: Chor-Music auff Madrigal-Manier: Fünffter Theil Musicalischer Andachten (1652/53), HaWV 439–469, Herausgegeben von Michael Heinemann, unter Mitarbeit von Konstanze Kremtz und Sven Rössel," Notes, vol. 74 no. 1, 2017, p. 125-130.
2018 Daniel Batchelder,  Review of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Master Score, music by Frank E. Churchill, lyrics by Larry Morey, and additional underscore by Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2015) in Notes 73, no. 1 (2016): 157-161.
2017 Louis Epstein, Review of Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II by Annegret Fauser, and The Musical Legacy of Wartime France by Leslie A. Sprout in Notes 72, no. 1 (2015): 157-162.
2016 Richard Taruskin, Review of Bewitching Russian Opera: The Tsarina from State to Stage by Inna Naroditskaya, Notes 70/3 (March 2014): 423-426.
2015 David Hunter, Review of Georg Friederic Händel. Samson: Oratorio in Three Acts, HWV 57. Notes 69:3 (March 2013), 628-632.
2014 Erik Entwistle.  Review of F. James Rybka's Boshuslav Martinu: The Compulsion to Compose.  Notes 69:1 (Sept. 2012), 93-96.
2013 Lance W. Brunner. Review of Rebecca Maloy. Inside the Offertory: Aspects of Chronology and Transmission. Notes 68:2 (Dec. 2011), 332-334.
2012 Pieter Mannaerts. Review of Charles M. Atkinson. The Critical Nexus: Tone-system, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music. Notes 66:3 (March 2010), 549-551.
2011 Kofi Agawu, Review of A Theory of Musical Narrative. Notes, 66:2 (2009), 275-277.
2010 Daniel F. Boomhower. [Reviews of Bach B-minor Mass editions]. Notes 65:2 (Dec. 2008), 385-89.
2009 Louis Niebur, "The BBC Radiophonic Workshop: Recent Reissues of British Electronic Music from 1955–1996." (Review Essay) Notes 63:4 (June 2007), 912–23.
2008 John Wagstaff, review of Katharine Ellis's Interpreting the Musical Past: Early Music in Nineteenth-Century France (Oxford University Press, 2005). Notes 63: 2 (December 2006): 355–58.
2007 Ruth A. Solie, review of George Grove, Music and Victorian Culture, ed. Michael Musgrave (New York: Palgrave, 2003), Notes 61 (2005):732–34.
2006 Mary Sue Morrow, review of Daniel Heartz, Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780, in Notes 60:4 (June 2004): 958–61.
2005 Ann Morrison Spinney, review of Writing American Indian Music: Historic Transcriptions, Notations, and Arrangements, edited by Victoria Lindsay Levine (Recent Researches in American Music, 44. Music of the United States of America, 11), (Madison: A-R Editions, 2002) in Notes 59 (March 2003): 624–26.
2004 Tamara Levitz, review of Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts, by Daniel Albright; and Revealing Masks: Exotic Influences and Ritualized Performance in Modernist Musical Theatre, by W. Anthony Sheppard, Notes 58 (March 2002): 556–60.
2003 Mark Germer, review of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (London: Macmillan; New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2001) in Notes 58 (December 2001): 320–25.
2002 Richard Kramer, review of "Skizzen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, vorgelegt von Ulrich Konrad" (Neue Ausgabe sämtliche Werke, Ser. X: Supplement; Werkgruppe 30; Studien, Skizzen, Entwürfe, Fragmente, Varia, Bd. 3); and "Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in E-flat Major, K. 370b + 371, by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart: A Facsimile Reconstruction of the Autograph Sources." (London: Boosey & Hawkes, 1997) in Notes 57:1 (2000): 188-93.
2001 Philip Brett, review of "Benjamin Britten, The Beggar's Opera, Opus 43, ed. David Matthews; Who Are These Children?; King Arthur: Suite for Orchestra, adapted by Paul Hindmarsh (Music for Orchestra)" Notes 55:3 (1999): 735-39.
2000 Andrew Dell'Antonio, review of Deconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society, by Rose Rosengard Subotnik, Notes 54 (1998): 894-97.
1999 Lynne Rogers, review of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works through Mavra, by Richard Taruskin, Notes 54 (December 1997): 438-41
1998 Sanford Levinson and J. M. Balkin, review of Text and Act: Essays on Music in Performance, by Richard Taruskin, Notes 53 (December 1996): 419-23.
1997 John Kmetz, review of Katalog der Musikdrucke des Johannes Petreius in Nürnberg, by Mariko Teramoto and Armin Brinzing, Notes 51 (June 1995): 1291-94.
1996 Stephen Miles, review of Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde, edited by Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead, Notes 51 (September 1994): 65-68.
1995 Malcolm Hamrick Brown, review of The New Shostakovich, by Ian MacDonald, Notes 49 (March 1993): 956-61
1994 Susan T. Sommer, review of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th ed., revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, Notes 49 (September 1992): 67-70.
1993 Karl Kroeger, review of American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698-1810: A Bibliography, by Allen Perdue Britton and Irving Lowens, and completed by Richard Crawford, Notes 48 (September 1991): 54-58.
1992 Garrett Bowles, "Music Notation Software for the IBM-PC," Notes 46 (March 1990): 660-79.
1991 William Kraft, review of Histoire du Soldat, by Igor Stravinsky, ed. by John Carewe & James Blades, Notes 46 (September 1989): 212-16.
1990 Joshua Rifkin, review of two facsimile publications of Bach's B-Minor Mass, Notes 44 (June 1988): 787-98.
1989 George Perle, review of the complete miniature score of Alban Berg's Lulu, ed. by F. Cerha, Notes 43 (June 1987): 915-18.
1988 Richard Taruskin, review of Editing Early Music, by John Caldwell, Notes 42 (June 1986): 775-79.
1987 Norma Jean Lamb, review of The Great Song Thesaurus, by Roger Lax and Frederick Smith, Notes 41 (June 1985): 709-11.
1986 Karl Kroeger, review of Fuging Tunes in the Eighteenth Century, by Nicholas Temperly and Charles G. Manns, Notes 41 (September 1984): 58-61.
1985 Michael Beckerman, review of The Bartered Bride, by Bedrich Smetana, notes by F. Bartos, Notes 39 (March 1983): 705-7.
1984 Andrew Frank, various reviews in Notes 38 (1982): 691-93; 930-31.
1983 Lance W. Brunner, review of The Concord Quartets, by George Rochberg, Notes 38 (December 1981): 423-26.
1982 Kerry S. Grant, review of The Science of Music in Britain, 1714-1830: A Catalogue of Writings, Lectures, and Inventions, by Jamie Croy Kassler, Notes 37 (September 1980): 43-44.
1981 David Hamilton, review of Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents, by Vera Stravinsky and Robert Craft, Notes 36 (September 1979): 88-90.
1980 Jurgen Thym, review of Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, Ser. IV: Lieder, Band 2, Teila, by Franz Schubert, Notes 35 (December 1978): 401-3.
1979 Christopher Rouse, review of The Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, by Robin Maconie, Notes 34 (September 1977): 76-77.
1978 No award given



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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.