Awards / Grants

The Curt Sachs Award

Named for one of the founders of the modern systematic study of musical instruments, the Curt Sachs Award was established by the American Musical Instrument Society to honor those who have made important contributions toward the goals of the Society. The Award may be made annually at the discretion of the Society's Board of Governors. The recipient of the Award is given a certificate, signed by the President of the Society, which summarizes the recipient's contributions to the study of musical instruments.  The name of the awardee will be announced in the Society's Newsletter, Journal, and website.  The recipient will be invited to attend the Society’s next annual meeting and to address those in attendance. No more than one Award may be bestowed during any calendar year. Nominations should be submitted by the preceding December 31st.

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2020 Recipient

John Watson

John Watson is an internationally-respected builder and conservator of historical keyboard instruments. As a maker of early keyboard reproductions from 1974 to 1995, and a conservator in private practice from 1977 to 1995, he joined Colonial Williamsburg in 1988 as Conservator of Instruments and Associate Curator of Musical Instruments, retiring in 2016. Since retirement, he has continued his work as a private conservator and scholar and, as always, has remained a supportive colleague to many in this Society.

Previous Recipients




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