The Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize
One of two publication prizes, the Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize is awarded for the most distinguished book-length work in English which best furthers the Society's goal "to promote study of the history, design, and use of musical instruments in all cultures and from all periods." The first award in this category was given in 1989 and has been awarded in odd-numbered years thereafter. In 2009, the Board of Governors elected to make it an annual award.
The prize consists of the sum of $500 and a certificate, and the winner is announced at the Society's annual meeting and in the Society's Newsletter. Nominations (including self-nominations) and copies of the book nominated should be submitted by November 15.
The 2019 Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize for best book-length publication that furthers the society’s mission was awarded to Pascale Vandervellen and colleagues for the book The Golden Age of Flemish Harpsichord Making: A Study of the MIM’s Ruckers Instruments (Brussels: Musical Instruents Museum, 2017). This collective effort of scholarship respresents the culmination of sustained, original, wide-ranging research into the work and instruments of the Ruckers dynasty. Beautifully produced, generously illustrated and thoughtfully organized and presented, this volume stands out both for the depth and breadth of material presented. In addition to Vandervellen, the other authors are: Alexandra de Poortet, Stephane Vaïedelich, Karel Moens, Marcel Vekemans, John Koster, Emily Akkermans, Patrick Storme, Steven Saverwyns, Marina Van Bos, Sandie Le Conte, Arjan Versteeg, Pascale Fraiture, Armelle Weitz, Philippe Gerrienne, and Alain Anselm.