The biennial award, worth $20,000, is given to unrepresented young artists ready for a concert career

The National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) has named cellist John-Henry Crawford its Young Artist in Strings for 2021-23. The 28-year-old from Shreveport, Louisiana, will receive $20,000 as well as two years of engagements with NFMC’s national federated organisations.

An alumnus of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey, Crawford went on to complete an artist diploma at the Manhattan School of Music with Philippe Muller, and a masters at the Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick. In 2019 he won first prize at the International Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, and named Young Artist of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation. ’I feel extremely grateful and honoured to receive this award from such a long-standing and esteemed organisation as the National Federation of Music Clubs,’ he said. ’It will be revitalising to bring music to concert halls throughout the country after a year as trying as this past one.’

Read: ‘If my cello could talk’ – by John-Henry Crawford

Read: John-Henry Crawford wins 2019 Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition

Read: Alexander Hersh announced as 2019 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist

Founded in 1898, the NFMC has become the largest nonprofit organization in America to promote and support American music, performers and music education. It provides musical opportunities for all ages: professional and amateur musicians, benefactors, volunteers, music lovers, music teachers, music students, and parents. The NFMC’s biennial Young Artist awards aim to promote outstanding, unrepresented young artists who are ready for a concert career. 

From a music family, Crawford performs on a 200-year-old European cello smuggled out of Austria by his grandfather, Robert Popper, who evaded Kristallnacht in 1938. He also uses a 1790 bow made by Nicolas Léonard Tourte. 

Watch John-Henry Crawford play Bruch’s Kol Nidrei alongside organist Evelyn Larter at Deerfield Presbyterian Church, NJ:

Photo: Jiyang Chen