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Christopher Zuar Announced Winner of the 7th Annual ASCAP Foundation/Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commis

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

The ASCAP Foundation and the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra are pleased to announce Christopher Zuar as the recipient of the 7th Annual ASCAP Foundation/Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commissioning Prize. This prize was created to honor the memory of the trailblazing musician George Duke, who was the SJO Co-Music Director and an ASCAP board member.

Christopher Zuar’s compositions and arrangements have been performed both nationally and internationally by the WDR Big Band, Danish Radio Big Band, and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. His debut album, Musings, a collection of eight original compositions for large ensemble, earned a spot on DownBeat magazine’s “Best Albums of 2016” and runner-up “Debut of The Year” in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Zuar is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Johnny Mandel Prize, the Airmen of Note Sammy Nestico Award, the SCI Jazz Composer’s Award, and the First Music Commission from the New York Youth Symphony. Zuar earned a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in Jazz Composition, and a Bachelors of Music in Jazz from the New England Conservatory of Music.  

“It’s a great honor to receive the ASCAP Foundation/Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commissioning Prize. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to write for such an esteemed group of musicians,” commented Zuar. 

The ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize is made possible in part by a grant from The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Fund and the SJO’s Commissioning Club. Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. For more information, visit and

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