The Mae L. Wien Awards

Mae L. Wien

In the late nineteenth century, Herman Levy from Russia and Roselle Linker of France immigrated to New York. They married in 1904 and in 1909, on the 4th of July, their daughter Mae was born. The Levys lived in Manhattan and Mae attended Julia Richmond Elementary School and Washington Irving High School, Columbia University, and art school as well.

At a New Year’s Eve party in 1928, Mae met Lawrence A. Wien and they were married the next year, returning from their honeymoon just before the infamous October stock market crash. The young married couple lived in Manhattan, then Brooklyn and, as Larry Wien’s business prospects flourished, in Connecticut. They had two daughters: Enid (“Dinny”) and Isabel.

It was a close-knit family, and when Dinny married Lester Morse and Isabel married Peter Malkin, they and their children stayed intimately involved with the Wiens. The extended family spent major holidays together and often traveled together.

Larry was involved with numerous New York City organizations and the Wiens were generous donors to Brandeis University, Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, and especially Columbia University and Columbia Law School. He sat on the Lincoln Center Board for many years and was instrumental in admitting the School of American Ballet to Lincoln Center as a full constituent.

When Mrs. Wien died in 1986, her husband and family established the annual Mae L. Wien Awards at SAB in her honor. At the same time, the family endowed a Faculty Chair in honor of Mrs. Wien. The first recipient of this honor was former ballerina and longtime faculty member, Alexandra Danilova. When she retired in 1989, the Mae L. Wien Chair passed to veteran teacher Andrei Kramarevsky.

2020 Wien Awards

From left to right: Ross Allen, Ruby Lister, and Rommie Tomassini. Photos by Rosalie O’Connor

The School of American Ballet is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2020 Mae L. Wien Award:

Mae L. Wien Awards for Outstanding Promise
Ross Allen
Ruby Lister
Rommie Tomassini

Ross Allen

Age: 18

Hometown: Wintersville, OH

Years at SAB: 4

2019 Workshop roles: Principal in William Forsythe’s New Sleep (pas de deux) and principal in the third movement of George Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantasque

Other: Choreographer in the Student Choreography program in 2018, set to music by Franz Joseph Haydn, and 2019, set to music by Felix Mendelssohn

Ruby Lister

Age: 17

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Years at SAB: 2

2019 Workshop roles: Corps de ballet in George Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantasque

Other: Winner of the 2019 Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists – Martin E. Segal Award; Choreographer in the 2019 Female Choreography program, set to music by Maurice Ravel

Rommie Tomassini

Age: 17

Hometown: New York, NY

Years at SAB: 10

2019 Workshop roles: Principal in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco

Other: Performed Marie in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker in 2013

Past Awardees

Over the years the students who have received Mae L. Wien Awards have graduated to rewarding ballet careers. Many dance with the New York City Ballet. Others have gone to professional companies both here and abroad: American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the Twentieth Century, and the White Oak Project. Several of the older awardees’ performing careers have ended; some have stayed in the ballet world and are teachers, choreographers, and ballet mistresses. Others have pursued such diverse second careers as forestry, catering, finance, physical therapy and news casting.

The Mae L. Wien Awardees are:

1987
Rebecca Metzger
Robert Lyon
Muriel Stuart
(Faculty Award)
1988
Gretchen Patchell
Eric Lindemer
John Selya
Antonina Tumkovsky
(Faculty Award)
1989
Tanya Gingerich
Inmaculada Velez
Arch Higgins
Jiuchi Kobayashi
Alexandra Danilova
(Faculty Award)
1990
Samantha Allen
Elizabeth Walker
Todd Williams
Hélène Dudin
(Faculty Award)
1991
Megan Bonneau
Sant’gria Bello
Robert LaFosse
(Young Choreographer
Award)
Elise Reiman
(Faculty Award)
1992
Emily Coates
Anna Liceica
Stanley Williams
(Faculty Award)
1993
Jennie Somogyi
Edwaard Liang
Miriam Mahdaviani
(Young Choreographer
Award)
Suki Schorer
(Faculty Award)
1994
Kristina Fernandez
Seth Belliston
Richard Rapp
(Faculty Award)
1995
Jessy Hendrickson
Benjamin Millepied
Andrei Kramarevsky
(Faculty Award)
1996
Aesha Ash
Darius Crenshaw
Christopher Wheeldon
(Young Choreographer
Award)

Kay Mazzo
(Faculty Award)
1997
Aubrey Morgan
Stephen Hanna
Garielle Whittle
(Faculty Award)
1998
Janie Taylor
Adam Hendrickson
Susan Pilarre
(Faculty Award)
1999
Carla Korbes
Craig Hall
Seth Orza
Olga Kostritzky
(Faculty Award) 
2000
Ashley Bouder
Glenn Keenan
Amar Ramasar
Andrew Veyette
Marina Stavitskaya
(Faculty Award)
2001
Megan Fairchild
Ashlee Knapp
Benjamin Griffiths
David Blumenfeld
Melissa Barak
(Young Choreographer
Award)

Peter Boal
(Faculty Award)
2002
Jessica Flynn
Georgina Pazcoguin
Tyler Angle
Allen Peiffer
Jock Soto
(Faculty Award)
2003
Sara Mearns
Ana Sophia Scheller
Vincent Paradiso
Giovanni Villalobos
Sheryl Ware
(Faculty Award)
2004
Kaitlyn Gilliland
Tiler Peck
Daniel Applebaum
William Lin-Yee
Nathalie Gleboff
(For Distinguished
Service)
2005
Maira Barriga
Jan Burkhard
Robert Fairchild
Masahiro Suehara
Katrina Killian
(Faculty Award)
2006
Kathryn Morgan
Tabitha Rinko-Gay
Anthony Huxley
David Prottas
Darci Kistler
(Faculty Award)
2007
Sara Adams
Kristen Segin
Cameron Dieck
Russell Janzen
Nikolaj Hübbe
(Faculty Award)
2008 
Megan Johnson
Lydia Wellington
Samuel Greenberg
Michael Tucker
Sean Lavery
(Faculty Award)
2009
Emilie Gerrity
Ashly Isaacs
Shoshana Rosenfield
Taylor Stanley
Violette Verdy
(Faculty Award)
2010
Jillian Harvey
Spartak Hoxha
Alexander Peters
Elizabeth Wallace
Jeffrey Middleton
(Faculty Award)
2011
Harrison Ball
Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara
Angelica Generosa
Peter Walker
Lisa de Ribère
(Faculty Award)
2012
Olivia Boisson
Harrison Coll
Silas Farley
Claire Von Enck
Sean Lavery
(Faculty Award)
2013
Daniela Aldrich
Isabella LaFreniere
Jordan Miller
Peter Martins
(Faculty Award)
Kay Mazzo
(Faculty Award)
2014
Lyrica Blankfein
Christopher Grant
Baily Jones
Addie Tapp
Dena Abergel
(Faculty Award)
2015
Joscelyn Dolson
Clara Ruf-Maldonado
Dammiel Cruz
Yvonne Borree
(Faculty Award)
2016
Emma Von Enck
Christopher D’Ariano
Ethan Fuller
Jonathan Stafford
(Faculty Award)
2017
Nieve Corrigan
Gabriella Domini
Andres Zuniga
Arch Higgins
(Faculty Award)
2018
Naomi Corti
Julianne Kinasiewicz
Davide Riccardo
Andrei Kramarevsky
(Faculty Award)
2019
Savannah Durham
Shelby Tzung
Cainan Weber
Phoebe Higgins
(Faculty Award)