The Mae L. Wien Awards
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
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
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
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
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
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:
Ana Sophia Scheller
Lisa de Ribère
Claire Von Enck
Emma Von Enck