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The American Prize
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The American Prize is pleased to announce semi-finalists for the Chicago Oratorio Award, 2014.

Four $500 prizes, one each for soprano, mezzo-soprano (alto), tenor, baritone (bass), will be awarded as performance fees to soloists selected to appear under the baton of Maestro David Katz in concert with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, performing the solo portions of Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and the Quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago.

This additional opportunity, offered as part of 2014 The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards national competition, is judged entirely independently from the rest of the contests.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The 2014 semi-finalists are:

H. Conner Angell,  Upland IN
Karen Archbold,  Glen Ellyn IL
Julie Lyn Barber,  Parker City IN
Andrew Bawden,  Harrisonburg VA
Danielle Marcelle Bond,  Los Angeles CA
Katherine Bourne,  Riverdale IL
Robin Bradley,  Chicago IL
Danielle Buonaiuto,  Baltimore MD
Jessica Louise Coe,  Chicago IL
Tara Cooper, Prairie Village KS
Farah Darliette,  Boston MA
Joan Marie Dauber,  Chicago IL
Monica Dewey,  Stone Mountain GA
Lauren K. Frey,  Pittsburgh PA
Julianne Gearhart,  Charlestown MA
Annie Gill,  Baltimore MD
Audrey Grieme,  Lafayette IN
Katie Hannigan,  Rochester NY
Mitchell Hutchings,  Houghton NY
Daniel Kamalic,  Watertown MA
Christian Ketter,  Chicago IL
Melissa Krueger,  Kingwood TX
Peter Lightfoot,  East Lansing MI
Megan Marino,  New York NY
Lindsay Mecher,  Chicago IL
Courtney Miller,  Boston MA
Susan Nelson,  Chicago IL
Michael Orlinsky,  Chicago IL 
Clara Osowski,  Brooklyn Center MN
Jennifer Piazza-Pick,  San Antonio TX
Kathryn Scavone Pitts,  Tustin CA
Leo Radosavljevic,  Willmette IL
Rebecca Rapoport-Cole,  Somerville MA
Jamie Reimer,  Papillion NE
Stella Dayrit Roden,  Warrensburg MO
Kelsey K. Rogers,  Tuscon AZ
Megan Roth,  Bloomington IN
Rocky Sellers,  Memphis TN
Sean Stanton,  Chicago IL
Emily Sternfeld-Dunn,  Wichita KS
Christine Steyer, Oak Park IL
Josefien Stoppelenburg,  Evanston IL
Stephanie Tingler,  Athens GA
Emily Truckenbrod,  Edwardsville IL
Kimberly M. Twesme,  Walnut Creek CA
Zoe Vandermeer,  Gaylordsville CT
Nicole Warner,  Hudson WI
Dana Zenobi,  Austin TX

Congratulations!

To know the exact day and time when finalists will be announced, and for updates on the rest of The American Prize competitions, 2014, please like our facebook page, where that information first will be posted.
6 months ago | |
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Deadline Approaching: The American Prize 2014 for conductors, directors, administrators and ensembles.

You can read the latest news about the competitions by following the link below to our most recent "On TAP" newsletter, which also has a link to sign up. http://conta.cc/1hbxtfE
6 months ago | |
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—by David Katz, chief judge of The American Prize

The American Prize honored our first Grammy Award-winning TAP laureate earlier this year. (The choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth won a Grammy in 2014 and The American Prize in 2010).

Although most of us may never win a Grammy, or a Pulitzer, a Tony or an Academy Award, or may never even be nominated, that does not mean that the music we make is unworthy of national recognition and reward. I am proud to be chief judge of the The American Prize—because it is the national competition for the rest of us.
We all know that excellence in the arts is not restricted to the famous names, or limited to a single city on either coast, or reserved only for the top graduates of the most prestigious schools. It is not necessary to be well-connected to achieve greatness. In America, it is not location nor pedigree, but talent, love of the art, hard work and commitment that makes the difference.

During my career, I have had the privilege of guest conducting orchestras, choruses, bands and opera companies all over the country—not just professionals, but school, church and community ensembles, and not only in big cities. Whether in the deep south, the far west, the heartland, or on the coasts, I have encountered inspiring artists entertaining audiences, educating young people, enriching communities and contributing to the quality of life.

Maybe you are one of them.

If only The American Prize had existed a little earlier in my career! When I was conducting a community orchestra and a church choir in Hartford, Connecticut, I would have applied. I would have wanted to know how my groups stacked up to similar ensembles elsewhere in the country. Were we really as good as I thought we were?

When I was leading a youth orchestra in Elgin, Illinois, and a community chorus in Libertyville, I would have applied. I thought some of my programming choices were inspired. Would conductors from across the country think so, too?

When I was music director of a professional orchestra in a tiny town in Southern Michigan, I would have applied. In Adrian, my symphony roared through some of the greatest pieces ever written, and the audiences roared back their approval. I wanted people all across the country to know what amazing things we were doing—how well—and where.

And for twenty-eight years now, I’ve also conducted an orchestra of lawyers in Chicago. Of course, I would have applied.

Because, what if we had won?

What if your audience, donors or membership woke up to the news that you had just won The American Prize, judged to be the finest in the country in your category, chosen by an impartial panel of experienced professionals from all across the United States? There would be prize money, of course, but more important would be the bragging rights, to be emblazoned next year on your brochure, or printed in your church newsletter, or announced at the next faculty meeting. There would be the award certificate hanging proudly in your rehearsal room, office or auditorium lobby; there would be articles in newspapers and magazines pointing to your winning performances, all linked on The American Prize website.

If winning The American Prize might help you sell more tickets, or build your base of donors, or aid recruitment, or enhance your resume, or solidify your position, or add to your press coverage; if you have wished there were a way for your work to be recognized by someone in addition to your audience, board, parents or pastor; if winning might be the shot in the arm you and your group needs, reminding everyone in your community that what you do every day matters profoundly—then you should apply.

The American Prize is here to stay. It is an annual competition that is going to continue to grow in visibility and prestige.

This spring, somebody (a group of somebodys) is going to win The American Prize and be recognized for artistic achievement. Why not you?

The postmark deadline for conductors, directors, arts administrators and ensembles is April 7, 2014. Complete information, including application forms, bios of judges and former winners at www.theamericanprize.org

David Katz is chief judge of the non-profit The American Prize. Professional conductor, playwright and actor, award-winning composer and arts advocate, he believes deeply in the mission of The American Prize to recognize and reward excellence in the arts wherever in America it is found. 

WEBSITE: www.theamericanprize.org
EMAIL: TheAmericanPrz@aol.com or: TheAmericanPrize@gmail.com
6 months ago | |
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An invitation to STAGE DIRECTORS & THEATER COMPANIES to participate in The American Prize competitions, 2014, to earn the recognition and reward you have worked so hard to achieve.

AUTOMATIC POSTMARK EXTENSIONS to APRIL 7, 2014


If you're a stage director, you and your ensemble have recordings. 

The American Prize wants to see them.

Since 2010, The American Prize has provided evaluation, recognition and reward to America’s finest performing artists and composers. The American Prize is unique—the only national, nonprofit competitions in the performing arts based solely on the evaluation of commercial and noncommercial CD and DVD recordings. The American Prize has awarded more than $25,000 in prize money in all categories since 2010.
  • No live competition. The American Prize judges recorded performance only.
  • No age limits.
  • Separate divisions for professional, college/university, community, or high school age companies & their directors.
  • Few repertoire restrictions.
  • Written evaluations to all contestants who rank “finalist” or higher.
  • Personalized certificates to all participants.
  • Cash prizes.
  • Published timelines for the announcement of semi-finalists, finalists and winners.
  • 1-page application form.
  • Low application fees.
  • Not-for-profit organization.
Complete information, application forms, biographies of judges and past winners: www.theamericanprize.org

Winners of The American Prize receive cash awards, award certificates, and unbiased written evaluations from our national panel of distinguished judges, but more importantly, laureates of The American Prize at all levels of achievement derive local, regional and national recognition to help them generate jobs, build audiences and sustain careers. In an age when the performing arts are more marginalized than ever before and media coverage harder than ever to get, The American Prize provides its contestants with the visibility and recognition they need to stand out from the rest.

2014 National Competitions for Stage Directors & Theater Ensembles:
    The American Prize in Directing
    The American Prize in Theater Performance
        Three divisions:   

                    theater
                    music theater
                    opera

                                       
AUTOMATIC POSTMARK EXTENSIONS to APRIL 7, 2014


EASY:
1-page application form (on website—see "competitions" menu to download) www.theamericanprize.org
Send bio and photo by email.
Send CD, DVD or VHS tape by mail. All applications are acknowledged upon receipt.

ABOUT YOUR RECORDINGS:
You need not prepare a special recording for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a concert made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual or ensemble limits eligibility, provided the general guidelines have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners. The competitions are open to US citizens living in this country or abroad and others studying or working in the U.S. There is no restriction against previous winners re-applying.

Complete information: www.theamericanprize.org
Questions: please email theamericanprize@gmail.com

David Katz, chief judge
HCMT—The American Prize
25 Hamilton Drive, Suite 100
Danbury, CT  06811
203 746-2694

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
6 months ago | |
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An invitation to ARTS ADMINISTRATORS to participate in The American Prize competitions, 2014, to earn the recognition and reward you have worked so hard to achieve.

AUTOMATIC POSTMARK EXTENSIONS to APRIL 7, 2014

Automatic extensions (until April 1) are available to those who need more time. Simply email the office directly to let us know of your intention to apply: theamericanprize@gmail.com

If you're an arts administrator, you market your artist’s performances.

The American Prize wants to see your campaigns.

Since 2010, The American Prize has provided evaluation, recognition and reward to America’s finest performing artists and composers. The American Prize is unique—the only national, nonprofit competitions in the performing arts based solely on the evaluation of commercial and noncommercial CD and DVD recordings. The American Prize has awarded more than $25,000 in prize money in all categories since 2010.
  • Separate divisions for professional and community organizations.
  • Written evaluations to all contestants who rank “finalist” or higher.
  • Personalized certificates to all participants.
  • Cash prizes.
  • Published timelines for the announcement of semi-finalists, finalists and winners.
  • 1-page application form.
  • Low application fees.
  • Not-for-profit organization.
Complete information, application forms, biographies of judges and past winners: www.theamericanprize.org

Winners of The American Prize receive cash awards, award certificates, and unbiased written evaluations from our national panel of distinguished judges, but more importantly, laureates of The American Prize at all levels of achievement derive local, regional and national recognition to help them generate jobs, build audiences and sustain careers.

In an age when the performing arts are more marginalized than ever before and media coverage harder than ever to get, The American Prize provides its contestants with the visibility and recognition they need to stand out from the rest.

2014 National Competitions for Arts Administrators
    The American Prize in Arts Marketing

                   
AUTOMATIC POSTMARK EXTENSIONS to APRIL 7, 2014

EASY:
1-page application form (on website—see "competitions" menu to download) www.theamericanprize.org
Send bio and photo by email.
Send materials by mail. All applications are acknowledged upon receipt.

Complete information: www.theamericanprize.org
Questions: please email theamericanprize@gmail.com

David Katz, chief judge
HCMT—The American Prize
25 Hamilton Drive, Suite 100
Danbury, CT  06811
203 746-2694

The American Prize is administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
6 months ago | |
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I have received emails from music teachers asking if applying to The American Prize might be worthwhile for their ensembles and for them. With about three weeks remaining to the extended postmark deadline for this spring’s competitions, my resounding “yes” is explained below.—DK
Dear Music Educator:

Those of us in arts education know we struggle as never before to gain for our students the recognition they deserve for a job well done. The media, even locally, often seem more interested in reporting about “popular culture” and sports than the performing arts, let alone featuring school and community music organizations in their stories. Newspapers, television and radio tell us they don’t have space or time; our concerts aren’t really news; “average people” wouldn’t be interested.

We know differently, but that lack of coverage can often affect the visibility and perceived importance of music and music education in our communities. It makes it harder for us to recruit players and students, to find volunteers, to raise money, to secure proper funding, even to hold on to our jobs, or to prove to the “powers that be” that what we do is central to the education of our young people and to the quality of life in our towns and cities.

What if there were a way for school, civic and professional ensembles (and their conductors) to be rewarded nationally for excellence, without having to worry about the expense and hassle of traveling to contests? Wouldn't that get the media's attention? Of course it would...and not just the media: the entire community would take notice, and that’s good for every music program.

Enter The American Prize. Like state festivals, where school ensembles go to receive rankings and adjudication, The American Prize is a national festival for the performing arts, but one that is non-profit and relies exclusively on recordings of contestants to select the winners.

The American Prize was founded to provide recognition to the finest music-makers in the nation, regardless of their location. Whether it is a wonderful string ensemble from the deep South, far West or in the heartland that some superintendent of schools wants to cut out of the budget, or a terrific community chorus that performs to but a handful of audience members in the Northwest or on the coasts; or a professional orchestra anywhere in the country that is struggling to find the donors it needs to remain in business, The American Prize can provide regional, national and international visibility and reward.

What if your students, parents, board of education, or supervisor woke up to the news that you had just won The American Prize, judged to be the finest in the country in your category, chosen by an impartial panel of experienced professionals from all across the United States? There would be prize money and adjudicated comments, but maybe more important might be the bragging rights, to be emblazoned next year on your school or department letterhead or recruitment poster, or announced at the next faculty meeting. There would be the award certificate hanging proudly in your rehearsal room, studio, office or auditorium lobby; and of course, suddenly, there would be articles in newspapers and magazines, and stories on radio and tv pointing to your winning performance, sent directly to your local media by The American Prize itself, all linked on The American Prize website.

Even if yours isn’t selected the top group, semi-finalists and finalists receive local, regional and national recognition as being among the best in the nation.

If winning The American Prize might help you recruit more members, or add to your ensemble’s perceived worth, or enhance your resume, or solidify your position; if you have wished there were a way for your work (or your group’s quality) to be recognized by someone in addition to your students, audience, board, parents or supervisor; if winning might be the shot in the arm you and your group needs, reminding everyone in your community that what you do every day matters profoundly—then I urge you to apply.

The American Prize is here to stay. It is a series of annual, non-profit competitions that is going to continue to grow in visibility and prestige.

This spring, somebody (a group of somebodys) is going to win The American Prize and be recognized for their artistic achievement. Why not you?

Full information, including application forms, all rules, judges’ bios and more, can be found at www.theamericanprize.org Downloadable under the NEWS button on the website is Principles of The American Prize, a set of rules the competition follows to help insure that The American Prize is fair and valuable to all contestants.

In recent weeks, The American Prize has received a fascinating array of applicants from coast to coast, and we anticipate many more. Perhaps yours will be among them. It would be a pleasure to sample your students’ (and your) excellent work. The deadline for the current round of competitions is April 7, 2014.

All good wishes,
David Katz, chief judge

The American Prize
7 months ago | |
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CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD—deadline approaching February 25th.

Four $500 prizes, one each for soprano, mezzo-soprano (alto), tenor, baritone (bass), will be awarded as performance fees to soloists selected to appear under the baton of Maestro David Katz in concert with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, performing the solo portions of  Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and the Quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago. (Dress rehearsal Tuesday evening, May 20, 2014, same location.)

This additional opportunity is offered as part of The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards national competition and is open to 2014 applicants in the professional and college/university categories, only.

Each winner will receive a $500 all-inclusive fee (no additional housing, travel or per diem), payment to be made on the day of the performance. Although the Chicago Oratorio Award is an additional contest open to all professional and college/university applicants for The American Prize in Vocal Performance, 2014, it is geared primarily to those who live within comfortable travel distance of Chicago and/or who can make their own housing/travel arrangements.

Complete information, application forms and requirements: http://www.theamericanprize.org/vocalperf.html

Automatic postmark deadline extensions to Monday, February 25, 2014 are available to those email by that date with their intention to apply: theamericanprize@gmail.com

Vocal scores to the Beethoven and Verdi may downloaded here:
http://www.theamericanprize.org/artsong.html
(see link, middle of the page)

Questions? theamericanprize@gmail.com
8 months ago | |
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How valuable is The American Prize in Piano Performance to those who participate? We have received unsolicited emails from several laureates we are proud to share.

In the welter of media "noise" every day,  it is sometimes difficult for artists to get the recognition they so clearly deserve: we are pleased that The American Prize is helping to change that.

From Sarah Chan, winner of The American Prize in Piano Performance, professional division—concerto, and now a member of our distingushed panel of judges:

"I thank you for the objectives of your organization in encouraging many fine artists in their development. I am very thankful for the honor of The American Prize and am grateful for your continued support of excellence in music across this nation....Through The American Prize, your...efforts to encourage excellence in the arts at all levels nationally remain inspirational as a model of generosity, expressing the very soul of art."
—Sarah Chan, Assistant Professor of Music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where she is Director of Keyboard Studies and Music Theory in the Department of Fine Arts.

From Catharine Dornin, The American Prize in Piano Performance
3rd place, professional division, concerto

"I am so thrilled to have been a part of this competition and all the wonderful opportunities it offers to its finalists and winners. I'm delighted to have my picture on your website and to have won third place in the Concerto Performance Category in the Professional Division. I definitely saw the press release that the Concord Monitor, our local newspaper, ran in August concerning my award and I appreciate this recognition so very much. It is wonderfully helpful to me both as a performer and music teacher. 

I've received so many congratulations from friends and acquaintances. I've tried to explain to them how The American Prize is a new and wonderful award opportunity for artists who've been laboring in relative obscurity for years to have their performances listened to and adjudicated by highly qualified judges and to give those performers professional recognition that is just invaluable and is so very affirming.
It's so helpful to my musical career to have all this great support and recognition. It is just a wonderful idea! We are all so very grateful."

—Catharine Dornin, faculty
St Paul's School and Concord Community Music School, Concord, NH

And this, from another distinguished member of the national judging panel for The American Prize in Piano Performance:

"you've created a new type of art music competition.  Fantastic!"

Michael Benson
Michael Benson is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

*****

The American Prize is unique. A non-profit organization that focuses on recognizing and rewarding artists solely based on their recorded performances, contestants avoid the hassle and expense of traveling to competitions. Our distinguished panel of nationally recognized judges provides every contestant, from finalist to winner, with unbiased written evaluations. With no age limits and few repertoire restrictions and separate divisions for professional, college/university, high school and amateur artists, we assist artists in building careers, audiences and visibility.

The extended postmark deadline for The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2014, which includes separate competitions in solo performance and in concerto, is Monday, February 25, 2014.  Visit the The American Prize website for complete information, application forms, bios and photos of past winners, and more.
8 months ago | |
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The excerpts below derive from a series of evaluations written for The American Prize by the distinguished American composer and TAP judge, JUDITH LANG ZAIMONT. Ms. Zaimont helped adjudicate student orchestral works in 2013. 
To read about Ms. Zaimont's extraordinary career, please click here to reach the judges' biography page on our website.

Although judges have a great deal of leeway about the structure and length of the evaluations they provide, the excerpts below represent a sample of the quality of evaluative thought we aspire to provide to every contestant who reaches Finalist status or higher in the competitions of The American Prize.

“In reviewing student works, skillful handling of the orchestral medium is considered baseline competence. Beyond that one looks for imagination, inventiveness, an abundant musicality, fresh ideas, and especially, if the composer is capable of going beyond replicating familiar models. Another sign of true maturity is having developed a distinct take on harmony and rhythm, plus mastery in innovating forms – but these more often manifest later on.”  

“(The work displays) coherent and skillful use of the orchestra as an entire inflected instrument in itself. Exciting music, due largely to an active carving across the flow of beat, displaying a sophisticated and personal command of rhythm.”

“The instruments are used appropriately and effectively, both as individual colors and in terms of sectional strengths. The final third of the piece is excellent – both in its character and its distinct point. The flow of music across time is well-personalized. “

“This work is utterly original in its formal structure.  It uses minimal materials, almost insubstantial, but fitting. (It is) intimate, contained, ritual music that moves in a very human progress –  almost as if strands of thought come forward, linger in examination and then dissipate.”

“Without the spine of a distinctive anchoring harmony, the musical capture of  inhales – exhales seems overly long in getting to letter L (which is placed actually just shy of the golden mean).”

“Really novel the idea behind this piece, requiring an adventurous mind-set for all members of the orchestra...Structurally, the opening bars and the closing effect are striking. However, the overall orchestration  -- while precise on a chamber-ensemble scale --  falls short in gauging relative tone-weight for the several dramatic interjections. Singleton winds cannot compete in defined pronunciation with singleton brass. And the delicate string ostinato – which is most of the piece – would be most effective if it is not interrupted, continuing palely, even while the trio’s main music is being played.”

(Please note that judges' assignments are rotated regularly, based on their qualifications, areas of interest, years of service, and availability at any particular stage of the evaluation process.) 





8 months ago | |
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The American Prize invites performing artists, composers and administrators to participate in its 2014 series of national competitions in the performing arts.

POSTMARK DEADLINE 
for composers, classical vocalists, pianists and chamber music ensembles:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
 Automatic extensions (until February 25) are available to those who need more time. Simply email the office directly to let us know of your intention to apply: theamericanprize@gmail.com


POSTMARK DEADLINE 
for conductors, instrumental & choral ensembles, stage directors, arts administrators (marketing), classical vocalists, pianists and chamber music ensembles:
AUTOMATIC POSTMARK EXTENSIONS to APRIL 7, 2014

Here are links to the individual invitations:

GENERAL INVITATION (all 2014 contests):
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-participate-in.html

an invitation to COMPOSERS:
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-composers.html

an invitation to CLASSICAL VOCALISTS:
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-classical-vocalists.html

an invitation to PIANISTS:
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-pianists.html

an invitation to CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLES:
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-chamber-music-ensembles.html

an invitation to CONDUCTORS & INSTRUMENTAL & CHORAL ENSEMBLES:

http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-conductors-ensembles.html

an invitation to STAGE DIRECTORS & THEATER COMPANIES:
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-stage-directors.html

an invitation to ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (MARKETING):
http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-invitation-to-arts-administrators.html





9 months ago | |
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