The award "celebrates lifetime achievement in the field of new American music"; it has been presented seven times since 1999, to composers and performers including Charles Ives, Ornette Coleman, Lou Harrison, and Elliott Carter.
Babbitt, who turns 90 on May 10, is a pioneer of twelve-tone music and electronic music. In 1982, he won a special citation from the Pulitzer board for his lifetime of work.
The AMC will also present Letters of Distinction to the choral group Chanticleer; jazz guitarist Bill Frisell; New Yorker critic Alex Ross; and jazz pianist and educator Billy Taylor. The letters, which have been awarded annually since 1964, "recognize those who have made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary American music."
Recent winners of the Letter of Distinction include Lukas Foss, Gian Carlo Menotti, John Adams, Dave Brubeck, George Perle, Dawn Upshaw, and Steve Reich.
The meeting will be followed by a performance by the Meridian Arts Ensemble, pianist Matthew Shipp, and composer and vocalist Pamela Z. It will take place at the Cutting Room in Manhattan at 7:30 p.m., and is open to the public.