The Boston Symphony Orchestra has presented John Harbison with the Mark M. Horblit “Merit Award” for distinguished composition by an American composer.The Boston Symphony Orchestra has presented John Harbison with the Mark M. Horblit “Merit Award” for distinguished composition by an American composer. The award was created in 1947 by the late Boston attorney Mark M. Horblit to, in his own words, “foster and promote the writing of symphonic compositions by composers resident in the United States… in recognition of meritorious work in that field.” Mr. Harbison is the 22nd recipient of the award, which includes a cash prize of $5,000. The Horblit Award was first presented to Aaron Copland in 1947, and most recently to Elliott Carter in 2007 (Mr. Carter also received the award in 1988). In connection with the BSO’s presentation of the Horblit Award to John Harbision, the orchestra will release the composer’s six symphonies as digital downloads, available at the orchestra’s website. These live recordings of all six symphonies were made during the BSO’s 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.