In September 1994, the Board of Trustees of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music announced the establishment of a Kurt Weill Book Prize, which is awarded biennially. The purpose of the Kurt Weill Book Prize is to encourage distinguished scholarship in the disciplines of music, theater, dance, literary criticism and history addressing music theater since 1900 (including opera).
Weill's works crossed several genres and his creative life spanned two continents; his Threepenny Opera has entered the musical canon as one of the masterpieces for the musical stage of this century. The idea for establishing this Prize originated from Harold Prince, renowned director of the musical stage and Board member of the Kurt Weill Foundation. Prince suggested the Prize as a means of recognizing excellence in the scholarly domain of music theater in the broadest sense.