Various awards throughout William Bolcom's career include:

  • 2011: Recipient of American Music Center Letter of Distinction
  • 2010: Inducted into American Classical Music Hall of Fame
  • 2010: Recipient of the Eddie Medora King Award from The University of Texas at Austin, Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music
  • 2010: Honorary Doctor of Music from University of Hartford
  • 2007: Named "Composer of the Year" by Musical America
  • 2006: National Medal of Arts bestowed by the President of the United States
  • 2006: Named Outstanding Classical Composer at the Detroit Music Awards
  • 2006: Honorary Doctor of Music from Baldwin-Wallace College
  • 2006: The recording of his Songs of Innocence and of Experience received four Grammys for Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and Best Producer of the Year/Classical
  • 2004: Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from New School University in New York
  • 2003: Recipient of the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award from the University of Washington
  • 2001: Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts from New England Conservatory of Music
  • 1997: The University of Michigan's Henry Russel Lectureship, awarded to a senior faculty member
  • 1995: Honorary Doctor of Music from Albion College
  • 1994: Honorary Doctor of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • 1993: Koussevitzky Foundation Award for Lyric Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (written for James Galway)
  • 1992: Investiture in the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • 1988: The Pulitzer Prize for Music for 12 New Etudes for Piano
  • 1977: The Henry Russel Award, the highest academic prize given by the University of Michigan
  • 1976: Koussevitzky Foundation Award for the First Piano Quartet
  • 1966: The Marc Blitzstein Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters for Dynamite Tonite, an opera for actors written with Arnold Weinstein
  • 1965, 1968: Two Guggenheim fellowships
  • 1953: BMI award
In addition:
  • Several Rockefeller Foundation awards
  • Several NEA grants
  • The Michigan Council for the Arts Award
  • The Governor's Arts Award from the State of Michigan