Best New Composition: Penderecki's "Polish Requiem."
*Best News of the Year: The Washington Opera's announcement that it has upgraded its goal in a fund-raising drive from $1.85 million to $4.5 million, having reached the original goal in half the time allotted. This development kept the curtailment of the Washington Opera's 1985-86 season from becoming the worst news of the year.
*Worst News of the Year: The Metropolitan Opera's announcement that it is discontinuing it national tour.
*Best New Visiting Ensemble: The Chamber Orchestra of Europe.Worst Performing Arts Event: The presidential inaugural gala at the Convention Center. This beat out the Metropolitan Opera's weary "Lohengrin" by a substantial margin.
*Best Operatic Presentation: The Washington Opera's "Eugene Onegin."
*Best Vocal Performances: Frederica von Stade in a recital at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall; Joan Sutherland in a concert version of Donizetti's "Anna Bolena."
*Most Consistent Level of Great Playing: The Serkin family's Beethoven -- Peter Serkin in the last three piano sonatas in February, and his father Rudolf in the "Waldstein" Sonata early this month.
*Most Successful New Venture: The Metropolitan Opera's first staging of "Porgy and Bess" after ignoring it for a half-century.
*Most Interesting Performance: Mahler's Third Symphony as interpreted by Rostropovich and the NSO.
*Most Unusual Event: The eighth World Saxophone Congress, held at the University of Maryland.
*Most Notable Trends: Increasing accessibility of new music; rapid expansion of recorded repertoire in video opera and CD sound recordings.
*Most Notable Birthdays: Heinrich Schu tz (400); J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel and Domenico Scarlatti (300); Alban Berg and Jerome Kern (100); Aaron Copland (85); Roger Stevens (75).