Tag: composer awards

2022 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards Announced

ASCAP Foundation Logo with Morton Gould Awards header

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the 23 recipients of its 2022 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards as well as 15 additional composers who received honorable mentions. The awards, which encourage talented young creators of concert music ranging in age from 13 to 30, are selected through a juried national competition. These composers may be American citizens, permanent residents or students possessing U.S. student visas. The 38 compositions of the composers recognized in 2022 were among the more than 500 scores that were seen by this year’s judges (who are all ASCAP-member composers): Svjetlana Bukvich, Daniel Felsenfeld, Yotam Haber, Felipe Lara, Fang Man, Jessica Mays, Shawn Okpebholo, and Jorge Sosa.

Below is a complete alphabetical list of the 2022 Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipients and their award-winning works (with links to audio recordings of them and additional information where available):

Benjamin Thoreau Baker (b. 1998 in Pleasant Plain, OH; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Primordial (2019) for saxophone and live electronics [ca. 9′];

Alex Berko (b. 1995 in Cleveland, OH; currently based in Houston, TX): Oh Me! Oh Life! (2021) for unaccompanied chorus [ca. 11′];

Paul Berlinsky (b. 1994 in Miami Beach, FL; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Book of Birds (2021) for flute and electronics [ca. 27′];

Anuj Bhutani (b. 1993 in Houston, TX; current based in Austin, TX): On Letting Go (2020-21) for solo cello and live electronics [ca. 16′];

Aiyana Braun (b. 1997 in Ardmore, PA; currently based in Philadelphia, PA): Refractions (2019 rev. 2022) for orchestra [ca. 6′];

Cao Shengnan (b. 1992 in Beijing, China; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Fantasia Nirvana (2021) for full orchestra [ca. 11′];

Bryn Davis (b. 1992 in Richmond, VA; currently based in St. Paul, MN):
☞︎□︎❒︎ ❄︎□︎❍︎ 👍︎◆︎❒︎❒︎⍓︎ (2019) for tuba septet [ca. 10′];

Baldwin Giang (b. 1992 in Malvern, PA; currently based in Chicago, IL): roses (2021) for sinfonietta [ca. 15′];

Soomin Kim (b. 1995 in Uijeongbu, South Korea; currently based in Minneapolis, MN): star / ghost / mouth /sea (2021) for full orchestra [ca. 9′];

Joel Kirk (b. 1996 in Manchester, United Kingdom; currently based in Buffalo, NY): update status, always (2021) for solo violin [ca. 7′];

Cheng Jin Koh (b. 1996 in Singapore; currently based in New York, NY): Luciola singapura (Singapore Firefly) (2021) for sinfonietta with blended yang qin [ca. 6′];

Sam Kohler (b. 1996 in Eugene, OR; currently based in New Orleans, LA): sun-splash color-room (2021) for flute, clarinet, violin, piano, and percussion [ca. 10′];

Daniel Leibovic (b. 1995 in Richmond, VA; currently based in Houston, TX): Padamu Jua (2020) for 16 voices and small gongs [ca. 9′];

Maxwell Lu (b. 2002 in Dayton, MD; currently based in New York, NY): shatter (2021) for full orchestra [ca. 6′];

JP Merz (b. 1992 in Janesville, WI; currently based in Los Angeles, CA): gun, fire (2021) for full orchestra [ca. 15′];

Celka Ojakangas (b. 1992 in Springfield, MO; currently based in Pasadena, CA): Bantam Winds (2021) for oboe, bass clarinet, and French horn [ca. 10′];

Siddharth Pant (b. 2004 in California): Dodecahedron (2021) for string quartet [ca. 5′];

Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez (b. 1995 in Betonville, AR; currently based in New Haven, CT): Five O’Hara Songs (2020) for soprano and piano [ca. 13′];

Lucy Shirley (b. 1997 in Indianapolis, IN; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Stretch Marks (2021) for soprano voice, clarinet, and piano [ca. 7′];

Sage Shurman (b. 2005; based in Los Angeles, CA): what’s left behind (2021) for string orchestra [ca. 9′];

Tian Songfeng (b. Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, China; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Winter Solstice for string quartet [ca. 6′];

Meilina Tsui (b. 1993 in Almaty, Kazakhstan; currently based in Orlando, FL) Nomadic Trails (2021) for chamber orchestra [ca. 14′];

Casey Weisman (b. California): Beasts of the Seven Seas for full orchestra and instruments from Asia and Africa [ca. 15′].

Baldwin Giang was further recognized by the panel with the 2022 Leo Kaplan Award, created in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP Special Distribution Advisor. The award is funded by the Kaplan Family.

Below is a list of the additional composers who received Honorable Mention and their works:

Orkun Akyol (b. 1992 in Istanbul, Türkiye; current based in Davis, CA): uneasy in my easy chair (2021) for oboe, harp, percussion and electronics [ca. 6′];

KiMani Bridges (b. 2002 in Louisville, KY; currently based in Bloomington, IN): Healer (2021) for 2 voices, spoons, and cardboard box [ca. 6′];

Victor Cui (b. 1998 in Beijing, China; currently based in Baltimore, MD): Onyx is the Color during the Silence of Järvenpää for flute and electronics [ca. 10′];

Matthieu Foresi (b. 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland; currently based in Washington): The Monster in the Closet (2019) for full orchestra [ca. 6′];

Aidan Gold (b. 1997 in Seattle, WA; currently based in New York, NY): Ripple the Ocean of Eyes (2022) for full orchestra [ca. 15′];

Camilo Gonzalez-Sol (b. 1999 in Takoma Park, MD; currently based in Austin, TX): Four Brainscapes (2021) for fixed media in stereo [ca. 9′];

Liu Yizhang (b. 1995 in Hunan, China; currently based in Kansas City, MO): Phanstasmal (2021) for string quartet [ca. 5′];

Chuyi Luo (from New York): In The Conversation… for full orchestra [ca. 6′];

Quinn Mason (b. 1996; based in Dallas, TX): Symphony No. 4 ‘Strange Time’ (2019-21) for expanded wind ensemble [ca. 20′];

Jordan Millar (b. 2006; based in New York City): Masquerade (2021) for flute, violin, viola, and classical guitar [ca. 7′];

Chris Neiner (b. 1994 in Burnsville, MN; currently based in Cleveland Heights, OH): Many Universes (2019) for chamber orchestra [ca. 14′];

Luca Pasquini (b. 2004; based in Denver, CO): Where am I in the Sublime? for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion [ca. 7′];

Grant Shueh (from New Jersey): Arrival for string quartet [ca. 6′];

Eunike Tanzil (b. 1998 in Medan, Indonesia; currently based in New York, NY): Veni Vidi Vici (2020) for clarinet and orchestra [ca. 8′];

Isabelle Tseng (from Florida): Ringlorn for violin and cello [ca. 10′].

Established as The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards in 1979 with funding from The ASCAP Foundation Jack and Amy Norworth Fund, the program was dedicated to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Morton Gould’s memory following his death in 1996 to honor his lifelong commitment to encouraging young creators. A child prodigy himself, Gould’s first composition was published by G. Schirmer when he was only six years of age. Gould served as President of ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation from 1986 to 1994. Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers around the world.

Photos of all the winners and honorable mentions in the 2022 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards

Winners of the 2022 BMI Student Composer Awards Announced

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), in collaboration with the BMI Foundation (BMIF) has announced the seven winners and three honorable mentions in the 70th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Each year these awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with educational scholarships totaling $20,000. For the first time in three years (due to the pandemic), the awards were once again announced in person in a live ceremony yesterday evening at Tribeca 360. The ceremony was presided over by Deirdre Chadwick, BMI Executive Director for Classical Music and BMI Foundation President, along with composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the permanent Chair of the Competition, who announced each of the winners.

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich announcing the winners of the 2022 BMI Student Composer Awards

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich announcing the winners of the 2022 BMI Student Composer Awards (photo by FJO)

The seven winning composers and their works are:
Ábel Esbenshade a.k.a. Ábel M.G.E. (b. 1994): Sadie’s Story for flute and fixed media (2021)

Cheng Jin Koh (b. 1996): Luciola singapura for sinfonietta and yang qin (Chinese dulcimer) (2021)
(Ms. Koh was also the recipient of the William Schuman prize which is annually awarded for the score deemed most accomplished in the competition.)

Oliver Kwapis (b. 1997): Dreams of Flight for full orchestra (2021) [10′]

Alan Mackwell (b. 1998): Remains of a Permian Gas Station for string trio (2021) [c. 20′]

Sehyeok (Joseph) Park (b. 2003): String Quartet no. 1 (2021)
(Mr. Park also received the Carlos Surinach Prize which is annually awarded to the youngest winner in the competition.)

Nina Shekhar (b. 1995): Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner for orchestra and fixed media (2021) [20′]

Kari Watson (b. 1998): of desire for voice and percussion (2021)

Group photos of the 7 winners in the 2022 BMI Student Composer Awards with BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick

(L-R) BMI’s Student Composer Award winners Alan W. Mackwell, Ábel M.G.E., Sehyeok (Joseph) Park, Nina Shekhar, Kari Watson, Cheng Jin Koh and Oliver Kwapis pose with BMI Foundation President & BMI’s Executive Director- Classical Deirdre Chadwick at Tribeca 360 on May 17, 2022, in New York, NY. (Photo by Jennifer Taylor for BMI; courtesy BMI)

The three composers who received an honorable mention were:

Lucy Chen (b. 2005): Muse for orchestra (2021) [10′]

Apoorva Krishna (b. 1996): Merging Parallels voice and ensemble (2020) [3′]

Malcolm Xiellie (b. 2007): The Voyage for solo piano (2021)

During the ceremony there were also presentations of two of the 2021 winning works: Elizabeth Gartman‘s [Weight] for soprano and fixed media in a live performance by Shannyn Rinker (which was its world premiere in front of a physical audience) and Elliot Roman‘s orchestral work Tzirklshpitz which was shown on video. In a poignant speech during the ceremony, Chadwick acknowledged previous recipients of the award who were present at the event as well as this year’s winners, but also pointed out that “there are excellent composers who’ve never won a competition.”

Deirdre Chadwick congratulates all the composers in the room.

Deirdre Chadwick congratulates all the composers in the room. (Photo by FJO)

The ten composers who were honored in the 2022 BMI Student Composer Awards were among 450 applicants in this year’s competition which are all judged anonymously through a rigorous two-panel process. The preliminary judges were BMI member composers Alexandra DuBois, Carlos Carrillo, and Jeremy Gill. The final judges were BMI member composers Oscar Bettison, Hannah Lash, Jose Serebrier, and Matthew Evan Taylor. Further details about the awards, including individual photos of each of the 10 composers who received awards and honorable mentions, are available on the BMI website.

Tania León Orchestral Work Stride Awarded 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Tania León has been awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her orchestra work Stride which received its world premiere in a performance by The New York Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Zweden in David Geffen Hall in New York City on February 13, 2020. According to the Pulitzer Prize guidelines, the annually awarded $15,000 prize is for “a distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the previous year.” The Pulitzer citation describes Stride as “a musical journey full of surprise, with powerful brass and rhythmic motifs that incorporate Black music traditions from the US and the Caribbean into a Western orchestral fabric.” Published by Peermusic Classical, Stride was one of 19 commissions of the New York Philharmonic as part of its Project 19 initiative commemorating the centenary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the United States constitution which established that women have the right to vote.

“I don’t know what to say!” said Tania León during a telephone conversation minutes after the announcement. “All the women that motivated me to do this: I am the product of my grandmother. My mother and my grandmother were both maids when they were eight years old. And Susan B. Anthony and all the suffragettes inspired me. I think of all these women and I want to honor them.”

The announcement of the Pulitzer Prizes, which traditionally take place in the Columbia University Journalism Building and are scheduled on the third Monday of April, were delayed again this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, this year’s announcement was made online by Pulitzer Prize co-chairs Mindy Marqués and Stephen Engelberg via a stream posted this Friday afternoon on the Pulitzer website and on YouTube.

Also nominated as finalists for the 2021 music prize were: Place by Ted Hearne (released on New Amsterdam Records on April 3, 2020) which is described in the Pulitzer citation as “a brave and powerful work, marked by effective vocal writing and multiple musical genres, that confronts issues of gentrification and displacement in Fort Greene,” and Maria Schneider’s Data Lords (a recording released by the Maria Schneider Orchestra on July 24, 2020 via ArtistShare), which is described in the citation as “an enveloping musical landscape of light and shadow, rendered by the many personalities of a large jazz ensemble, reflecting the promise of a digital paradise contrasted by a concentration of power and the loss of privacy.”

Tania León was the very first individual composer featured in conversation in NewMusicBox back in August 1999. You can read a complete transcript of that conversation here. Tania León is one of the eight composers involved in New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program and Stride is one of the six works submitted by New Music USA in consideration for performance during the 2021 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World New Music Days in Shanghai scheduled for September 2021.

The jury for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music was: John V. Brown, Jr. (Chair), Vice Provost, Arts, Duke University; Regina Carter, Jazz Violinist, Maywood, N.J.; Ellen Reid, Composer/Sound Artist, New York City (and prior winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, in 2019); John Schaefer, Host, “New Sounds,” WNYC Radio; and Christopher J. Washburne, Composer/Trombonist; Professor of Music, Columbia University.

A Week of New Music Celebrations: the BMI Student Composer Awards, the Ceremonial & the Underwood Readings

The 2019 BMI Student Composer Award winners with Deirdre Chadwick and Ellen Taaffee Zwilich (Photo by Amanda Stevens for BMI).

The close proximity of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial, and the American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood New Music Readings, which all took place in New York City last week, have turned the penultimate week of May into a multi-day celebration of new music.

On May 21, the BMI Foundation celebrated the nine winners of the 2019 BMI Student Composer Awards.

On May 21, the BMI Foundation, in collaboration with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), announced the nine winners of the 2019 BMI Student Composer Awards at a private ceremony held at Tribeca 360° presided over by BMI Executive Director of Classical and BMIF President Deirdre Chadwick, BMI Senior Vice President of International and Global Policy Ann Sweeney, and renowned American composer and permanent Chair of the Student Composer Awards Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez received the William Schuman Prize, awarded for most outstanding score, and Lucy McKnight received the Carlos Surinach Prize, awarded to the youngest winner. Another one of the 2019 winners, Matthew Schultheis, received his third consecutive award this year. In what has now become an annual tradition, prior to the announcement of the award winners, an award-winning work from a previous year was performed in its entirety. The Aizuri Quartet performed Carrot Revolution composed by Gabriella Smith which received a BMI Student Composer Award in 2018.

Here is a complete list of the 2019 award winners:

Amelia Brey (b. 1994): Ar(i/e)as for wind quintet

Henri Colombat (b. 1997): Goûts égouttés… gouttes for brass dectet

Kevin Day (b. 1996): Havana for wind ensemble

Liam Kaplan (b. 1997): 8 Preludes for piano

Lucy McKnight (b. 1998): plunge for two violas, cello, two basses

Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez (b. 1995): Toys in a Field for orchestra

Matthew Schultheis (b. 1997): The Temptation of Saint Anthony for chamber ensemble

Tyler Wayne Taylor (b. 1992): Liberation Compromise for 17 players

Anna-Louise Walton (b. 1991): Basket of Figs for flute, clarinet, and voice

Additionally, 18-year-old Katie Palka received an honorable mention for her composition Stolen Flight for string quartet.

Alexandra du Bois, Jeremy Gill, Shawn Jaeger, and David Schober served as preliminary panelists this year. The final judges were Kati Agócs, Donald Crockett, Stephen Jaffe, and Elena Ruehr. (More information about each of the 2019 award-winning composers and their works is available on the BMI website.)


Eighteen composers received awards during the 2019 American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial and three composers were inducted as new members.

On May 22, the annual American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial took place during which numerous awards were given to writers, visual artists, and composers and new members of the academy were inducted.

Composers Chen Yi and Meredith Monk were inducted as the newest music department academicians. In addition, Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, who was unable to attend, was inducted as a foreign honorary member.

Four Arts and Letters Awards in Music (formerly Academy Awards) of $10,000 each, plus another $10,000 toward the recording of one work, are given annually to acknowledge a composer who has arrived at his/her own voice. The 2019 awardees are David Fulmer, Stacy Garrop, Wynton Marsalis, and John Musto. Elizabeth Ogonek was the recipient of the 2019 Walter Hinrichsen Award, established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, which is given for the publication of a work by a mid-career American composer. Gity Razaz received the $10,000 Andrew Imbrie Award, which has been awarded annually since 2012 to a mid-career composer of demonstrated artistic merit. Christopher Cerrone and Reinaldo Moya were the two 2019 recipients of the annually awarded $15,000 Charles Ives Fellowships which are awarded to young composers of extraordinary gifts. In addition, $7500 Charles Ives Scholarships were awarded to six composers—Ryan Lindveit, Sato Matsui, Paul Mortilla, Tanner Porter, Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez (BMI’s 2019 William Schuman Prize winner), and Miles Walter—for continued study in composition, either at institutions of their choice or privately with distinguished composers. Two Goddard Lieberson Fellowships of $15,000, which are given annually to young composers of extraordinary gifts, were awarded to Travis Alford and Daniel Bernard Roumain. Finally, two musicals received 2019 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater: Bhangin’ It by Sam Willmott (music and lyrics), Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza (book); and The Lucky Ones by Abigail and Shaun Bengson who wrote the music and lyrics and also co-wrote the book with Sarah Gancher.

In addition, composer David Del Tredici delivered this year’s Blashfield Address, a speech toward the end of the award announcements which is a hallmark of the Ceremonial. Del Tredici’s talk, “The Gift of Gayness: A Tell-All,” was provocative, heartfelt, and often extremely funny.

(A complete list of the American Academy of Arts and Letter’s 2019 award recipients in every discipline is available on the Arts and Letters website.)


Six composers were featured in the 2019 American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, three of whom have received commissions to write new works for ACO.

Finally, on May 23 and 24, American Composers Orchestra, under the direction of Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot, read through works by six composers during the 28th Annual Underwood New Music Readings at New York University’s Frederick Loewe Theater. The six composers and their works are:

Rodrigo Castro (b. 1985): La gaviota – Essay No. 1 for Orchestra
Chen Yihan (b. 1994): Spiritus
inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993): Symphony for the Body
Jack Hughes (b. 1992): Needlepoint
Jihyun Kim (b. 1989): A Tramp in the Assembly Line
Aaron Israel Levin (b. 1995): In Between

Following the readings, three of the composers received commissions for new works that will be performed on future ACO concerts: Jack Hughes received the 2019 Underwood Commission, Aaron Israel Levin received the 2019 Audience Choice Commission, and Jihyun Kim received the Consortium for Emerging Composers Commission. The Underwood Commission was chosen by the mentor composers and the conductor. The Audience Choice Commission, which is now in its 10th year, was determined by paper ballot at the run-through performance on May 24. The new Consortium Commission was chosen by ACO Leadership and Alabama Symphony Orchestra/American Youth Symphony Music Director Carlos Izcaray and the resulting work will be performed by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and American Youth Symphony (Los Angeles) in addition to ACO.

Jack Hughes, Aaron Israel Levin, and Jihyun Kim. (Photos courtesy American Composers Orchestra)

Jack Hughes, Aaron Israel Levin, and Jihyun Kim. (Photos courtesy American Composers Orchestra)

(More information about the 2019 Underwood New Music Readings and the six composers being featured this year is available on the American Composers Orchestra website.)

American Composers Orchestra Announces Winners of Two Commissions Chosen From the 2018 Underwood New Music Readings

The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has awarded composer Carlos Bandera its 2018 Underwood Commission, which is a $15,000 commission for a work to be premiered by ACO in a future season. Chosen from six finalists during ACO’s 27th Underwood New Music Readings on June 21 and 22, 2018, Bandera won the top prize with his work Lux in Tenebris. In addition, for the ninth year, audience members at the Underwood New Music Readings had a chance to make their voices heard through the Audience Choice Commission. The winner this year was composer Tomàs Peire Serrate, for his piece Rauxa. As the winner, Serrate also receives a $15,000 commission from ACO for a composition to be premiered in a future season.

Tomàs Peire Serrate (photo by Jason Buchanan)

Carlos Bandera (photo by Maitreyi Muralidharan) and Tomàs Peire Serrate (photo by Jason Buchanan). Courtesy Jensen Artists

“Carlos Bandera’s orchestral writing speaks with clarity and purpose,” said ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel. “We were impressed by the expansive, colorful landscape in his tone poem Lux in Tenebris and look forward with great enthusiasm to his new work for ACO.”

ACO President Ed Yim added, “Tomàs Peire Serrate’s piece Rauxa takes the audience on a visceral ride of arresting rhythms and colors. He harnesses the forces of a large orchestra with such amazing command, and we applaud our audience’s good taste in picking his piece as the Audience Choice Commission. The commission that goes with the audience favorite vote puts a high value on the input of our listeners in the discovery of the future of orchestral music.”

2018 Underwood Commission winner Carlos Bandera (born 1993) is fascinated by musical architecture and by the music of the past. His recent music explores these fascinations, often by placing a musical quotation, be it a phrase, scale, or sonority, within dense microtonal textures. Carlos’ music has been performed in the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Uzbekistan, China, and several spaces in the United States, including Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall. Carlos earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where he studied with Elizabeth Brown, Dean Drummond, and Marcos Balter. Carlos recently received his Master of Music degree in Composition from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he participated in masterclasses with Christopher Rouse and Georg Friedrich Haas and studied privately with Kevin Puts. Lux in Tenebris was inspired by the music of Anton Bruckner. As Bandera explained, “Upon first hearing the music of Bruckner, I felt deeply connected to the composer and his work. His Eighth Symphony in particular, with its immense harmonic landscapes, devastating silences, and profound ‘darkness-to-light’ narrative, continues to be one of my greatest influences – no doubt, in more ways than I am even aware of. Lux in Tenebris explores these elements of the Eighth Symphony by allowing Brucknerian light to pierce through a dense micropolyphonic fabric.”

The two award-winning scores. (Photo by Lyndsay Werking, courtesy Jensen Artists)

The two award-winning scores. (Photo by Lyndsay Werking, courtesy Jensen Artists)

2018 Audience Choice Commission winner Tomàs Peire Serrate (born 1979) studied composition with Salvador Brotons at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Barcelona) and with Tapio Tuomela and Risto Väisänen at the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki). In 2013 he graduated from New York University with a Master’s in Scoring for Film and Multimedia, where he studied with Ron Sadoff, Mark Suozzo, Justin Dello Joio, and Julia Wolfe. That year he moved to Los Angeles to explore the film music industry and participate as a composer in different projects including writing the music for the films The Anushree Experiements and Prism, and orchestrating and arranging music for Love and Friendship, If I Stay, and Minions. In the fall of 2015, Tomàs initiated his PhD at UCLA, where studies with Bruce Broughton, Mark Carlson, Richard Danielpour, Peter Golub, Ian Krouse, and David S. Lefkowitz. His research at UCLA is about music, space and media, with a particular interest in new technologies and virtual reality. His concert works have been performed in Europe, US and Asia, and is currently working on the English version of his monodrama Hillary, recently premiered at the Off-Liceu series in Barcelona in June 2018. According to Serrate, “Rauxa is a sudden determination, like the impulse I had to write this piece, or an outburst, which actually is how this work begins. It is a Catalan word used in pair with another one, Seny, meaning balance and sensibleness, to describe or refer to the Catalan people and their character. This duality, like in other cultures and traditions, is essential, indivisible, and necessary to understand each part separately, which is what I tried to explore here.  I worked on sketches and sections of Rauxa in different moments and places, always away from my home country, Catalonia, and I kept coming back to it looking to improve it as well as to learn more about myself and about music.”

In addition to Carlos Bandera and Tomàs Peire Serrate, the 2018 Underwood New Music Readings participants were Lily Chen, Scott Lee, Ryan Lindviet, and Liliya Ugay. The 27th Annual Underwood New Music Readings were under the direction of ACO’s Artistic Director, composer Derek Bermel, and were conducted by ACO Music Director George Manahan, with Bermel, Gabriela Ortiz, John Corigliano, and Robert Beaser as mentor composers. The conductor, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO provided critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the sessions. In addition to the Readings, the composer participants took part in Career Development Workshops with industry professionals. This year’s New Music Readings attracted over 250 submissions from emerging composers around the country. To date, more than 150 emerging composers have participated in these readings and it has helped launch the careers of many composers including Anna Clyne, Sebastian Currier, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, Aaron Jay Kernis, Hannah Lash, Tobias Picker, Narong Prangcharoen, Paola Prestini, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Huang Ruo, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Kate Soper, Gregory Spears, Joan Tower, and Nina C. Young.

After taking a collective bow, the six composers featured in the 2018 ACo Underwood New Music Readings applaud conductor George Manahan and the members of the American Composers Orchestra. (Photo by Peter Yip, photo courtesy Jensen Artists.)

After taking a collective bow, the six composers featured in the 2018 ACo Underwood New Music Readings applaud conductor George Manahan and the members of the American Composers Orchestra. (Photo by Peter Yip, photo courtesy Jensen Artists.)

2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award Winners Announced

ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams has announced the recipients of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards which encourages talented young creators of concert music. The composers, whose award-winning works were chosen from over 500 submissions from all over the United States, will be recognized at an ASCAP event later this year.

Below are details for this year’s 17 award-winning composers and the works for which they were chosen. Wherever possible, we have also featured a complete recording of the award-winning work (either embedded below the listing or linked from the title of the work). (Recipients who are under the age of 18 are listed only by state of residence, as per ASCAP’s policy.)

    • Oren Boneh of Oakland, CA (b. 1991 in Kansas):
      Lug (2017) for flute/piccolo, saxophone (soprano/baritone), piano, percussion, and string trio [13′]
    • Theophilus Chandler of Houston, TX (b. 1992, in Durham, NC)
      Songs from Brooches (2017) for two sopranos and orchestra [17′]
    • Frazar B. Henry of Florida (b. 2005 in Long Beach, CA)
      In Exordium for orchestra [3’55”]
    • Molly Joyce of Pittsburgh, PA (b. 1992 in Pittsburgh)
      Over and Under (2016) for organ and orchestra [9′]
    • Mayumi Kimura Meguro of Brooklyn, NY (b. 1993 in Mexico City, MX)
      Hana o Tobashite (2016) for orchestra [7′]
    • Alexis C. Lamb of Dekalb, IL (b. 1993 in Denver, CO)
      Meia for berimbau (solo through sextet) [30’30”]
    • Bo Li of Kansas City, MO (b. 1988 in China)
      Encirclement for orchestra [12′]
    • Piyawat Louilarpprasert of Ithaca NY (b. 1993 in Bangkok, Thailand)
      Particle Odyssey (2017) for orchestra [10′]
    • Charles Meenaghan of California (b. 2001 in CA)
      Klepsýdra for orchestra [18′]
    • Shashaank Narayanan of New Jersey (b. 2004 in India)
      Percussion Evoluzione for percussion ensemble [17’30”]
    • Charles Peck of Philadelphia, PA (b. 1988 in Norristown, PA)
      Vinyl (2017) for chamber orchestra [8′]
    • Peter S. Shin of Kansas City, MO (b. 1991)
      Screaming Shapes (2017) for amplified flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, and fixed electronics [5’30”]

Screaming Shapes (2017) for amplified flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, fixed electronics, and dance from Feral Bodies on Vimeo.

  • Aferdian Stephens of Jersey City, NJ (b. 1992 in Bayonne, NJ)
    Trio for violin, clarinet, and piano [18′]
  • Tina Tallon of Cambridge, MA (b. 1990 in Baltimore, MD)
    luscinia (2017) for orchestra and live electronics [13’30”]
  • Felipe Tovar-Henao of Bloomington, IN (b. 1991 in Colombia)
    La Mirada del Ouroboros (2017) for harp and sinfonietta [15’30”]
  • Max Vinetz of New Haven, CT (b. 1996 in Baltimore, MD)
    Allemande (2016) for solo cello [7′]
  • Alex Weiser of New York, NY (b. 1989 in NYC)
    and all of the days were purple (2017) for singer, piano, percussion, and string trio [28′]
A composite image of all 17 winners and 6 honorable mentions in the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

The 17 winners and 6 honorable mentions of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (all photos courtesy ASCAP).
First row (from left to right): Molly Joyce (photo by Nadine Sherman), Theophilus Chandler, Shashaank Narayanan, Justin Zeitlinger, Jenny Yao, Alex Weiser, and Frazar B. Henry;
Middle row: Piyawat Louilarpprasert, Charles Meenaghan, Oren Boneh, Bo Li, Tina Tallon, Felipe Tovar-Henao, Aferdian Stephens, and Mayumi Kimura Meguro;
Bottom row: Emma Cardon, Akshaya Tucker, Nathan Paek, Max Vinetz, Patrick Lenz, Charles Peck, Alexis C. Lamb, and Peter S. Shin.

In addition, six composers were given honorable mention.

  • Emma Cardon of Nashville TN (b. 1998 in Alexandria, VA)
    Airport Birds for string quartet [10’55”]
  • Patrick Lenz of Houston, TX (b. 1994 in Scranton, PA)
    Pillar of Fire for wind ensemble [7’05”]
  • Nathan Paek of Washington (b. 2004 in WA)
    NEUROTOCCATA (2018) for two pianos [4’33”]
  • Akshaya Tucker of Austin, TX (b. 1992 in Willow, NY)
    Breathing Sunlight for violin and cello duo [8’48”]
  • Jenny Yao of South Carolina (b. 2000 in Hangzhou, China)
    Non Compos Mentis (2017) for wind quintet, string quartet, and double bass [7’46”]
  • Justin Zeitlinger of New Jersey (b. 2000 in NJ)
    Broken Images for solo oboe [4’39”]

Established as The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards in 1979 with funding from the Jack and Amy Norworth Fund, the program grants cash prizes to concert music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition. To honor his lifelong commitment to encouraging young creators especially during his 1986-1994 tenure as President of ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation (as well as the fact that his own music was first published, by G. Schirmer, when he was only six years old), the Young Composer program was named the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, following his death in 1996. These composers may be American citizens, permanent residents, or students possessing US Student Visas. This year’s Morton Gould Young Composer Awards composer/judges were: Du Yun, Daniel Felsenfeld, Joel Hoffman, Lowell Liebermann, Tamar Muskal, Alvin Singleton, and Edward Smaldone.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs.

 

2018 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards Announced

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the 15 recipients of the 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards as well as 7 additional honorable mentions. The program, which was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30, is named in honor of trumpeter/composer/bandleader Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this program. Additional funding for this program is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 14 to 29, and are selected through a juried national competition. The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2018 competition were: Sylvie Courvoisier, Wycliffe Gordon, and Sachal Vasandani. In addition, one of the recipients of the Herb Alpert Awards will be featured during the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival in August.

Photos of all of the recipients of 2018 Alpert Awards and Honorable Mentions.

“The class of 2018” – pictured herein are all of the 2018 Alpert Awardees and Honorable Mentions:
(top row, from left to right) Matthew Whitaker, Lucas Apostoleris, Eddie Codrington, Mariel Austin, Drew Zaremba, Garrett Wingfield;
(2nd row, L to R) Enrico Bergamini, Evan Hyde, Ben Barson, Josh Shpak, Alexander Hurvitz, Takumi Kakimoto;
(3rd row, L to R) Gene Knific, Elijah Shiffer, Zachary Rich, Estar Cohen;
(bottom row, L to R): Billy Test, Katelyn Vincent, Ben Rosenblum, Owen Broder, Sam Wolsk, and Sara McDonald.

Below is a complete list of the 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award recipients and their award-winning compositions (click on the titles of the compositions to hear them):

Seven additional composers received Honorable Mention:

5 Female Composers Among 9 Winners of 2017 BMI Student Composer Awards

It’s been only a month since the announcement of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music for which all three finalists were women. Today, the BMI Foundation (BMIF), in collaboration with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), has also made history with their announcement of the nine young classical composers, ages 14 to 28, who have been named winners of the 65th annual BMI Student Composer Awards. For the first time in the awards’ 65 year history, a majority of the winners (5 of the 9) are female composers. In addition, Lara Poe, is the first woman ever to win the William Schuman Prize (awarded since 1992 for most outstanding score) and Sydney Wang, winner of the Carlos Surinach Prize (awarded since 1999 to the youngest winner of the competition), is only the second woman to be so honored. (Gabrielle Nina Haigh was awarded the Surinach Prize in both 2007 and 2009.)

Composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, who serves as Chair of the Student Composer Awards, BMI President and CEO and BMIF Honorary Chair Mike O’Neill, and Deirdre Chadwick, BMI’s Executive Director of Classical Music as well as BMIF President, presented the awards at a private ceremony held on May 16, 2017 at Three Sixty° in New York City. The 2017 award winning composers and their works are:

Katherine Balch (b. 1991):
Vidi l’angelo nel marmo for soprano and double bass

Aiyana Tedi Braun (b. 1997):
Uncommon Threads for clarinet, cello and piano

Aaron Cecchini-Butler (b. 1992):
Wayward Pine: sanctum / sawdust / ember / pitch for string quartet,
objects and electronics

Daniel James Miller (b. 1989):
Plumage for chamber orchestra

Lara Poe (b. 1993):
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Matthew Schultheis (b. 1997):
Suibokuga for flute (doubling piccolo and alto flute), clarinet in A, viola,
and percussion

Annika K. Socolofsky (b. 1990):
One Wish, Your Honey Lips for flute quartet (four C flutes)

Sydney Wang (b. 2002):
Tales from the Sea (A Symphony in Four Movements) for full orchestra

Justin Zeitlinger (b. 2000):
…dal nulla… for full orchestra

2017 BMI Student Composer Award Winners

The 9 winners of the 2017 BMI Student Composer Awards. Top row (from left to right): Lara Poe, Katherine Balch, Justin Zeitlinger, Daniel James Miller;
bottom row (from left to right): Aiyana Tedi Braun, Sydney Wang, Aaron Cecchini-Butler, Matthew Schultheis, and Annika K. Socolofsky

The celebratory evening included a PUBLIQuartet performance of Justin Zeitlinger’s Miniatures for Two Violins, a work that received a BMI Student Composer Award last year. (Zeitlinger, who was also last year’s Surinach honoree, and Miller are the only 2017 awardees who have previously received the BMI Student Composer Award, both in 2016. The maximum number of times a composer can receive the award is now three; early in the awards’ history there were two four-time winners: David Ward Steinman–in 1954, 1954, 1959, and 1960–and Charles Wuorinen in 1959, 1961, 1962, and 1963.)

The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with annual educational scholarships totaling $20,000. In 2017, nearly 700 online applications were submitted to the competition from students throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged anonymously. The adjudication process for the BMI Student Composer Awards involves two separate panels, both of which are comprised of BMI affiliated composers. Alexandra du Bois, Jeremy Gill, Shawn Jaeger, and David Schober served as the preliminary panelists this year. Steven Mackey, Cindy McTee, James Primosch, and Roger Reynolds served on the final jury. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich is the permanent Chair of the competition.

ASCAP Announces 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award Recipients

ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams has announced the recipients of the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards which encourages talented young creators of concert music. The composers will be recognized at an ASCAP event later this year.

Below are details for the nineteen award recipients whose works were selected from approximately 550 submissions and, wherever possible, a complete recording of the award-winning work. (The youngest recipients are listed only by state of residence, as per ASCAP’s policy.)

  • Julia Adolphe of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1988 in New York, NY):
    Unearth, Release (concerto for viola and orchestra) (2016) [19:00]
  • Eugene Birman of Oakland, CA (b. 1987 in Moscow, Russia):
    State of the Union for 12 voices (2015-16) [37:45]
  • Yuri Boguinia of Princeton, NJ (b. 1997 in Stavropol, Russia):
    Path to Kailas for chorus, string quartet, and percussion (2016) [27:30]
  • Ryan Chase of Hamilton, NY (b. 1987 in Port Jefferson, NY):
    come iri da iri for double wind quintet (2016) [12:30]
  • Chen Yihan of New York, NY (b. 1994 in Changzhou, China):
    Phantasms for chamber orchestra (2015) [21:00]
  • Tommy Dougherty of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1990 in Pittsburgh, PA):
    Three Dances for Orchestra (2015) [8:00]
  • Michael-Thomas Foumai of Honolulu, HI (b. 1987 in Honolulu, HI):
    Manookian Murals for flute, cello, and piano (2016) [25:00]
  • Paul Frucht of New York, NY (b. 1989 in Danbury, CT):
    Dawn for orchestra (2013) [10:30]
  • Saad Haddad of Northridge, CA (b. 1992 in Augusta, GA):
    Takht for sinfonietta (2016) [12:00]
  • William Healy of Brooklyn, NY (b. 1990 New York, NY):
    Kolmanskop for orchestra (2016) [11:30]
  • Alexander Hurvitz of CA (b. 2003):
    The Trail of the West for violin and piano (2016) [6:00]
  • Tengku Irfan of New York, NY (b. 1998 in Malaysia):
    Vivacity for orchestra (2016) [15:00]
  • Egemen Kesikli of Boulder, CO (b. 1989 in Diyarbakir, Turkey):
    Movement III “Yaz” from Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Concert Band (2015) [10:00]
  • Scott Lee of Durham, NC (b. 1988 in St. Petersburg, FL):
    Vicious Circles for orchestra (2016) [9:30]
  • Li Qi of Bloomington, Indiana (b. 1990 in Beijing, China):
    Music Diary for soprano, flute, clarinet. violin, and percussion (2014) [9:00]
  • Patrick O’Malley of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1989 in Detroit, MI):
    Loneliness in a Beautiful Place for string orchestra (2016) [9:30]
  • Jules Pegram of Ann Arbor, MI (b. 1991 in Richmond, VA):
    CRUSH for eight cellos (2016) [20:00]
  • J. P. Redmond of NY (b. 1999):
    Wilt Thou Therefore Rise for soprano and chamber orchestra (2016) [13:30]
  • Dale Trumbore of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1987 in Chatham, NJ):
    How to Go On for unaccompanied SSAATTBB chorus (2017) [35:00]

In addition, the following composers received Honorable Mention:

  • Jake Bean of Puyallup, WA (b. 1995 in Ellensburg, WA)
  • T. J. Cole of Philadelphia, PA (b. 1993 in Athens, GA)
  • Alistair Coleman of MD (b. 1998)
  • Juan Pablo Contreras of Los Angeles, CA (b. 1987 in Guadalajara, Mexico)
  • Gabriel Crist of NC (b. 2003)
  • Nathan Fletcher of Staten Island, NY (b. 1992 in New Haven, CT)
  • Andrew Guo of IL (b.1998)
  • Natsumi Osborn of TX (b. 1999)
  • Ivan Specht of NY (b. 2001)
  • Felipe Tovar- Henao of Bloomington, IN (b. 1991 in Manizales, Colombia)
  • Vu Dang Minh Anh of Rochester, NY (b. 1994 in Warsaw, Poland)

The award-winning composers share cash prizes including the Leo Kaplan Award, in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP Special Distribution Advisor, and the Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship for a composer 18 years of age or younger.  Additional funding is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund and The ASCAP Foundation Jack and Amy Norworth Fund.  (Irving Caesar was best known as the lyricist of “Tea for Two” and “Swanee”; Jack Norworth wrote such standards as “Shine On Harvest Moon” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”)  Established in 1979, with funding from the Jack and Amy Norworth Fund, The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards program grants cash prizes to Concert Music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition.  These composers may be American citizens, permanent residents, or students possessing US Student Visas. To honor his lifelong commitment to encouraging young creators especially during his 1986-1994 tenure as President of ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation (as well as the fact that his own music was first published, by G. Schirmer, when he was only six years old), the Young Composer program was named the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, following his death in 1996. Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs.

The judges for the 2017 ASCAP Morton Gould Awards were ASCAP member composers Samuel Adler, Valerie Coleman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Martin Kennedy, Lowell Liebermann, Daniel Trueman, Matthew Van Brink, and Aleksandra Vrebalov.

 

 

 

 

2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards Announced

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 15 to 30, and are selected through a juried national competition.

The 2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award recipients are listed with their age, current residence and place of birth. The youngest winners are listed with their age and state of residence:

Composers receiving Honorable Mention this year are: Lucas Apostoleris, age 23 of Miami, FL (New Milford, CT); Mario Castro, age 28 of New York, NY (Humacao, Puerto Rico); Andrew Leung, age 15 of California; Gina Ramirez, age 19 of Los Angeles, CA; Jordan Seigel, age 28 of Sherman Oaks, CA (Los Angeles, CA); Sara Sithi-Amnuai, age 22 of Los Angeles, CA (Australia); and Andrew Van Tassel, age 28 of New York, NY (Short Hills, NJ).

The Newport Festival Foundation will feature one of the recipients of the Herb Alpert Awards during the 2017 Newport Jazz Festival in August. The awards were established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30 and carry the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of the Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this program. Additional funding for this program is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund. The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2017 competition were: Anat Cohen, Keyon Harrold, and Yosvany Terry.

2017 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awardees