All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.
Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.
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The American Prize in Composition—Band/Wind Ensemble (professional division)
The American Prize winner:
LAURENCE BITENSKY for "Fearsome Critters"
Born in 1966 in New York, and educated at Skidmore College, the New England Conservatory of Music, Ithaca College, and Cornell University, Bitensky’s works have been recognized by numerous foundations and institutions. His music has been performed by numerous ensembles and at various festivals around North America, Europe, and Asia.
Bitensky is an Associate Professor of Music at Centre College where he teaches composition, music theory, musicianship, and world music. For more info see www.laurencebitensky.com.
Among judges' comments: "A very engaging piece, with clever orchestrations and original sonic colors."
KYLE KINDRED for "Variations on a Tango"
Among judges' comments: "Very endearing tango theme...the orchestration is exemplary in all sections."
DAVID AVSHALOMOV for "The Last Stand"
Santa Monica CA
been performed professionally across the US, in Europe, Russia, and the Far East, and recorded on Albany and Naxos. He has won prestigious grants and competitions, including a 2012 citation from the American Prize for Orchestral Composition, and a 2013 ACDA Silver Platter Award for Choral Composition.
He earned his B.A in Music at Harvard and a D.M.A. in conducting (Krachmalnick) and composition (Bergsma, Verrall, Suderberg) at the University of Washington, studied at Aspen (Morel, Blomstedt, Torkanowsky), and Tanglewood (Bernstein, Schuller, Ozawa), was music director of US orchestras and choruses on both coasts, guest conducted widely, toured in Europe and the Far East, and recorded orchestral music by his grandfather Aaron in Moscow for Naxos. His conducting work has garnered frequent listings in Who's Who in Music and Who's Who in the West.
Among judges' comments: "VERY well written…it is an effective, brooding piece."
The American Prize in Composition—Band/Wind Ensemble (student division)
The American Prize winner:
WEIJUN CHEN for "Distance"
Among judges' comments: "stunning use of hymn tune fragments in a thoroughly contemporary sound world…deeply affecting."
MATT LAROCCA for "Arctic Voices"
Among judges' comments: "haunting, eerie, evocative of the title…well-scored."
TED KING-SMITH for "Manhattan"
Kansas City MO
Awards for Ted’s music include the 2012 Washington-Idaho Symphony Young Artist Competition and 2011 Sinfonian Saxes Composition Competition, as well as selected performances at College Music Society Conferences in Vancouver, British Columbia and Knoxville, Tennessee. Notable performers and ensembles include the Saxophilia Saxophone Quartet, University of Tennessee Symphony Band, and others. For more information visit http://www.tedkingsmith.com
Among judges' comments: "off-beat, jazzy, humorous and…convincing."