Tuesday, February 28, 2017

COMPOSER WINNERS: chamber music (all divisions)

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners,  runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2016, Chamber Music, in all divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Composition—Chamber (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Justin N. Dello Joio    New York NY
    Due Per Due—for violoncello and piano
    The March of Folly—music for piano trio
Justin N. Dello Joio
New York born composer, Justin Dello Joio, is the seventh generation of composer in the Dello Joio family. Currently the Faculty Composer in Residence for New York University, he has been described by distinguished composer John Corigliano  "Justin Dello Joio is a born composer. A real musician with a sparkling craft who has something urgent to say in his works, and the ability to say it. In an age when so much contemporary composition seems dictated by its technologically sophisticated means, it is wonderful to hear music that is composed completely by ear, mind and heart. His knowledge and mastery give his work a distinction that many other writers lack…he is a wonderful composer whose music has lasting power - A real creative artist!”  Composer Witold Lutoslawski described Dello Joio as“ an extremely talented and gifted composer”. Ned Rorem wore of his work, “ Of the hundreds of composers I know he is perhaps the most natural. He writes what he wants, not what the current market presumably demands… His music speaks.”

Dello Joio was honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters highest award, The Award in Music, after previously receivingThe Lakond Award, and The Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy. Dello Joio has received the John Guggenheim Fellowship and was honored as Composer of the Year by the Classical Recording Foundation in 2007. He has received awards and grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, CAPS  Grant, The New York State Council on the Arts,  3 Meet the Composer Grants, The Presser Foundation, The Lado Award, The Alexander Gretchaninoff Award (String Quartet #1), The Marion Freschl Award.

2nd Place:
Andrew List    Boston MA
    String Quarter No.5 "Time Cycles"
Andrew List
Andrew List (Professor of Composition at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA) composes music in many different genres, including orchestral works, string quartet, vocal, choral music, opera, music for children, solo works, and a variety of chamber ensembles. He is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, with B.A. and    M.A. degrees in music composition. He received his doctorate in music composition from Boston University, where he studied with Bernard Rands, Samuel Headrick, and Nicholas Maw. Mr. List has also studied privately with Richard Danielpour.

Recent performances include a collaboration with Mass Audubon on world premiere of “On The Wing, A Celebration of Birds in Music and Spoken Word and Journey Through the Eternal Forest for Flute, Oboe and String Orchestra commissioned by the Boston Classical Orchestra in celebration of their 35th season with BSO principals Elizabeth Rowe, flute and John Ferrillo, oboe. Other recent commissions include String Quartet No 5: "Time Cycles" a composition inspired by poet T.S. Eliot's monumental work Four Quartets was commissioned by the Arneis Quartet, and “Journey Toward the Eternal Flame” commissioned by The Boston Woodwind Society was premiered by Boston Symphony principal wind players John Ferrillo, oboe, and Richard Svoboda, bassoon with pianist Damien Francoeur-Krzyzek. www.andrewlist.com  

3rd Place:
Lansing D. McLoskey    Miami FL
    Rite—for 2 pianos, 2 percussion
Lansing D. McLoskey
Lansing McLoskey has been described as "a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear" by the American Composers Orchestra, "an engaging, gifted composer writing smart, compelling and fascinating music" by Gramophone Magazine, and "a distinctive voice in American music.” His music has been performed in sixteen countries on six continents, and has won more than two-dozen national and international awards, including two from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his many commissions are those from the Fromm Foundation, N.E.A., Meet The Composer, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the International Joint Wind Quintet Project. Recent commissions include a Barlow Commission for a 60-minute oratorio for The Crossing; ensemberlino vocale (Berlin); the New Spectrum Foundation for violinist Miranda Cuckson;  Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion; TAWA Sax(Peru); Axiom Brass; the SilverDuo; and oboist ToniMarie Marchioni. McLoskey’s music is released on Albany Records, WergoSchallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, BeauportClassics,and published by Theodore Presser, ACA, Subito, Mostly Marimba,and Odhecaton-Z Music.  www.lansingmcloskey.com

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Unique Nexus of Acoustics, Electronics and Audience Interaction" 
Matthew Burtner    Charlottesville VA
The Ceiling Floats Away—for ensemble, poetry and audience interaction software
Matthew Burtner
Matthew Burtner is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist specializing in concert music, environmental sound art and interactive media. First Prize Winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music Competition, an NEA Art Works Grant Winner, an IDEA Award Winner, and a recipient of the Howard Brown Foundation Fellowship, Burtner has also received honors and awards from Bourges (France), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Darmstadt (Germany) and The Russolo (Italy) international competitions. His music has been performed in major festivals and venues throughout the world, and commissioned by ensembles such as Integrales (Germany), NOISE (USA), Trio Ascolto (Germany), Peak FreQuency (USA), MiN (Norway), Musikene (Spain), Spiza (Greece), CrossSound (Alaska), and others. He is a Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Virginia and Founder of the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (http://www.ecosono.org, http://www.matthewburtner.com)

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Creating a Unique, Sustained Sound World" 
Daniel M. Cavanagh    Arlington TX
    Waves—for trumpet ensemble and drumset

Daniel M. Cavanagh
Pianist and Composer Dan Cavanagh is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Music Industry Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. As a pianist, he has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, and his compositions can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, including one by his trio, The Heart of the Geyser. He is the recipient of several composition awards in both the jazz and classical genres, and has been commissioned by a wide variety of groups throughout North America and Europe. More at www.dancavanagh.com.

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Sonata of the Year"
Kenneth Froelich    Fresno CA
    Sonata for Clarinet & Piano
Kenneth Froelich
Described as "energetic, exciting, and rhythmically dynamic," composer KENNETH D. FROELICH’s (b. 1977) music has been performed internationally in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. He has been honored with awards from ASCAP, NACUSA, Meet the Composer, the Percussive Arts Society, and the American Composers Forum, and his music has been presented by Pacific Serenades, CMASH, the American Composers Orchestra, Duo46, Earplay, the Empyrean Ensemble, the California E.A.R Unit, the Jolles Duo, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, among others. Kenneth received his DM and MM degrees from Indiana University, and received his BM degree summa cum laude from USC in 1999. Kenneth is currently an Associate Professor of Music Composition at California State University, Fresno.

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Creating a Unique, Sustained Sound World"
Kotoka Suzuki    Chicago IL
    In Praise of Shadows—Three Paper Players and Electronics

Kotoka Suzuki
Kotoka Suzuki is a composer focusing on both multimedia and instrumental practices. She has produced several large-scale multimedia, often in collaboration with artists and scholars from other disciplines. Her work conceives of sounds as physical form to be manipulated through the sculptural practice of composition.  Her work has been featured internationally by performers such as Arditti Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Continuum, and Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Leipzig), at numerous venues and festivals such as Ultraschall, World Music Days, The Stone, ZKM Media Museum, and MATA.  Among the awards she has received include DAAD Artist in Resident-Berlin, Bourges Multimedia Prize, Norton Stevens and North Shore fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, Robert Fleming Prize from Canada Council for the Arts, Howard Foundation Fellowship, and Musica Nova Honor Prize.  Suzuki is an associate composer at the Canadian Music Centre since 2001 and currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Arizona State University. http://www.kotokasuzuki.com

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Exceptional Theatrical Sense in a Unique Monodrama"
William Vollinger    Woodcliff Lake NJ
    Stalin and the Little Girl (an icon)—for unaccompanied voice

William Vollinger
William Vollinger’s music is described as “3D: different, direct and deep”, performed by the Gregg Smith Singers and NY Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose performance of “Three Songs About the Resurrection” won first prize at the Geneva International Competition. He’s published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works were editor's choices in the Pepper Catalogue. Recent premieres included Jackson State Symphony, San Francisco Choral Artists, Ridgewood Concert Band, Palisades Virtuosi, and Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony. “An Empty Swing” was nominated for the Orchestral American Prize and “Raspberry Man” for Chamber in 2015. Hartshorn Recordings is releasing an album of his works in 2016. 

Sy Brandon    Cottonwood AZ
    Shenanigans—for SATB saxophone quartet
    Badinerie—for clarinet and piano
    Three Moods—for brass quintet

Sy Brandon
Dr. Sy Brandon holds the rank of professor emeritus of music from Millersville University, Millersville, PA. First prize awards for his compositions include WITF-FM's 25th Anniversary Composition Contest, Franklin and Marshall College’s Wind Ensemble Composition Contest, the Quadre Composition Contest, and the New England String Ensemble Composition Competition. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Bulgarica, and the Kiev Philharmonic have recorded his music. Featured performances of his music include the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force Bands, and NPR’s Performance Today. He was commissioned by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to compose a band composition celebrating Arizona’s statehood centennial and was recently selected as the recipient of the 2018 Thor Johnson Memorial Commission sponsored by the Delta Omicron Foundation. His website is http://cooppress.net

Thomas Childs    Traverse City MI
    chachi ka—for four amplified voices and two percussion

Thomas Childs
Thomas Childs is a composer interested in the collision of popular and classical music. In his music, he seeks to find a balance of accessibility and complexity to interest a broad spectrum of listeners. His diverse experiences range from studio and live work to solo compositions for hardanger fiddle to chamber and orchestral works. The inflections of world music, jazz and pop in his work create music that is hopefully as fun for you to listen to as it is for him to write. Dr. Childs’ works have been performed from Pittsburgh to Paris. He has had pieces played by the Grammy-winning group eighth blackbird, Alia Musica and read by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Childs also enjoys multi-discipline collaboration. His works can be heard at www.juxtacomposed.com.

Ethan Cypress    Oneonta NY
    Toy Suite—for saxophone quartet

Ethan Cypress
Ethan Cypress grew up in Oneonta NY. He completed his undergraduate degree in Trombone Performance at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in May of 2015. Now he is a freelance cruise musician. To learn more about his work, please visit www.EthanCypress.com.

Dante De Silva    Tarzana CA
    A Year of Strife—for soprano, harp and electronics

Dante De Silva
Dante De Silva (www.dantedesilva.com) is a Los Angeles-based composer and musician. His music has been described as “haunting” (Classical Sonoma) and “beautiful” (Los Angeles Times) to “sparkling” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “fun” (Sequenza21).

He has received commissions from Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng, Opera Parallele, the Verdehr Trio, the B Band, and the Humboldt State University Percussion Ensemble, among others. In addition to his commissions, performers of his work include Talea Ensemble, Pacific Serenades, pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, What’s Next, and Composers Inc..

Dante holds a Ph.D. in composition from UCLA, where his primary teachers were David Lefkowitz and Paul Reale, an M.A. in composition from UC Santa Cruz with David Cope and Paul Nauert, and a B.A. in music with an emphasis in piano performance, where he studied with Brian Post (composition), Eugene Novotney (percussion, composition), and Deborah Clasquin (piano).

Timothy Lee Miller    Mahwah NJ
    224 slices of pi—for flute, cello, piano & percussion

Timothy Lee Miller
Timothy Lee Miller is an American composer, arranger and publisher writing contemporary concert music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, wind ensemble, and voice, as well as jazz music. He has earned degrees from the University of Tennessee, the University of Miami and Vermont College of Fine Arts. His principle composition teachers have been John Anthony Lennon, James Progris, Tamar Diesendruck, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Andy Jaffe, John Fitz Rogers and Roger Zahab. He has received numerous commissions and awards, including several ASCAP awards. His works have been performed throughout the US and in Europe. His music is recorded on ERMMedia, PARMA Records Navona and Ansonica labels, and Phoenix Classics. He lives in Mahwah, New Jersey with his wife and son, and his music is available through his website at www.timothymillermusic.com. 

Ian Ng    New York NY
    Think Twice—Three Little Musical Games—for violin and viola

Ian Ng
Ian Ng is a New York City - based composer.  He graduated from New York University with a Master Degree in Music Composition.  His music has been described by The New York Times as "invigorating" with "intricate rhythms".

He won the American Prize, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and Robert Avalon International Music Composition Competition for his Grand Jeté on a Violin, which had its premiere as a ballet choreographed by Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, in 2012 at Lincoln Center.  Sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, his ballet Igual debuted at the Fire Island Dance Festival in 2014, featuring dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet.  As a NYU resident composer, his orchestral composition, Cité en l’air, premiered in 2012 at Symphony Space. With the support of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts, he will be presenting his first chamber opera in the Spring of 2017. website: ianthecomposer.com

Mark Petering    Kenosha WI
    Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra (string quartet)

Mark Petering
Mark Petering has received numerous awards from organizations such as ASCAP, SCI, and the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.  He is the winner of the Swan Composer Prize for wind ensemble and winner of the Music Festival of the Hamptons Composition Competition for orchestra.   The premiere of his Hamptons’ work Train & Tower after Sibelius made music history as Lukas Foss, the composer, and the Atlantic Chamber Orchestra coordinated the performance with a moving Long Island Rail Road locomotive controlled by the composer.  The event was covered by the BBC, NPR, and The New York Times. He is also the recipient of numerous commissions as well as being honored as a participant in the 2005 Aspen Music Festival, studying with George Tsontakis.

Currently, Petering is Associate Professor of Music at Carthage College, one hour north of Chicago.  He received his Ph.D. in composition at the University of Minnesota where he studied with Judith Lang Zaimont. Please visit markpetering.com for scores and audio - also available at imslp.org.

Greg A. Steinke    Depoe Bay OR
    Expressions—on the paintings of Edvard Munch—for string quartet

Greg A. Steinke
Dr. Greg A Steinke, former Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair of Music/Art and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University; Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (1988–97); President of NACUSA (2012–). Composer of chamber and symphonic music and author with published/recorded works and performances across the U. S. and internationally and oboist specializing in contemporary music. Recent honors: 2009 Oregon Individual Artist Fellowship. Co-winner – ’10 of 5th NACUSA Texas Composition Competition for From ARMGART for Soprano and Piano. Finalist – RAM 2010 call for scores (saxophone quartet) IN MEMORIAM: SACAGAWEA. Winner of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity Composition Competition, ‘12. Second Place winner of Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers – ’12. Finalist (Orchestra - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2012 for All in a Moment's Time for Viola and Orchestra, a 27' work. OMTA Composer of the year 2012–13. A winner 2012 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition winner (SUSPENDED for Bassoon & Strings); Winner of Con Vivo’s Composers Competition ( NATIVE AMERICAN NOTES (Image Music VI) for String Quartet) Finalist (Chamber Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition Competition for 2013 for Expressions II for 2 Saxophones, 2 Percussion and Piano, a 25' work. Was a finalist (Chamber Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition  Competition for 2014 for Suspended for Bassoon and String Quartet,  a 19’ work. Was finalist (Chamber Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition  Competition for 2015 for Random Blackouts I for Baritone and Piano 4 Hands,  a 15’ work. Was a semi-finalist (Orchestra Music - Professional Division) in the America Prize in Composition  Competition for 2015 for All in a Moment’s Time for Viola and Orchestra, a 28’ work. Web site:  http://www.gregasteinke.com

Judith Lang Zaimont    Maricopa AZ
    ZONES—Trio for Violin, 'Cello and Piano

Judith Lang Zaimont
Judith Lang Zaimont’s music: performed world-wide and acclaimed for immediacy, dynamism and emotion. Her style features the spirit of rhapsody, sudden shifts in texture, high emotion and nuanced coloring. 100+ works include many prize-winners including: 4 symphonies, chamber opera, music for wind ensemble, chorus and solo voice, works for individual instruments plus a wide variety of chamber music. / Performed by: Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore and Mississippi Symphonies, Camerata Bern, Berlin and Czech Radio Symphonies, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, etc). 24 current CDs (Naxos, MSR, Harmonia Mundi, Navona, Albany) - includes 2010 Orchestra music (Kirk Trevor: Slovak Philharmonic), 2011 Chamber music (Eternal Evolution: Fanfare 2011 Want List, Navona); 2; 2012  Piano solo(Naxos, MSR: Fanfare 2012 Want List). / Recent works include CONCERTO for Piano and Wind Orchestra (awarded  a 2012 American 3rd Prize in Orchestral Composition), JoyDance in Spring 2012 commission by Camerata Bern, and PURE, COOL (Water) - Symphony no. 4 (2014 Sorel Commissioned Composer - Niels Muus, Janacek Philharmonic).  / Works on repertoire lists for major international performance contests in voice, conducting, piano (Cliburn ’01, San Antonio, ’03,  Kapell ’12, APA, 2017);  two of her pieces are on Century Lists./ Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from both National Endowments (NEA: composition /NEH: scholarship),  / 2015 First Prize for chamber music (The American Prize), 2014 Sorel Commissioned Composer (PURE, COOL (Water) - Symphony no. 4 ),  2012The American Prize in Orchestral Composition (one of 3), two 2012 First Prizes for chamber music, 2005 Bush Foundation Fellowship, and  2003 Aaron Copland Award. / Significant orch. prizes: First Prize- Gold Medal Gottschalk Centenary International; First Prize Statue of Liberty Centennial; and First Prize- International McCollin Competition (Symphony No. 1)./Also Co-Director of Maricopa ARTS Council, and Co-Founder, Maricopa Music Circle chamber orchestra, a distinguished educator - professor appointments for 3 decades at US universities, and a skilled writer. www.jzaimont.com

Aaron Alter    Carlsbad CA
    Homage to Josquin

Aaron Alter
A native of Chicago, Aaron Alter received his Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Princeton University, where he studied with Milton Babbitt and James K. Randall. He has written works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra as well as electronic works. Aaron’s recent works display influences that span the range of Medieval European music all the way to Jazz and Rock.  Aaron refers to these recent works as his “New Beginning”, as it is an exploration of a new style and energy that defies categorization. Aaron resides in Carlsbad, California and also serves the City of Carlsbad as the Chair of the Carlsbad Arts Commission. Website: www.aaronalter.com

Samuel Beebe    Philadelphia PA
    Rocking Chair Child

Samuel Beebe
The dramatic possibilities of music and a desire to collaborate have led Samuel Beebe (b. 1986) to pursue opportunities in film, theatre, and opera. Rocking Chair Child, a song cycle for soprano, tenor, string quartet, and piano on poetry of Sonia Sanchez, was commissioned and premiered by Castle of our Skins. Riding on a Train at Rush Hour, his choral opera commissioned by Boston Choral Ensemble, was a semi-finalist for a 2015 American Prize. Bully Dance, for soprano and electric chamber ensemble, won a 2015 ArtsImpluse award. He holds a MM in Composition from Boston University and a BS in Music Technology from Northeastern University. Notable instructors include Ketty Nez, Dennis H. Miller, Rodney Lister, Ronald Bruce Smith, Howard Frazin, Joshua Fineberg, and Peggy Seeger.

William P. Gorton    Decatur IL
    Epiphany, Light My Light

William P. Gorton
William Gorton is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where he teaches studio voice, and serves as coach and conductor for the opera program. Dr. Gorton has had a diverse career as singer, voice teacher, composer, and conductor. The Founding Artistic Director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale, he has also served as Assistant Chorus Master for the Phoenix Symphony Chorus. Dr. Gorton acquired his DMA in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University, where he directed the Early Music Chamber Choir, Women’s Chorus, and served as Assistant Conductor of the Symphonic Chorale, Choral Union, and Concert Choir. His hymn, “O God in Whom We Live,” can be found in Worship and Song, a United Methodist hymnal, and his anthem, “The Lord is My Shepherd,” can be found at World Library Publications. William also serves as Director of Music Ministries at FCC in Bloomington, IL.

The American Prize in Composition—Chamber (student division)

"Taken as a whole, these are hardly 'students'—except in the sense that we all always are—these are exceptional composers, regardless of their age or degree status, deserving of praise for the variety and excellence of their achievements."—DK

The American Prize winner:
Lara Poe    Chestnut Hill MA
    Divergence—for string quartet

Lara Poe
Finnish-American composer Lara Poe, currently based in London, has had performances in the US and Europe, with performers such as the JACK quartet, Aija Reke, the Liminka Music Weeks string orchestra, the Tampere Filharmonia and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School Piano Seminar students. She is currently studying with Kenneth Hesketh at the Royal College of Music, London, as an RCM Award Holder supported by the Doctor Knobel Fund in the MMus degree program.

Poe received a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University in 2016 where she studied composition with Alex Mincek, Joshua Fineberg, Martin Amlin, Ketty Nez, Richard Cornell, and with Kenneth Hesketh, while studying abroad at the Royal College of Music. Before Boston University, she studied at New England Conservatory Preparatory School with Rodney Lister as well. While pursuing composition, Lara has also studied piano, with Nigel Clayton (RCM), Linda Jiorle-Nagy, Edna Stern, Sergey Schepkin, Bertica Shulman-Cramer, Melanie Almiron and Vanessa Morris.

At Boston University, Poe received the Wainwright and Department of Theory and Composition awards, and was also nominated for Pi Kappa Lambda. She has been a finalist for the BMI student composition competition, and has been a finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards twice. She was also a co-winner of the UMass Lowell Chapter, National Music Conference, and has received an Honorable Mention in the Ithaca Women’s Works composition competition as well.  Poe’s current projects include a violin concerto for Aija Reke and the Hancock Cantata orchestra, which will be premiered in Lexington, near Boston, MA. She is also working on a variety of smaller chamber music projects and a couple of solo pieces for colleagues at the RCM.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Yihan Chen    Planifield IN
    spirits-river: a piano sonata

Yihan Chen
Chen Yihan was born in Changzhou, China. He is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award as well as the IU Jacobs School of Music Dean’s Prize. His “Solemn Rites - Daqu for Orchestra No. 1” was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the National Opera House in Beijing, China in October, 2015. His work for SATB choir “Shui Guang Lian Yan” (Ripples Glisten Away...) was included in “Half Moon Rising”, an anthology of Chinese choral music published by Edition Peters, and was premiered by Cantoría Hong Kong in the Hong Kong City Hall in 2015.

Chen Yihan is currently pursuing bachelor’s degrees in music composition and piano performance at Jacobs School of Music, studying composition with Claude Baker and piano with Arnaldo Cohen. His principle composition teachers also include Sven-David Sandström, Don Freund, P.Q. Phan, and Aaron Travers.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Ian Evans Guthrie    Fort Worth TX
    Journey Through Cascadia—for mezzo-soprano and piano

Ian Evans Guthrie
Ian Guthrie blends Western concert music with various world musics. He recently received 3rd prize in the National MTNA Composers Competition and has received other prizes and recognition from the Society of Composers, ASCAP, the Webster Young Composers Competition, and the WSMTA Young Composers competition. In addition, many of his works have been performed publicly around the nation from groups such as fEARnoMUSIC, Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, March Music Moderne, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival, the Clear Creek Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the 2014 Pierrot Lunaire Project. His latest commissioned works include Farallonier for alto saxophone and The Conqueror Worm for mixed chorus. He has served on various committees, including the Society of Composers, Inc., where he is the 2015-16 Region VI Student Representative.

3rd Place:
Daniel Despins    Wilmington DE
    Medusa—for wind quintet

Daniel Despins
Daniel Despins (b. 1994) is a composer of contemporary classical music flavored with many different styles, including jazz, rock, folk, and traditional music, with strong influences from neo-Romantic music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has written for choral, instrumental, and chamber ensembles, as well as duets and smaller works for solo voices and instruments. He currently resides in Newark, Delaware, where he studies music composition at the University of Delaware under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Barker. His works have been performed both throughout the university’s campus and in communities throughout New Castle County. His music can be found online at http://soundcloud.com/daniel-despins.

JUDGE'S CITATION: "Creating a Unique, Sustained Sound World"
Joshua Hey    Philadelphia PA
    fissu/|rupT/t|eaR—for electric guitar

Joshua Hey
Joshua Hey is a Philadelphia-based composer pursuing a Ph.D. as an Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked with the PRISM Quartet, Omaha Symphony, Daedalus Quartet, Uusinta Ensemble (FIN), Eastman Sinfonietta, LAPS (BEL), Icon Arts ensemble (ROU), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Orchestra, UMKC Chorale and Nicholas Isherwood, among others. Additional studies include workshops and festivals such as June in Buffalo (USA), Etchings (FRA), Ars Musica (BEL), American Conservatory in Fontainebleau (FRA), Composit (ITA) and the “New Music New Media” Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (GBR). For the 2014-15 academic year, he was a visiting scholar at the Sibelius Academy and University of Helsinki with a Jane and Aatos Erkko fellowship from the the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Dana Kaufman   Miami FL  
    Halcyon Disquiet—for flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, electric guitar and violin
Dana Kaufman
The works of Dana Kaufman (b. 1989) have been heard throughout North America, and in Estonia, the Czech Republic and Italy. The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Kaufman’s music has been featured at Estonian Music Days, Centro Musica Contemporanea di Milano, Charlotte New Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Music Institute of Chicago, Peoria Civic Center, Jordan Hall, North American Jewish Choral Festival and 2015 Women Composers Festival of Hartford; it has been performed/recorded by groups including Great Noise Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, a very small consortium, Firebird Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble and Sō Percussion. After returning from Estonia as an ethnomusicology/composition Fulbright Fellow, Ms. Kaufman completed her MM in Composition at New England Conservatory (Academic Honors; Pi Kappa Lambda nominee). She is currently pursuing her DMA at University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she is the first Frost School of Music student to be a Dean’s Fellow. danakaufmanmusic.com 

Joungmin Lee    Columbus OH
    Vexatious—for string quartet

Joungmin Lee
Joungmin Lee’s music has been performed in the US, Europe, Canada, and Asia. He is a Gold & Silver Medal Winner of Global Music Awards for his string quartet ‘Vexatious’ and electro-acoustic piece ‘Heterogeneous’. They have been published by ABLAZE Records on Hong Kong New Music Ensemble Live from Prague Vol. 1 and Electronic Masters Vol. 5 disc which includes his award-winning work. Moreover, the ‘Vexatious’ will be also published by Editro Sconfinarte and 31st volume of the SCI CD Series as a winner. Also, he is a special invited guest to present a lecture presentation at the 2017 SCI Region IV Student Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music. Lee's work has been recognized by numerous competitions and “Call for Scores”, including Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award in US, Florence String Quartet Competition in Italy, Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival in Spain, IV Rieti Elettroacustica Festival in France, the Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop in Canada, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble in Prague & Macau, Chang-Ak Contemporary Music Society Composition Competition in Korea, SIME International Electroacoustic Music Competition in France, SEAMUS in US, Musinfo Opus-centrum in France, Bozzini_Lab Montreal Workshop in Canada, Cicada Consort in US, National Student Electronic Music Event('16, '17) in US, Radio Transmission Art Pieces (New York 90.7-FM) in US, Busan International Modern Dance Festival in Korea, and SCI Region Conferences, among many others. Additionally, Joungmin's music has been featured by the JACK Quartet, PARMA Recordings LLC, Ascanio Quartet, Transient Canvas, the Midwest Composers Symposium, UI Dance and International Writing Program Collaboration, University of Iowa Center for New Music, Louisiana State University SoM Recital Hall, St. Cloud State University Listening Room - PAC 158, University of Kansas Murphy Hall, The University of Oklahoma Catlett Music Center, University of Alabama Moody Concert Hall and Recital Hall, Otterbein University Snapshot Conference, University of Texas at Arlington Irons Recital Hall, and Seoul Arts Center. Currently he is pursuing the DMA composition at The Ohio State University with Dr. Thomas Wells. He holds degrees from New York University (M.Mus in music technology). Joungmin has studied with David Gompper, Josh Levine, Bryan Haaheim, Hyunsook Choi, and Dafna Naphtali, in addition to private studies Elainie Lillios. 

Sangwon Lee    Champaign IL
    String Quartet No. 1
Sangwon Lee
Sangwon Lee, born in Korea, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Keimyung University in Korea and received his Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in Boston. Sangwon is currently pursuing his Doctorate Music Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he took classes in advanced studio techniques with Professor Scott A. Wyatt. Lee has won numerous international awards and honors for his compositions including EACA International Composition Competition (Japan), JURGENSON International Composition Competition (Russia), Frederic Mompou International Award (Spain), “2 Agosto” International Composition Competition (Italy), Destellos International Electroacoustic Music Composition Competition 2016 (Argentina), etc. His works have been performed and broadcasted in Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, U.S. and South Korea. He has been invited as one of the presenting composers from 2016 Contemporanea Nuova Musica in Udine (Italy), the Matera Intermedia Festival 2016 – digital art festival (Italy), MUSLAB 2016 International Festival of Electroacoustic Music (Brazil), NSEME 2017 (the National Student Electronic Music Event), and the SEAMUS (the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) 2017 National Conference. 

Christopher Lowry    Antioch TN    
    Romanza—for four violas
    Livewire!—for flute, clarinet, and horn
Christopher Lowry
Nashville native Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. His music has been performed by the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Imperial Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle TN State University Symphony, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Blair Chamber Choir, “The President’s Own” US Marine Band, members of the Taipei Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic, New York All-State String Orchestra, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK High School String Orchestra, and many youth orchestras from around the country. Lowry has won awards in the Alabama Symphony Call for Scores, BandWidth Music Festival Call for Scores, Missouri Composers Orchestra Project Competition, World Projects Composition Competition, NAfME Composition Competition, Frank Van Der Stucken Award, Nashville Philharmonic Composition Competition, Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition, among others. Lowry holds a BM degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and a MM degree from LSU, where he is currently working towards his DMA. 

Aaron Mencher    Johns Creek GA
    Fast-Forward—for the Deviant Septet

Aaron Mencher
Aaron Mencher is a composer that has done a variety of work ranging from contemporary classical music to film scores to incidental music. In February, the Deviant Septet recorded his piece Fast-Forward. Also, he recently finished scoring the film Maggephah directed by Brad McGaughey.

Aaron’s New for Wind Ensemble won the 2015 NAfME Student Composers Competition. This piece was premiered by the All-National Concert Band. It is now distributed through Murphy Music Press. In The Forest won the 2014 Third Millennium Ensemble Prize Pre-College Division. Until 2015, he was the composer for The Dancing Goat Theater for many shows including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. He is currently attending University of Missouri on a full tuition music composition scholarship where he is studying under Stephen Freund and William Lackey. More information about Aaron and his music can be found at menchermusic.com.


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