Saturday, June 30, 2018

WINNING CONDUCTORS: orchestral programming, 2017-18 (Marijosius Award)

Vytautas Marijosius
The American Prize is pleased to announce the 2017-18 winners, runners-up and honorable mentions in orchestral programming, The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Congratulations!

The American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor, Maestro Vytautas Marijosius, music director of the Lithuanian State Opera, and for nearly thirty-five years Director of Orchestral Activities at the Hartt School of Music. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community. 

Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—college/university division

The American Prize Winner:
Thomas Taylor Dickey
OK State University Symphony Orchestra
Stillwater OK
Thomas Taylor Dickey
Dr. Thomas Dickey is the Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University, where he conducts the OSU Symphony Orchestra and guides all aspects of the orchestra and orchestral conducting programs.  He concurrently serves as Music Director & Conductor of the OSU Youth Orchestra and the Stillwater Community Orchestra.  Prior to his appointments in Oklahoma, he was the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Music Director & Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (IA). He holds doctoral and master's degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University, respectively, and graduated with highest honors from Eastern Illinois University. He has worked with conductors such as Carl Topilow, Christopher Zimmerman, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Diane Wittry, and further studied conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and numerous workshops and master classes.


2nd Place and Special Judges' Citation: Remarkable Growth in the Programming of Major Repertoire
Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC
Tara Villa Keith
Tara Villa Keith is in her fifteenth season as music director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) in Davidson, North Carolina and in her ninth season as music director of the Lee County Community Orchestra (LCCO) in Sanford, North Carolina.  Tara has won local and national awards for her work with both orchestras, and has enjoyed conducting orchestras, running clinics, and serving as a guest speaker throughout the south, northeast, and abroad.  For the past four seasons, Tara has served as a cover conductor and pre-concert speaker for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and enjoys introducing audiences to orchestral music through their new Symphony 101 adult education program. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Tara studied percussion and piano at the Preparatory of the Peabody Conservatory. Tara holds degrees from Franklin & Marshall College, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of South Carolina.  Please feel free to visit her website at taravillakeith.com.


3rd Place:
Johannes Dietrich
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra
Annville PA
Johannes Dietrich
Johannes Dietrich, a native of Bozeman, Montana, is the Newton and Adelaide Burgner Professor in Instrumental Music at Lebanon Valley College. Along with his duties as conductor of the LVC Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, he is active as a guest conductor and clinician. He has led festival, District, Region and State orchestras from New Jersey to Montana. His college orchestra has completed three, highly successful tours to Europe. He is also active as a violinist, performing regularly as a member of Duo Terlano with his wife, cellist Marie-Aline Cadieux.
Www.duoterlano.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Chris Younghoon Kim
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca NY
Chris Younghoon Kim
Chris Younghoon Kim has been at Cornell University as the director of orchestras and associate professor of music, since 2004. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He has premiered over 200 works by contemporary composers worldwide. Cornell Symphony Orchestra has hosted two Meet the Composer New Partnership residencies. At Cornell University he directs the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, teaches conducting and works closely with the DMA composers in presenting their work in concert. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and most recently to Neuquén, Argentina for a collaborative project to perform Gustav Mahler’s 6th Symphony with the combined forces of the Sinfónica del Neuquén and the Cornell Symphony. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
David Alexander Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA
David Alexander Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and teaches conducting. He also serves of faculty of the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival as Conducting Associate. He is recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007. He has recently worked with the Seattle Symphony, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja. He participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, and Zoltán Peskó. His principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Monteux School. He holds degrees from Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and University of Montreal. He also studied at Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna.


The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—community division

The American Prize Winner:
Annette Jurcevic
Shoreline Symphony
Muskegon MI
Annette Jurcevic
Described by contest judges as “an electric personality” and “what a dynamo!”, Annette Jurcevic brings vitality to each ensemble she leads. She currently directs the Star Gate Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, and the Shoreline Symphony in Muskegon, Michigan.  While living in Texas, she conducted the Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Edward’s University Orchestra, and the Austin Summer Pops Orchestra. Career highlights include premiering contemporary works, founding three orchestras, conducting a German version of Messiah, and collaborating with dance and theater companies.  Additionally, she gives pre-concert discussions, has taught at four universities, maintains a private teaching studio, and performs as a pianist, organist, and singer. Possessing music degrees in multiple fields – music history & literature, music theory, choral conducting, and vocal performance – Ms. Jurcevic approaches conducting with a breadth of expertise.  Training in dance and martial arts has expanded her understanding of movement and gesture. Read more at www.annettejurcevic.com.


2nd Place:
Reuben Blundell
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Lansdowne PA
Reuben Blundell
Reuben Blundell is Music Director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra near Philadelphia, and New York’s Riverside Orchestra. From Fall 2009 he transformed Hunter Symphony from a small group into a symphony orchestra: recent performances included major symphonies and the Ewazen Flute Concerto with Mindy Kaufman of the NY Philharmonic. He recently completed his fifth season as a Chelsea Symphony conductor. His Gowanus Arts Ensemble CD, American Romantics, garnered outstanding reviews, including Gramophone Magazine. Blundell has performed in his native Australia, in Austria, Chile, Holland, Iraq, Japan, and Lebanon. He conducted the New World Symphony in their 2013 John Cage festival. After studies in Melbourne and Sydney, he was a Tanglewood Fellow (’02 & ’03) and a principal New World Symphony violinist (2003-05). He attended the Monteux School (’05 & ’06) and Eastman, earning a DMA in conducting with Neil Varon and studying violin with Zvi Zeitlin. Website: www.reubenblundell.com


3rd Place:
Orlando Cela
Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra
Arlington MA
Orlando Cela
Venezuelan conductor Orlando Cela has recently been awarded second place in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American music, and second place in the London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition for his rendition of Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. His experience includes launching the orchestral department at Ningbo University in China and conducting the inaugural concert of the Ningbo City Symphony Orchestra. In the US, his conducting positions include work with orchestras and choruses at Randolph College (VA) and UMass Dartmouth (MA). Guest conducting credits include the Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Northern Michigan State University Orchestra (MI), Brandeis New Music Ensemble (MA).  He is currently the music director and conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, with which he has performed world and American premieres by composers like Salvatore Sciarrino, Chen Yi, Hector Parra, Rebecca Saunders, and many others.



The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award—youth orchestra division

The American Prize Winner:
Robert Boardman
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra
South Bend IN
Robert Boardman
Robert Boardman has been music director and conductor of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras (SBYSO) since 2011. In 2015, he was named winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Programming for his work with SBYSO. Since 2012, Boardman has been artistic director of Live from Orchestra Hall, the free webcasts of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, for which he frequently serves as cover conductor. In 2015 and 2017, Boardman led the Grand Central Symphony of New York City on a national tour, collaborating with Bollywood star Arijit Singh and his rock band. The tour visited sold-out venues across the United States. Since 2006, Boardman has been assistant conductor for The Lord of the Rings Symphony, assisting in more than 75 performances, including tours of North America and Europe. Other recent artistic engagements include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he was assistant conductor for two seasons. As assistant to music director Marin Alsop, he worked with dozens of composers, including John Adams, Philip Glass, and Jennifer Higdon. Recently, Boardman assisted Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony in a semi-staged production of John Adams’ opera Nixon in China. He also performed and recorded the world premiere performance of Lembit Beecher’s multimedia oratorio And Then I Remember, a musical documentary about Beecher’s grandmother and her escape from Estonia during World War II. Boardman has conducted 14 world premieres and more than 30 orchestras worldwide, including the Houston Symphony, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Boardman studied conducting with Alsop, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, and Kenneth Kiesler. He also has participated in numerous master classes, workshops, and seminars with major orchestras and conductors throughout the United States. In May 2010, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


2nd Place:
Chad Hutchinson
SD Symphony Youth Orchestra
Sioux Falls SD
Chad Hutchinson
Chad Hutchinson is the Interim Director of Orchestras, Assistant Professor of Conducting and Conductor of University Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He conducts the Symphony Orchestra in 5 concerts annually, leads University Opera productions and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting courses. Prior to his time in Madison, Dr. Hutchinson was the Assistant Conductor for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestras.  As comfortable in the pit as on the stage, he has recently led productions at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Morningside College. Committed to education, Dr. Hutchinson taught orchestra in the public schools for nine years in Sioux Falls, SD and Williamsville, NY.  He later taught collegiately at Northwestern College(IA) and was the Coordinator/Music Director of the Siouxland Youth Orchestras in Sioux City, Iowa.  He holds conducting degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Morningside College (IA).


Third Place:
Tigran Arakelyan
Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra
Bainbridge Island WA
Tigran Arakelyan
Armenian-American conductor Tigran Arakelyan is the Music Director of Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras, Federal Way Youth Symphony and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Port Townsend Community Orchestra. Arakelyan held conducting positions with California Philharmonic, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony, Rainier Symphony, and the Northridge Youth Philharmonic.  His recent conducting engagements are with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Pops Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Northwest Mahler Festival, a second international tour of South Korea, and the inaugural Bainbridge Island String Orchestra Festival.

 Arakelyan helped in creating youth scholarship programs, festivals, young composer competitions, and led performances at unconventional venues. He conducted the Pacific Northwest premiere of Hindemith Kammermuzik Nr. 1. Arakelyan played alongside Sir James Galway during his induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame with the LA Philharmonic. He received a D.M.A. from the University of Washington under the mentorship of Ludovic Morlot and David Alexander Rahbee. www.TigranArakelyan.com


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Congratulations!

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