Friday, August 2, 2019

WINNERS: composers (opera/theater/film/dance), 2018-19

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Composition, 2018-19, opera/theater/film/dance division. 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.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until  
Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)

The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of
Monday, July 1, 2019, with extensions available by email request. (theamericanprize@gmail.com)

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


The American Prize in Composition—(opera/theater/film/dance) professional division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Eric Sawyer
Amherst MA
The Scarlet Professor       

Eric Sawyer
Eric Sawyer is on the music faculty of Amherst College.  His operas The Garden of Martyrs and Our American Cousin have received recent premieres respectively from Springfield Symphony and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. A new opera, The Scarlet Professor, received its premiere in September 2017. He has received the Joseph Bearns Prize and awards from the Tanglewood Music Center and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music is available on the Albany Records and BMOP/sound labels.

The Scarlet Professor is a new opera based upon a true story of shame and scandal from 1960: a renowned English professor arrested and disgraced for possessing gay magazines and materials. It premiered September 2017 at Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Arts, Smith College, Northampton, MA: the same campus where the events took place.   


2nd Place: (In 2018-19 there is an unprecedented triple tie for 2nd place—three very different theater works, each worthy of special recognition for their unusual qualities.—DK)

2nd Place (tie):
Jenni Brandon
Long Beach CA
Three Paderewskis  
Jenni Brandon
Jenni Brandon (b. 1977) is an award-winning composer.  Many ensembles perform her commissioned music both nationally and internationally.  She enjoys engaging with performers and audiences, often giving talks about the business of music and the art of collaboration.  As a conductor, she has led both church and community choirs and she makes guest appearances to conduct her works.

Recordings of her works appear on the Delos, Albany, Centaur, MSR Classics, and Longhorn labels.  Her CD, Songs of California: Music for Winds and Piano, was nominated for the 10th Independent Music Awards.  Jenni is the recipient of numerous other awards including the Sorel Medallion, the American Prize for Choral Composition, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition, and the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition.  She is published by Boosey & Hawkes, Imagine, Graphite, TrevCo, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Jenni Brandon Music.  Visit www.jennibrandon.com


2nd Place (tie):
Patricia Elizabeth Martinez
Buenos Aires Argentina
Short Sleep/Breve Sueno; Beyond, The Sleepers
Patricia Elizabeth Martinez
Patricia Martinez is a composer, performer and interdisciplinary artist based in Buenos Aires. Her works has emerged, in part, from an experimental process of 'stripping-down,' which involves a degree of risk-taking, in that the resulting piece is left somewhat vulnerable in terms of its expressive identity. She holds a Doctoral and Master degree in Music Composition (Stanford University) and she completed the annual course in Computer Music (Ircam). Her works won prizes such as the Argentinean Government’s; Casa de las Américas (Cuba); International Young Composers' Meeting (Apeldoorn); Ibermúsicas/Iberescena; Diffusion; SADAIC; and Juan C. Paz. She received fellowships and commissions from: VCCA/UNESCO-Aschberg; Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music; International Music Theatre Competition Darmstadt; American Composers Forum; Experimental Center of The Colón Theater, Music Current and others. She is professor of Composition at the Superior Conservatory of Buenos Aires, University of Quilmes and external tutor at the National University of México.
www.patriciamartinez.com.ar


2nd Place (tie):
Tony Solitro
Philadelphia PA
Triangle
Tony Solitro
Tony Solitro composes concert and stage music that is “fraught with tension” and “amusingly intricate.” Politics, history, literature, drama, and visual art inspire his compositions. Endlessly fascinated by vocal timbre and virtuosic singing, Tony’s musical style is inherently theatrical and operatic. “Delightfully executed with sidesplitting hilarity,” his mythology-infused romantic-comedy Triangle was hailed “a standout favorite” (Theater Times). Commissioned by Boston Opera Collaborative and premiered in partnership with Boston New Music Initiative, it was praised for its “spiky, smashing, blasting” orchestrations (the Intelligencer).

Winner of the 2017 Cheryl A. Spector Prize from the Third Millennium Ensemble, Tony’s string quintet Shadow Confrontations was composed for bassist Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal, Philadelphia Orchestra) and was recorded with the Daedalus Quartet. He was awarded fellowships and artist residencies at Yaddo, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, VCCA, and the Brevard Music Center. To hear recordings, see videos, and explore his composition catalogue, visit www.tonysolitro.com. 


3rd Place:
Austin Jaquith
Cedarville OH
Dracula Bloodlines
Austin Jaquith
Austin Jaquith is a versatile composer whose work runs the gamut from contemporary classical compositions to music for film and media. His composition accolades include the Seraphim Composition Prize at the University of Houston, the AFMC Emil and Ruth Bayer Composition Competition, the Kuttner String Quartet Competition, the Dean’s Prize at Indiana University, the ACO Earshot Readings, and the Ohio Music Teachers Association Distinguished Composer Award. His works have been performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Mirari Brass Quintet among others. In addition to his concert work, Mr. Jaquith has composed for a variety of digital media including short films, advertising spots, and three feature films. Whether working on a complex contemporary chamber work, or a more viscerally-oriented film score, music is Mr. Jaquith’s abiding passion. 


Special Judges' Citation: "Impressive music in service to a deeply moving story."
Roger Cichy
Scituate RI
Journey Home to the USS Arizona  
Roger Cichy
Ohio born composer, Roger Cichy, is a world-class composer known for taking intangible experience and emotions, and turning them into memorable musical works. Conductor Dr. Matthew George lauds Cichy’s music as, “…both rich and vast.  His uncanny knack for melody and creative orchestration can be found in all his music…”  Lowell Graham, former Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band adds, “Roger’s music is accessible, colorful and personal.”

Composing music for a wide variety of genres including orchestras, chorus, wind bands, small ensembles and music for film, Cichy is widely sought for commissions.  His music has been published for over 30 years and has received numerous awards from ASCAP for serious music. His film score for the PBS documentary, “The American St. Nick,” earned him an Emmy.  Cichy’s works are continually performed throughout the United States and abroad.  www.rogercichy.com


Special Judges' Citation: "Excellent integration of music, dance and story-telling in a choral framework."
Ludwig Tuman
Greater Los Angeles CA
Lord of the Cranes; Cat's Protector; The Happy Man's shirt
Ludwig Tuman
Ludwig Tuman is an international award winning composer. He serves as the artistic director and composer for the Choral Tales Project, which he founded, and is active as a producer, pianist, teaching artist, and writer.

In 2019, Choral Tales music composed by Ludwig was selected for worldwide broadcast on World Radio Day, an annual event sponsored by UNESCO in partnership with the European Broadcast Union and many other broadcast unions around the world.  His music was distributed by the event's organizers to radio stations in over 100 countries.

Ludwig's creative work is broad in its cultural sources, connected with community, and revolves around a core of enduring concepts and values.  His versatility as a composer allows him to write in a wide variety of musical styles and genres.

The cultural elements found in his compositions reflect a forward-looking vision in which aspects of present and past, North and South, East and West, are integrated in innovative ways, in service to the public's cultural and social interests.

Ludwig Tuman has been a faculty member of the Chicago Conservatory College, where he designed and taught courses in composition, theory and piano.  His studies in music composition and related areas were at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University.   www.choraltales.org


Special Judges' Citation: "Skilled theatrical sense and abundant humor utilizing materials from other sources."
William Vollinger
Woodcliff Lake NJ
Let's Talk 
William Vollinger
William Vollinger’s music is described as “3D: different, direct and deep”, performed by artists including 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. His music is published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works were editor's choices in the J.W. Pepper Catalogue. Recent premieres included Jackson State Symphony, San Francisco Choral Artists, Ridgewood Concert Band, Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic. In the past three years, ten of his compositions have been nominated for the American Prize, with “Stalin and the Little Girl” receiving a Judge's Citation for "Exceptional Theatrical Sense in a Unique Monodrama." Hartshorn Recordings has released an album of his works this year.


The American Prize in Composition—(opera/theater/film/dance) student division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Madeline Merwin
Traverse City MI
Ceilings Made of Glass
Madeline Merwin
Madeline Merwin graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy with a major in composition in 2017, and is currently going into her second year of study in composition at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. She has also studied at the Royal Welsh Conservatory as an exchange student, and her commissioned works have been performed all over the US, including recent performances at the National Flute Association Convention. She is a published composer, and was recently selected to present a TEDx talk in November of 2018 on the decline in popularity of classical music, and what we as musicians can do to adapt and evolve to the changing technological and cultural world. Madeline is interested in multimedia direction, and is planning to pursue her career in composition.


2nd Place:
Jennifer Barker / UD Composition Studio
Newark DE
Waulking in the Glen 
Jennifer Barker / UD Composition Studio
Contributing composers to the UD Composition Studio’s collaborative opera, Waulking in the Glen, include Daniel J. Armistead, Alex Jiheng Bi, Nicholas Gomez-Colon, Matthew Greene, Amylia Hoos, Christian R. Johnson, Chris Leich, Jorge Iván Ramirez Marin, Hannah Dale Scarborough, Liana Stephen and Daniel Townsend. Ranging from freshmen to second-year graduate students, all eleven composers are highly active in creating new works for chamber music, large ensembles and dance. They also remain active as performers, with two of the composers participating as vocalists, four of the composers participating as instrumentalists, and three further composers participating in cameo roles in the premiere of Waulking in the Glen. www.compositionatud.com  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Joshua Baerwald
Milwaukee WI
The Process 
Joshua Baerwald
Joshua Baerwald is a composer/cellist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who strives to use his art in a variety of ways. As a cellist, he has performed in a variety of ensembles, including the University Philharmonic and University Symphonic Orchestras at at Florida State University, and the American Modern Orchestra during his time at the Mostly Modern Festival. His recent opera based on Kafka’s novella, The Trial, was premiered in May 2017 in conjunction with the Florida State University Opera Department.

Joshua has received numerous awards, including the Tallahassee Music Guild Scholarship, the Bess H. Ward Scholarship, and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency. Joshua was also a finalist in the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Joshua received his B.M. in Music Composition at Florida State University, and is currently pursuing his M.M. in Music Composition at the University of Louisville as a Bomhard Fellow.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Yuxin Ouyang
Durham NC
Trajectory 
Yuxin Ouyang
Yuxin Ouyang enjoys composing in a variety of musical styles. Her writing spans orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater genres, to sound installation, and experimental improvisation. She is passionate about bridging the gap between western classical music and cross-cultural contemporary music by helping audiences to understand the connection between the musical languages of both. Yuxin has worked with renowned ensembles and musicians such as Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, Deviate Septet, Jack Quartet, Wu man and Kirill Gerstein.  Yuxin’s music has been performed in concert halls in China and U.S., including The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and the Lvting Concert Hall in Shanghai. Yuxin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with Professor Lewis Nielson. She finished her Masters in Music Composition at the Shepherd School of Music under the guidance of Professor Shih-Hui Chen. Now Yuxin is pursing PhD degree in Composition at Duke University.

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Congratulations!

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