Monday, October 27, 2014

CONDUCTOR WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP: college/university orchestra

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division. Congratulations! All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Complete listings of other winners, finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Use the archive navigation tool in the right-hand column. 

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Conducting
—college/university orchestra division

The American Prize winner:
CHRIS YOUNGHOON KIM, music director
Cornell Orchestras
Ithaca, NY
Passionate about working with young musicians and music education, Chris  Younghooon Kim is the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and is an active adjudicator, guest clinician, and masterclass teacher. 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. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. Before coming to Cornell, Chris was active in the new music scene in Boston conducting the Firebird Ensemble and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra. Since 1997 he has been the Artistic Director of the new music ensemble Brave New Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of America’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. 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, International Bartok Festival in Szaombarthely, Hungary, among others. He is an active promoter of music of our time, and has collaborated with dozens of composers, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works. He was recently chosen to be one of three young conductors to appear at the Ensemble Moderne Academy in Innsbruck, Austria being mentored by members of Ensemble Moderne at the 2012 Klangspuren new music festival. He has also been chosen as the first wave of conductors to take part in the College Orchestra Directors Association’s Ibermusicas initiative in 2014, and will guest conduct Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina.

Among judges' comments: "just about the ideal tempo, spirit and energy. (Tchaikovsky 4th)"

2nd Place:
JASON HONG, conductor
University of Texas Symphony Orchestra
Austin, TX
Born in Los Angeles (4/27/1989) to parents who escaped North Việt Nam on a fishing boat, Jason Hong works as Assistant Conductor for Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director/Conductor for the University of Texas University Orchestra. Recipient of the Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship, Jason has lead members of the Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Oregon, Sarasota, Indianapolis, Arkansas, Jacksonville, Eugene, Grand Rapids, Colorado, and Phoenix Symphonies, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Chicago Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Florida, and Minnesota Orchestras in performance. He has collaborated with Gloria Cheng, Gil Shaham, Leon Fleisher, David Kim, and Cho-Liang Lin. Graduating UCLA cum laude, he was the youngest full participant in workshops with Marin Alsop, James Ross, David Effron, David Loebel, and Neal Stulberg. He is on full scholarship as one of two students of Gerhardt Zimmermann at the University of Texas, Austin - Butler School of Music.

Among judges' comments: "Music is felt. Dramatic...obviously knows the score well. "

3rd Place (there was a tie):
JOEL NEVES, music director
Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra
Houghton, MI
Joel Neves is Music Director of the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra at Michigan Technological University. He has elevated the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra through captivating performances that entertain and inspire.  Joel energetically champions community collaboration, creating the KSO Chamber Music Series, the Keweenaw Honors String Festival for K-12 string musicians, and commissioning new works by Upper Pensinsula composers. Joel’s recent professional conducting engagements include the Pine Mountain Music Festival’s “Finnharmonic Orchestra” and the Kentucky Music Educators Association All-Collegiate Orchestra.  He makes his professional South American conducting debut in 2015 leading the Orquesta Sinfónica de Entre Ríos in Argentina. Neves was assistant conductor of the Orchestra of Southern Utah for three years.  He has also conducted the Orquestra de Cadaqués (Barcelona), Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and Bard Festival Orchestra. Joel received his master’s degree from Brigham Young University and his doctor of musical arts in orchestral & opera conducting from Arizona State University.

Among judges' comments: "Debussy displays good style, is nicely balanced. Very fine knowledge of score."

3rd Place (there was a tie):
TIFFANY CHANG, music director
New England Repertory Orchestra
Boston, MA

Dr. Tiffany Chang holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Boston University. She previously received several degrees in music education, cello performance, composition, and music theory from Oberlin Conservatory. Dr. Chang is currently the founder and conductor of the New England Repertory Orchestra, Music Director for the North End Music and Performing Arts Center's Opera Project, and staff conductor for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. She additionally holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music and serves as the Assistant to the Director of Orchestral Activities at Boston University. During her time at Boston University, she has also served as Assistant Conductor for the Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Orchestra and the Opera Institute. Dr. Chang studied conducting with David Hoose and Bridget-Michaele Reischl. Her notable awards include the Kahn Career Entry Award, Pi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship, and Theodore Presser Scholarship.

Among judges' comments: ",,,very musical, feeling, clear...Elgar is lovingly presented."


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