Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Winners: COMPOSERS (instrumental chamber music), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2019-20, instrumental chamber music 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 the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21, In addition, we will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information. 

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


The American Prize in Composition—(instrumental chamber music) professional division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Jakub Polaczyk
Cliffside Park  NJ
OJIBBEWAY

Jakub Polaczyk
Jakub Polaczyk (b.1983) is a New York City based Polish composer. Jakub is currently teaching at the New York Conservatory of Music and since 2018 he has been also appointed a New Music Director of the Chopin and Friends Festival in New York where he is directing the “New Vision International Composition Competition” and since 2018 associated with IMONY organization as a composer and orchestrator.  Jakub obtained his Artist Diploma in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University (2013).  He obtained his  Master in Music Composition from the Academy of Music in Cracow, Poland (2010). His teachers were: Reza Vali, M. Chyrzynski, K. Penderecki, M. Choloniewski, Jan van Landeghem. In 2009 he also graduated with M.A. and B.A in Musicology from the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. His compositions were performed and premiered at many new music festivals around the world  in: 10 countries in Europe, in Asia: Japan, China, South Korea, 16 states in the US including a couple of performances at the Carnegie Hall in NY. He achieved many accolades and scholarships for his music as: recently winning 4th SIMC International Composition Competition for Harpsichord at the Castello Sforesco in Milano (2019), winning Moniuszko Composition in Poland (2018), accolades on the A. Schnittke in Russia (2018), MACRO Contest in Madison (2018) and American Prize in Composition(2017). Moreover his music got first prizes on the:  Iron Composition Instant Competition in USA(2013), Polish Composers Society Baird Award in Poland (2013), Orion Orchestral Contest in London(2010), Polish Music Publisher Competition (2007), John Paul II Days (2008) in Poland and many others. For his achievements he received artistic scholarship from the Minister of Culture of Poland (2013), Mayor of the City of Krakow(2010) and the Sapere Auso Foundation(2007, 2009). In 2019 he was nominated and ranked fourth for the Szaflarska Award in Arts: "Great-Global-Local" in Southern Poland.

Jakub is a music pedagogue and Steinway & Sons teaching partner. As a pianist he collaborated with many instrumentalists and singers such as: legendary cellist - Christine Valevska, Naya Rodriquez - student of Luciano and Placido Domingo, violinist Pei - Wen, clarinetist Ivan Ivanov, ballet companies in Poland and NY and a few contemporary ensembles in New York. Jakub’s works are published by PWM, Feniks, and Euterpe in Poland, online by Babel Scores and Aromics and are released by Ablaze Records.


2nd Place:
Tyler Goodrich White  
Lincoln   NE
Three Views From The Mountain  

Tyler Goodrich White  
Tyler Goodrich White is Professor of Composition and Conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is Composer-in-Residence with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra.  A native of Atlanta, Georgia, White was raised there and in Manhattan, Kansas.  White was educated at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at Cornell University, with additional study at the University of Copenhagen and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau.  His principal teachers of composition have included Pulitzer Prize winners Steven Stucky and Karel Husa, as well as Niels Viggo Bentzon, and Roger Hannay.  As a composer, Tyler White has received commissions from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other organizations.  Other honors include awards and grants from ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, The MacDowell Colony, the Omaha Symphony, Tulane University, Indiana State University, and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau (Prix Maurice Ravel).

White also maintains an active career as a conductor:  a protégé of the late Maestro Robert Shaw, White has served as Director of Orchestras at Nebraska since 1994.  Under White’s direction, the UNL Symphony has been recognized as one of America’s outstanding collegiate orchestras;  UNL opera productions conducted by him have twice won awards from the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera (Ireland) and three times from the National Opera Association.  From 2000 to 2019 , White also served as Resident Conductor of Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra, having previously served as director of orchestras at Cornell University and at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.


3rd Place: (there was a tie): 
Gustavo Casenave
Astoria   NY
Balance  

Gustavo Casenave
Gustavo Casenave is a Four-time Latin GRAMMY® Nominee for  Best Contemporary Classical Composition, Steinway Artist, Global Music Awards Gold Medal Winner, Uruguayan pianist and composer, based in New York City. He has performed worldwide, collaborated and recorded with artists as diverse as: Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler, Eddie Gomez, John Patitucci, Robert Duvall, Mark Egan, Neil Sedaca, Paquito D’ Rivera and the 12 cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic among many others. With 33 albums as a solo artist, he received the 2013 Con Edison Composers Residency Award, a 2013 New Music USA Grant, and  “Belgian Artistic Promotion Award”  Europe Jazz Contest 1999. He directed and performed in almost every major Tango show in the US, including Forever Tango, Tango Fire and Eternal Tango Orchestra among others. He is a former Jazz Department Director at the Harbor Conservatory, in addition to giving Master Classes at Juilliard, Oberlin, Eastman and Yale University.


3rd Place: (there was a tie): 
Kyle Vanderburg 
Fargo ND
Earmarks 

Kyle Vanderburg 
Composer Kyle Vanderburg (b. 1986) grew up in southeast Missouri where the Ozark foothills meet the Mississippi River valley. Raised on southern gospel and American hymnody, his music tries to walk the line between eliciting nostalgia and devising innovative sonic worlds. His electronic works often play with familiar sounds in new contexts, his acoustic works feature catchy melodies and too many time signatures. He holds degrees from Drury University (BA) and the University of Oklahoma (MM, DMA), and has studied under composers Carlyle Sharpe, Marvin Lamb, Konstantinos Karathanasis, and Roland Barrett. He has participated in composition masterclasses with David Maslanka, Chris Brubeck, Benjamin Broening, and others. When not composing, Kyle runs the musical workshop NoteForge. He'd be delighted if you checked out KyleVanderburg.com to learn more.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Bruce Babcock
Pasadena  CA
The Present Moment 

Bruce Babcock
Bruce Babcock is an Emmy-winning composer who has been successful in both film and television, and the concert hall. Babcock holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge. Babcock’s mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass, and Earle Hagen.

Bruce's music has been performed at Carnegie Hall and Boston Metro Opera, and recorded by The Crossing, the Debussy Trio, Juliana Gondek, Doug Masek, and the Altius and Armadillo string quartets, and performed by Hila Plitmann, the Antioch Ensemble, the Donald Brinegar Singers, the Haga Motettkör of Göteborg, Sweden, the Space Coast Symphony, and at the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival and the Beverly Hills International Music Festival, as well as inside the dome of the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory. His music is included on six different albums on the Navona/Parma Recordings label.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Jennifer Margaret Barker 
Newark  DE
Na Tri Peathraichean 

Jennifer Margaret Barker 
Described as “a composer of profound sensibility”, Jennifer Margaret Barker has received performances of her compositions on six continents. Her compositions have been performed by orchestras such as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony; chamber and choral ensembles such as Orchestra 2001, Network for New Music, Vocal de Cámara Platense and Bearsden Choir; and an extensive list of international artists including Martin Jones. Recent international festivals in which her music has been featured include Malta’s Victoria International Arts Festival, Brazil’s Festival Internacional Compositores de Hoje, and America’s Festival Mozaic. Her compositions have been broadcast on American, Hong Kong and Swedish public radio, and the BBC. Published by Boosey & Hawkes, Theodore Presser, Southern Percussion, Vanderbeek & Imrie, and McKenna-Keddie, Barker’s compositions have been released on the Naxos, New World Records, Composers Recordings Inc., Meyer Media, and PnOVA labels. www.jennifermargaretbarker.com 



The American Prize in Composition—(instrumental chamber music) student division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Chris Shelton
Windermere   FL
Serpent Mound

Chris Shelton
Chris Shelton is an internationally performed composer and teacher of guitar and music theory.  His music has been performed by ensembles such as:  PHACE, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and Quinteto Pierrot.  He is currently a doctoral student in composition at the University of Florida and has earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music degree in Theoretical Studies from New England Conservatory.  His composition and theory teachers include:   Pozzi Escot, John Bavicchi, Roger Graybill, and Vuk Kulenovic.  Additional studies with:  Justin Dello Joio, George Tsontakis, and Oliver Weber.  He has had works performed in South America, Europe, and throughout the United States.  As a founding member of the Boston-based composers’ group Aggregate he has had pieces, ranging from solo piano to string orchestra, performed in and around the Boston area and in New York.  


2nd Place:
Daniel Whitworth  
Highland Park  IL
Ripples in Infinity  

Daniel Whitworth  
Daniel Whitworth (b. 1996) is a composer and saxophonist dedicated to expanding the relevancy and accessibility of contemporary music. Frequently collaborating with dancers, visual artists, and actors, he aims to connect and engage with audiences in unique ways. In the summer of 2019, Daniel served as the composer-in-residence at the Lake George Music Festival after his piece Ripples in Infinity won the Lake George Composition Competition.  Other recent awards include being selected in the 2019 Verdant Vibes and 2019 What Is Noise Call for Scores and winning first prize in both the 2018 Frost International Composition Competition and the 2018 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers Composition Contest. Daniel is working towards a master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a major in both Composition and Scoring for Visual Media. Please visit DanielWhitworthMusic.com for more information on Daniel's recent projects and compositions!



3rd Place:
Ming-Jui Liu
Arcadia   CA
Mirror of the Sunshine, op. 3

Ming-Jui Liu
Besides his performance career as a classical guitarist, Ming-Jui Liu is a prolific arranger and has published several arrangements for solo guitar and chamber music in important publications, including Gendai Guitar magazine in Japan and Taiwan Guitar Society. As a composer, Ming-Jui’s The Magic Hour, Passacaglia: A Song for the Ropewalker, Monologue No. 1: Leaf, Me, and Mirror of the Sunshine have been published by Canadian publishing house Doberman-Yppan. Ming-Jui studied harmony, composition, and arrangement with Wen-Chuan Hu, Howie Kenty, and João Luiz Rezende Lopes. Currently, Ming-Jui is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University under the tutelage of guitarist and lutenist Jerry Willard.
https://www.mingjuiliuguitarist.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mingjuiliuguitarist/


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Daniel Farrell
Brooklyn  NY
Puppet Show  

Daniel Farrell
Daniel Farrell (b. 1996) is a composer, arranger, and conductor living in New York, NY. Daniel is a Master’s of Music in Screen Scoring candidate at the prestigious New York University Steinhardt program where he studies privately with Dr. Paul Chihara and Michael Patterson. Daniel earned his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Composition and Theory at Jacksonville University (’18) where he studied with Dr. Jianjun He and George “Tony” Steve. His concert work has seen festival performances across the globe, and he has studied with several notable composers including Donald Crockett, Christopher Dobrian, and Amy Beth Kirsten. Daniel has worked on several award-winning films including Paternitas (dir. Daney Kang), Eight Hundred (dir. Emerson Duggan), and A Happy Smile (dir. Patrick Farrell & Michael Csorba) among others. His music is performed on concerts around the United States and is always described as sounding like an “instant classic”.
www.danielfarrellmusic.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Joseph Foster Harkins
Middletown   PA
Mountain Streams of Consciousness  

Joseph Foster Harkins
Joseph Foster Harkins (b. 1995, Harrisburg, PA) is a composer of stylistically diverse contemporary concert music for audiences that “will be truly impressed” (Press & Journal). He crafts evocative and highly expressive works that feature unique conceptions, textural and contrapuntal vitality, inventive formal ingenuity, and prominent lyricism. His music been performed and disseminated by esteemed ensembles and performers across North America, most recently including violist Michael Hall, Unheard-of//Ensemble, F-Plus, and with members of Fifth House at the Fresh Inc Festival. Mr. Harkins will make his record label debut in 2019 through Centaur Records on the compilation disc Polychrome.  https://www.josephfosterharkins.com


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Elisa K. Johnson
Seattle   WA
Shine   

Elisa K. Johnson
Elisa Johnson is in 8th grade and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She began playing the piano when she was five and composing when she was nine. She joined the Northwest Girlchoir (NWGC) in third grade. In 2017, it performed her first choral composition, Dreams are Here. In June 2019, the NWGC performed another piece by Elisa: As I Journey Through My Life.

Last year, Elisa was one of ten local young composers selected to participate in the Seattle Symphony’s Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop, where students are invited to work on all aspects of composing, including writing themes, learning orchestration and preparing a final score with parts. The 12-week composition course culminates in a chamber concert of their own world premieres, performed by Seattle Symphony musicians.

Elisa also plays the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese instrument and when time permits, performs with the Seattle Chinese Orchestra.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Zachary Ploeger
Pipestone  MN
Trio for Trumpet, Violin and Piano 

Zachary Ploeger
Zachary S. Ploeger is quickly emerging as one of the most promising musicians of his generation. As an active conductor, trumpeter, and composer, he is constantly in demand. At 24 years of age, he has already performed for audiences all around the world.

Zach is currently pursuing a doctorate in trumpet performance at the University of Minnesota where he holds a Music Fellowship and studies with Professor Marissa Benedict. He recently completed a master's degree at Arizona State University where he was the Rafael Mendez Scholar in Brass. At ASU he studied with Regents Professor David Hickman, one of the most highly regarded trumpet pedagogues of all time. Zachary also holds undergraduate degrees in trumpet performance and composition from Western Michigan University, where he graduated summa cum laude. At WMU, Zach studied with Professor Scott Thornburg, trumpet, and Dr. Richard Adams, composition.

Zachary has received numerous awards and accolades. Among them are five “American Prize” awards for excellence in the field of music composition. He is also frequently commissioned and his works regularly performed. Recent engagements include the Mivos String Quartet, the Western Michigan University Symphonic Band, the International Trumpet Guild, and many prominent soloists. A CD of his own original trumpet works composed and performed by Zachary has been released. And an album of standard trumpet repertoire is currently in progress.


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Congratulations!

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