Fifteen 2005 Bush Artist Fellows have been named, including four awards in the field of music composition. The program provides financial support to artists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. Fellows may pursue any activity that contributes to their lives as artists. They each receive $44,000 each for fellowships that may last from 12 to 24 months.
This years recipients in music composition are:
Eric Barnum of Mankato, Minn. Barnum is currently the composer-in-residence for Kantorei in Denver. He was also the composer-in-residence for The Rose Ensemble in Minneapolis for the 2004-2005 season, and a 2003 winner of the Chanticleer Composer Competition in San Francisco. A recent graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Barnum said, “I try to write about ‘eternal’ moments of ideas, which are experienced by everyone. In doing so, I strive to find the essence of beauty, which often contains simplicity and balance.”
Steve Heitzeg of Saint Paul, Minn. Recent commissions include those for the Minnesota Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Dale Warland Singers. In 2000, he was named Minnesota Composer of the Year by the Minnesota Music Academy. Heitzeg said, “I strive to compose a music that inspires people to embrace peace, human rights, respect for the environment, and our shared humanity.”
Judith Lang Zaimont of Edina, Minn. A composer and professor at the University of Minnesota, she has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, 2003 Aaron Copland Award, and the Gottschalk Centennial Competition Gold Medal. Zaimont calls herself “a romantic modernist,” often embracing the verve and energy of jazz in her compositions.
Victor Zupanc of Minneapolis, Minn. The resident music director for The Children’s Theatre Company, Zupanc has also composed for productions at the Mixed Blood Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, and the LaJolla Playhouse, among many others. “There is no greater joy than sitting down with a playwright, a director, and a group of designers to create a new work—it’s the collaboration that excites me.” A graduate of the University of California in San Diego, Zupanc has received grants from the McKnight, Jerome, and Otto Bremer Foundations. His music has been presented in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.
Fellows were selected by national preliminary and final panels of working artists, educators, and curators of arts organizations from outside the Foundation’s region. The final selection panelists included: W.S. Di Piero (poet and essayist); Gerald Early (essayist and director, Center for Humanities); Claire Hopkinson (producer and general manager, Tapestry New Opera Works); Rosalba Rolón (artistic director, Pregones Theater); and Herb E. Smith (filmmaker, co-founder, Appalshop). In addition to Hopkinson, the preliminary panel for music composition also included Paul deBarros (jazz columnist, Seattle Times) and Pamela Z (composer and performer).