Tania León, Jon Deak, Steve Smith, the late Morton Gould, and 28 young composers were honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) during its 14th Annual Concert Music Awards, an invitation-only event held at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center in New York City on Friday, May 17, 2013. ASCAP member, composer, musician, and author Peter Schickele served as the master of ceremonies. Other presenters were Derek Bermel, Claire Chase, David Del Tredici, Douglas Geers, James M. Kendrick, Stephen Paulus, and Alex Shapiro, plus ASCAP’s CEO John LoFrumento, Frances Richard, Michael Spudic, and Cia Toscanini.
Tania León, the founder and artistic director of the Composers Now Festival and distinguished professor at the City University of New York, received the Victor Herbert Award in celebration of her 70th year and for her achievements as composer, conductor, educator, mentor, composer advocate, and exemplary musical citizen. [Ed. note: Click here to read a 1999 NewMusicBox conversation with Tania León.]
Jon Deak, founder and director of Very Young Composers International, received the Arnold Broido Award to in celebration of his 70th year and for his distinguished contribution to American music as composer, bassist, and educator.
ASCAP also honored journalist, editor and broadcaster Steve Smith, the music editor of Time Out New York and a contributor to The New York Times for his vision and courageous contributions as advocate for American music and composers. [Ed. note: One of Steve Smith's earliest articles was written for the second issue of NewMusicBox in June 1999.]
In addition, there was a special centenary tribute to the late composer Morton Gould (1913-1996), who served as ASCAP’s President from 1986 until 1994 and in whose memory the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards were named after his death. Pianist Simon Mulligan performed Gould’s exciting Boogie Woogie Etude and several members of Gould’s family came to the stage to receive a commemorative plaque from ASCAP honoring Gould’s legacy.
The 2013 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards were also presented to 28 composers who share in cash prizes totaling approximately $45,000. Award winners this year additionally received complimentary copies of Sibelius notation software, donated by Avid, and a free one-year subscription to ScoreStreet, a new self-publishing web platform that will launch this summer. Brief audio excerpts of recordings of each of the award-winning works were played during the ceremony. (For works that have not yet been performed, a MIDI mock-up was featured.)
Sky Macklay, age 24 of New York, NY (born in Waseca, MN), received the Leo Kaplan Award, the top prize in the Young Composer Awards (which is named in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP special distribution advisor), for her thirteen-minute orchestral composition Dissolving Bands. Macklay spoke briefly with us about her neo-Ivesian piece which was inspired by the American Revolution.
Michael D. Parsons, age 17 (NJ), was awarded the Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship, which is given to the top Young Composer Award winner aged 18 or younger, for his nine-minute Trio for flute, bass clarinet and piano. The Palisades Virtuosi, which commissioned the work, will present its world premiere performance during the 2013-14 season.
The other 2013 Morton Gould Young Composer Award winners are listed with their age, current residence, and place of origin followed by the name and duration of their award-winning compositions:
Samuel Carl Adams, 27 of Brooklyn, NY (San Francisco, CA): Drift and Providence for orchestra [19']
Timo Andres, 27 of Brooklyn, NY (Palo Alto, CA): Old Keys for piano and chamber orchestra [13']
Tyler Capp, 30 of Kansas City, MO (Harrisburg, PA): Cryptogram for wind ensemble [9']
Ryan Chase, 25 of Bloomington, IN (Port Jefferson, NY): Stargazer for ensemble [8']
Yie Eun Chun, 27 of Bloomington, IN (South Korea): A Little Puppet Play for ensemble [8']
Francisco Cortés-Álvarez, 29 of Bloomington, IN (Mexico City, Mexico): No Llores for 16 instruments [10'30"]
Viet Cuong, 22 of Princeton, NJ (West Hills, CA): Suite for 2 oboes and English horn [12']
Tamzin Elliott, 20 of Annandale on Hudson, NY (Beverly Hills, CA): Fixation for 2 violins and piano [14']
Stephen Feigenbaum, 24 of Winchester, MA (Cambridge, MA): Dances for string quartet [22']
Michael Gilbertson, 25 of New Haven, CT (Dubuque, IA): Who Remembers Day for amplified soprano and chamber orchestra [11']
Takuma Itoh, 28 of Honolulu, HI (Japan): Afterimage for solo cello [8']
John Liberatore, 28 of Rochester, NY (Auburn, NY): Nemo sleeps for solo piano [8']
Loren Loiacono, 23 of Ithaca, NY (Port Jefferson, NY): The Awakening for soprano, chorus, and ensemble [11']
Yangzhi Ma, 25 of New York, NY (China): Off for soprano and ensemble [6'30"]
Maxwell McKee, 21 of Redhook, NY (Hackensack, NJ): Half-Life for solo piano [4'30"]
Garth Neustadter, 26 of Pasadena, CA (Green Bay, WI): Bar talk for violin and piano [3'30"]
Brendon Randall-Myers, 26 of New Haven, CT (Northampton, MA): Making Good Choices for guitar trio [13']
Matthew Ricketts, 27 of New York, NY (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada): Burrowed Time for 15 instruments [17']
Gabriella Smith, 21 of El Cerrito, CA (Berkeley, CA): Tidalwave Kitchen for orchestra [8'30"]
Gabriel Zucker, 22 of Boston, MA (New York, NY): Universal at Midnight for orchestra and jazz band [12']
The other youngest award recipients, who range in age from 9 to 18, are listed by state of residence followed by the titles and durations of their award-winning compositions:
Jaehyuck Choi, age 18 (MA): Horizon, concerto for violoncello and orchestra, op. 10 [5'30"]
Stella Gitelman-Willoughby, age 12 (MA): Prayers for clarinet and piano [5']
Huang Tiange, age 9 (NY): Four Tang Poems for soprano and ensemble [5']
Grant Luhmann, age 18 (MN): Music for 4 Winds, Percussion and Piano [7'30"]
Lawrence Suh, age 17 (MD): …Of that which I have seen for flute, clarinet, and violin [3']
Renata Vallecillo, age 13 (AZ): Loca’s Heaven for piano and cello [6']
The following composers received Honorable Mention: Douglas Buchanan of Cockeysville, MD (Westfield, NY) for his 105-minute piano solo composition Colonnades; Melody Eotvos of Bloomington, IN (Australia); Paul Frucht of New York, NY; Ian Gottlieb of Los Angeles, CA (Santa Monica, CA); Michael Ippolito of New York, NY (Tampa, FL); Matthew Peterson of Stockholm, Sweden (Grand Forks, ND); John W. Snyder of Santa Monica, CA (Temple City, CA); Fay (Feinan) Wang of Boston, MA (Beijing, China); Alex Weston of New York, NY (Chatham, NJ) and Conrad Winslow of Brooklyn, NY (Homer, AK). Honorable Mention in the youngest category: Graham Cohen, age 14 (NJ) for his 22-minute Symphony No. 10; Isaac Allen, age 16 (CO); Noah Kahrs, age 18 (PA); Jae Lee, age 18 (GA); Nicholas McConnell, age 14 (NJ); and J.P. Redmond, age 13 (NY).
The 2013 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award judges were ASCAP member composers Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Steven Burke, Chen Yi, Douglas Geers, Yotam Haber, and Aleksandra Vrebalov.
(—including material culled from the press release)