The American Academy in Rome announced the winners of the 105th annual Rome Prize Competition on Thursday, April 19, 2001 in New York City. The prestigious Rome Prize provides fellowships for American artists and scholars to live and work at the Academy’s twelve-building, eleven-acre site atop the Janiculum hill in Rome, Italy.
Two prizes were awarded in musical composition. The Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition was awarded to Derek Bermel of Brooklyn, NY.
While at the Academy, Mr. Bermel plans to work primarily on two pieces: a large-scale symphonic work for the Westchester Philharmonic‘s 2002-2003 season and an opera commissioned by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. He will also be writing a series of solo études for Dutch electronic guitarist Wiek Hijmans.
The Samuel Barber Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition was awarded to Kevin Matthew Puts, Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Texas at Austin. While on leave from the University, Dr. Puts plans to concentrate on three orchestral commissions: a work for the Phoenix Symphony‘s Beethoven Festival in January 2002, a joint commission from the Cincinnati and Utah Symphonies to be premiered in March 2002, and work for the American Composers Orchestra to be premiered in Carnegie Hall in April 2002. Puts has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2001-2002.
The Rome Prize is awarded through an annual, open competition and each year, distinguished artists and scholars volunteer their time as jurors for this award. This year’s musical composition jurors were Robert Beaser, Melissa Hui, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, and David Rakowski.
The Rome Prize winners receive stipends, and living and working accommodations at the American Academy in Rome for terms that range from six months to two years. Additionally, they have the opportunity to present their work in exhibitions, performances, concerts and lectures in Rome, at the Academy’s headquarters in New York City, and elsewhere throughout the U.S.
For more information on prizewinners in other fields, and on the Academy itself, please click here.