Copying Assistance Program Awards $35,000 in Grants to Composers



A total of $35,000 has been granted to 33 composers through the AMC‘s Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program (CAP). The awardees, American composers ranging in age from 25 to 83, received the funding to support the production of materials for a premiere performance. Half of this round’s recipients are first-time grantees of the CAP program. The AMC will award a total of $90,000 in the course of this year’s three rounds.

“This round featured many strong applications from a diverse array of American composers,” notes Richard Kessler, Executive Director of the American Music Center. “We hope that our assistance, which helped bring these works to fruition, will enable our composer members to enjoy many successful performances of their compositions.”

Frank London succinctly summarizes what the CAP award can mean for a composer on a very practical level. “It means the difference in my receiving any money for my commissioned new work or using most of it towards copying costs. As my commissioned new work was a wonderful opportunity for me to compose for a large [chamber] ensemble, I chose to write a major piece with much through – composed material integrated with improvisational sections.” London says that “the fact that copying costs equaled almost 70 per cent of my commission did not deter me, but thanks to the American Music Center’s Copying Assistance Program, I was able to use the commission money as it was intended, and still have a beautifully legibly copied score and parts.”

Peter Gordon‘s award also allowed him to push personal boundaries. Producing an orchestral suite based upon an earlier work, he explains that the project is “of great significance for me, at this point in my career, because it affords me the opportunity to work with an orchestra and conductor in taking this music to another level.” The CAP award will help him meet that goal. “As the preparation and copying of an orchestral score and parts can often be prohibitive for an orchestral work, this assistance from CAP is extremely helpful, and for that I am quite grateful.”

Maurice Wright, whose work will be premiered by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, describes a situation that composers across the country often find themselves in. “As arts organizations in Pennsylvania scramble to fill budget gaps caused by contractions in the state budget and regional economies, targeted grants such as the CAP are more critical than ever before.”

The award can also have an impact on the presenting organization. Robert Paterson explains, “One of the greatest benefits of receiving a CAP Award is that it can give a fledgling organization that desperately wants to commission a composer a helping hand. Without this CAP award, my commissioning group could not have afforded to pay the copying cost. This award is certainly one of the most useful awards out there for American composers such as myself who are just beginning their careers.”

He also points out that the award is very significant on a personal level. “More than the financial benefits, receiving a CAP award is a badge I wear with great pride: it makes the music community and general public take notice of my work and enthusiastic about me as an American composer.”

Davide Zannoni echoes those sentiments. “The financial help provided by the AMC is not only an honor but also an incentive to keep composing. I feel that the grant from the Copying Assistance Program goes well beyond the purely monetary value, in that it makes a composer feel that he/she is part of a working community, in a world in which artists in general are often isolated.”

Since 1962, the Copying Assistance Program has provided support to American composers, and it remains the only program of its kind. Over 1,000 composers have received a CAP award at some point in their career, including Charles Wuorinen (1964), Joan Tower (1976), Steve Reich (1980), and Bright Sheng (1990).

Complete List of Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program Awardees
  • Mason Bates, Oakland, CA, Ode (orchestra), Phoenix Symphony
  • Gordon L. Beeferman, Brooklyn, NY, Symphony No. 1 (orchestra), Minnesota Orchestra
  • C. Matthew Burtner, Charlottesville, VA, Polyrhythmirana (flute, cello, guitar, percussion), Noise Ensemble; Athenaeum
  • Garrett Byrnes, Bloomington, IN, The Stars Shall Look Not Down (orchestra), Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Aaron M. Cassidy, Amherst, NY, :phasia (string quartet), Kairos Quartett; Kesselhaus der Kulturbraverei
  • May Tchi Chen, Longhorne, PA, The Firmiana Rain (opera), New York City Opera
  • Yuanlin Chen, New York, NY, Chasing the Sun (guitar quartet), Minneapolis Guitar Quartet
  • Michael Dellaira, New York, NY, Chéri (opera), Center for Contemporary Opera
  • Beth Denisch, Brockton, MA, Sorrow and Tenderness (chorus & orchestra), Handel & Haydn Society
  • Peter Gordon, Santa Fe, NM, Return of the Native (orchestra), Spoleto Orchestra
  • Huang Ruo, New York, NY, Confluence-Concerto No. 4 (chamber orchestra), New Juilliard Ensemble
  • Michael Karmon, Saint Paul, MN, Out of Style (orchestra), Dubuque Symphony
  • David Kidwell, Easthampton, MA, Shenendoah: A Symphonic Portrait (orchestra), Holyoke Civic Symphony
  • Tom Kochan, New York, NY, Normal (musical theater), The Lark Theater
  • Ilya Levinson, Chicago, IL, The Tell-Tale Heart (monodrama), Cube Contemporary Ensemble
  • Dan Locklair, Winston-Salem, NC, Symphony No. 1: “Symphony of Seasons” (orchestra), Louisville Orchestra
  • Frank London, New York, NY, The Unquestioned Answer (chamber ensemble), The Kitchen House Blend Ensemble
  • Eric McIntyre, Shereveport, LA, Movements (orchestra), Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra
  • David C. Meckler, Redwood City, CA, Apollo 14 (opera), New York City Opera
  • Brian Ogle, Monroeville, PA, Aquatic Plants, mvt. 1 (orchestra), Memphis Symphony Orchestra
  • Robert Paterson, Ithaca, NY, Suite for String Orchestra, Ithaca Talent Education
  • Misha Piatigorsky, New York, NY, Mister (musical theater), The Present Company Theater
  • Jonathan Pieslak, Ann Arbor, MI, Dust (orchestra), University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
  • George Rochberg, Newtown Square, PA, Violin Concerto (violin & orchestra), Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • David Rodwin, New York, NY, The Prayer Cycle (opera), Mabou Mines
  • Eleanor Sandresky, New York, NY, Before and After (chamber orchestra), Nouvel Ensemble Moderne
  • Bruce Trinkley, State College, PA, York (opera), Penn State Opera Theater
  • Marilou Vetter, Brooklyn, NY, Ophelia Suite (orchestra), New York Repertory Orchestra
  • Ezequiel Viñao, New York, NY, Merlin (opera), New York City Opera
  • Steven Voigt, San Diego, CA, Monochrome (flute, cello, guitar, percussion), Noise Ensemble
  • Maurice Wright, Wyncote, PA, The Lyric’s Tale (music theater), Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble
  • Davide Zannoni, New York, NY, The Karma Quintet (percussion), Oberlin Percussion Ensemble
  • Patrick J. Zimmerli, New York, NY, Concerto No. 2 (piano, string orchestra & percussion), Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra