Four Americans Among Masterprize Semi-Finalists

The twelve semi-finalists have been announced for the second Masterprize international composing competition. Of the twelve semi-finalists, four are American: Carter Pann, Derek Bermel, Anthony Iannaccone, and Pierre Jalbert. [Click on the name of a semi-finalist for more information. For a complete list of semi-finalists, click here.]

Over the coming months, the works of these composers will be recorded by a number of international orchestras, if a recording of broadcast quality does not yet exist. These orchestras will include BBC orchestras and orchestras from selected member stations of the European Broadcasting Union, including the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Spain.

Once the semi-finalist works have been recorded the multiple international broadcasts will commence through BBC Radio 3, BBC World Service and participating radio stations from the European Broadcasting Union. The broadcasts will begin in April 2001.

After an initial screening by three jurors, the twelve semi-finalist works were chosen by an international panel of conductors, composers, music writers, and a BBC producer. The twelve members of the panel were: B. Tommy Andersson (Sweden); Andrzej Chlopecki (Poland); Nicholas Cleobury (UK); Mischa Damev (Switzerland); Andrei Golovin (Russia); Andrew Kurowski (UK); Paul Mann (UK); Ryusuke Numajiri, (Japan); Joel Sachs (USA); Alvaro Salazar (Portugal); Ulrich Stranz (Germany); and Rudolf Werthen (Belgium).

The five finalist pieces will be chosen in June 2001 by an international panel of jurors including the initial stage jury, nominees from the participating European Broadcasting Union and a number of celebrity musicians. At the time this article was posted, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Harle, and Jon Lord were listed as jury members. Beginning in August 2001, the public will be able to vote using a form included with the September issue of BBC Music Magazine, via phone, or online.

On October 10, 2001, the winner will be decided at the Gala Final at the Barbican Centre, London. The London Symphony Orchestra will perform the five finalist pieces, and the winner will be chosen according to a weighted tally of the following votes: worldwide public (45 percent); gala audience (5 percent); final jury (40 percent); and members of the London Symphony Orchestra (10 percent).

The 2001 Masterprize competition drew a large volume of entries: 1131 composers from 62 countries sent in materials, significantly more than the previous (1998) competition. The US topped the list of entrants with 220 entries with the UK at a close second at 198. There were many entries from Russia, from all across Western and Eastern Europe, and from a wide range of countries including Iceland, Korea, Tadjikistan and Venezuela. And the age range was as broad as the geographical spread, with entries from composers of 15 to 83 years.

First held in 1998, Masterprize is an international competition to promote the composition of music for symphony orchestra. For the 2001 Competition, composers from all countries were invited to enter a work for symphony orchestra between 6 and 15 minutes long. There was no age or geographical limit. Although the pieces had to have been for symphony orchestra, (maximum of 90 players) composers had wide flexibility in scoring down to a minimum of about 50 instruments.