New Music News Wire


Zhou Tian Receives First Green Bay Commission

Zhou Tian
Zhou Tian
Photo © bbear and Zhou Tian

The Green Bay Commission Club has commissioned Zhou Tian to write a work for full orchestra which will be premiered by the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Bridget-Michaele Reischl, Music Director during the Orchestra’s 2009/10 season.

Although there exist a number of commissioning bodies in many forms, the Green Bay community can now boast the first of its kind with the creation of a low cost, membership driven, community effort to commission new works of symphonic repertoire to hear in their own concert hall played by their own symphony orchestra before the works are shared with other communities. During the 2006-07 season, while Jennifer Higdon served as the GBSO’s composer-in-residence, she and Reischl brain-stormed ways to capitalize on the great interest surrounding the visiting composers, ultimately resulting in the launch of the Green Bay Commission Club with 33 charter members. The Club has now grown to be able to commission its first orchestral work with only its modest annual membership fees as its source of commission funding. Club members completed a year long selection process which culminated in a membership vote by ballot. The club worked with Reischl to nominate a competitive roster of six well-known composers. Zhou Tian was voted the winner and was extended a contract for a concert-opening work.

Born in 1981 in the city of Hangzhou, China, Mr. Zhou holds a Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, and he is currently studying for his Doctoral degree at the USC Thornton School of Music. His composition teachers have included Jennifer Higdon, Richard Danielpour, Christopher Rouse, and Stephen Hartke. Zhou’s music has been played by many orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world and he is the recipient of numerous awards for his work including three ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, Julius Hemphill International Composers Awards, Presser Foundation Music Award, and Composition Fellowships from Tanglewood, Aspen, Fontainebleau and Henry Mancini Music Festivals.

More about the Green Bay Commission Club can be read on their blog.

ASCAP Announces Young Jazz Composer Awards

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards. This program, established in 2002, was created to encourage gifted jazz composers from throughout the United States. The recipients, who range in age from 14 to 29, are selected through a juried national competition. They receive cash awards, and will be recognized at the annual ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame ceremony on June 17, 2008, which will be held in The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.

This year’s ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award recipients, ages 18-29, are: Roy Assaf, 25 (New York, NY); Sharel Cassity, 29 (New York, NY); Michael Dease, 25 (New York, NY); Jesse Elder, 24 (New York, NY); Quamon Fowler, 27 (Ft. Worth, TX); Ross Garren, 22 (Los Angeles, CA); Tyler Gilmore, 25 (Denver, CO); Nicholas Grondin, 25 (Lee, NH); Alex Heitlinger, 27 (New York, NY); Bryson Kern, 25 (Astoria, NY); Pascal Le Boeuf, 21 (Santa Cruz, CA); Remy Le Boeuf, 21 (Santa Cruz, CA); Ben Markley, 25 (Longmont, CO); Linda Oh, 23 (New York, NY); Rick Parker, 29 (Brooklyn, NY); Joshua Richman, 21 (Hatfield, PA); Sherisse Rogers, (New Castle, DE); Kendrick Scott, 27 (New York, NY); Jaleel Shaw, 29 (Paterson, NJ); Stephen Smith, 27(Wichita Falls, TX); and Omar Thomas, 23 (Bear, DE).

The youngest ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composers, ages 14 to 16, are: Lucas Apostoleris, 14 (MA); Joel Carini, 15 (NY); Grace Kelly, 15 (MA); Noah Kellman, 16 (NY); David Lantz, 16 (PA); and Elijah Shiffer, 16 (NY).

Composers receiving Honorable Mention are: Patrick Cornelius, 29 (Astoria, NY); Shaul Einav, 25, (Rochester, NY); Eric Hirsh, 23 (Durham, NC); James Hirschfeld, 26, (New York, NY); Jimmy Macbride, 16 (CT); Adam Ratner, 20 (Encino, CA); Matt Savage, 15, (NH); and Ted Taforo, 18, (CA).

The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2008 competition were: John Fedchock, Jay Leonhart, and Rufus Reid.

The Young Jazz Composer Awards are in their third year of sponsorship by Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of musical giant Gibson Guitar Corp.

Michael Daugherty Wins 2007 ABA/Ostwald Award

Michael Daugherty
Michael Daugherty
Photo by Dorothy Gotlieb

Composer Michael Daugherty has been awarded the 2007 American Bandmasters Association/Ostwald Award for his composition Raise the Roof (2007) for timpani and symphonic band. The twelve-minute work was commissioned by the University of Michigan Symphony Band whose gave the work its world premiere performance, under the direction of Michael Haithcock, at the National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association, at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on March 30, 2007. On March 7, 2008, a $10,000 cash award will be presented to Daugherty at the 2008 Bandmasters Association (ABA) National Convention in Miami, Florida followed by a performance of the work by the U.S. Army Field Band conducted by Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier.

Michael Daugherty (b. 1954), one of the most commissioned and performed living American composers on the concert music scene today, first came to international attention when his Metropolis Symphony was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Zinman. Daugherty has received numerous awards for his music including the Stoeger Prize from the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations. He has been the Composer-in-Residence with, among others, the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra , Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2001-2002), and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. He was named by the Delaware Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the 2007 A. I. duPont Award and was also named Outstanding Classical Composer at the 2007 Detroit Music Awards. He has composed works in a wide variety of genres ranging from the opera Jackie O to provocative chamber works such as Dead Elvis for bassoon and mixed ensemble, and Bay of Pigs for guitar and string quartet. Daugherty’s other works for wind ensemble and symphony band include Desi (1991), Bizarro (1993), Motown Metal (1994), Niagara Falls (1997), Red Cape Tango (1999), UFO (2000), Rosa Parks Boulevard (2001), Bells for Stokowski (2002), Brooklyn Bridge (2005), Ladder to the Moon (2006), and Asclepius (2007). In January 2007, he was the featured Cover of NewMusicBox.

The ABA/Ostwald Award was the first competition for compositions of band music in the United States, and is one of the most prestigious awards in that field. Since 1956 it has stimulated the creation of many important new compositions, thereby enriching the entire spectrum of concert band activity. Because of its continuity, this award has produced more concert band music than any other competition of its kind. Literally thousands of musicians have performed the works of contest winners.

Golijov is First Musician Ever to Receive the Vilcek Foundation Prize

Osvaldo Golijov
Osvaldo Golijov
Photo by Sara Evans

Osvaldo Golijov is the inaugural recipient of the Vilcek Foundation Prize in Music. The Vilcek Foundation annually awards foreign-born individuals who have made “extraordinary contributions to society in the United States.” This year’s other recipient, Inder Verma, is receiving a prize for contributions to biomedical science. Each prize consists of $50,000 and is accompanied by an award object designed by Stefan Sagmeister. The Vilcek Foundation bestows the Vilcek Prizes annually in an award ceremony held in March in New York City.

According to Dr. Jan Vilcek, the Foundation’s President: “We should not have to be reminded of how much America owes to people who were born abroad, but we do. Historically, the United States has innumerable foreign-born individuals to thank for establishing it as a leader. We should not forget that so much of what this country takes credit for is the achievement of immigrants.”

Osvaldo Golijov (b. 1960) is one of the most in-demand composers all over the world. Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by chamber classical music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. After studying piano at the local conservatory and composition with Gerardo Gandini he moved to Israel in 1983, where he studied with Mark Kopytman at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy and immersed himself in the colliding musical traditions of that city. Upon moving to the United States in 1986, Golijov earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb, and was a fellow at Tanglewood, studying with Oliver Knussen. In the early 90′s Golijov began to work closely with two string quartets, the St Lawrence and the Kronos. In 2002, EMI released Yiddishbbuk, a Grammy-nominated CD of Golijov’s chamber music, celebrating ten years of collaboration with the St Lawrence String Quartet, featuring clarinetist Todd Palmer. The Kronos Quartet released three recordings featuring their collaborations with Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, featuring David Krakauer, as well as Caravan, and Nuevo. Golijov’s multi-cultural St. Mark Passion, commissioned by Helmuth Rilling for the European Music Festival, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s death, has played to sold out audiences around the world and its premiere recording received Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations in 2002. For the past seven years Golijov has been inspired by the voice of Dawn Upshaw, for whom he composed several works, including the Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, the cycle Ayre, and the opera Ainadamar, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 2007. Golijov is Loyola Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where he has taught since 1991, and is also on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory.

The jury members for the Vilcek Foundation Prize in Music were: Leon Botstein President of Bard College and Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra; composer David Del Tredici; Keith Fitch, composer and professor at Mannes College of Music; Hyo Kang, Artistic Director of the International Sejong Soloists; Alex Ross, author and music critic for The New Yorker, and Robert Sirota, composer and President of Manhattan School of Music.

Mary G. Madigan Named Director of Programs at Meet The Composer

Mary G. Madigan
Mary G. Madigan

Mary G. Madigan has joined the staff of Meet The Composer as its new Director of Programs, starting on Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Madigan joins the organization at a time of great activity, as MTC’s initiatives to develop new resources for the field begin to fulfill their great promise for support of new composer projects.

As Director of Programs for MTC, Madigan will take responsibility for the oversight and evaluation of all MTC programs and will support President Ed Harsh in formulating general program strategy. She will manage a number of important initiatives, including New Music, New Donors, which promotes the commissioning and funding of new music by individual donors and patrons. She will also be a key member of MTC’s outreach, representing the organization to composers, performers, and members of the performing arts community.

Madigan comes to MTC after seven years at the international music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. There she was the Manager and sole North American representative of Universal Music Publishing Group’s classical music catalogs: Durand-Salabert-Eschig (Paris), Ricordi (London, Milan, Munich), and Editio Musica Budapest. She worked closely with American and European colleagues, composers, and artistic directors to place the repertoire on concert, opera, and dance stages. Prior to her time at Boosey & Hawkes, Madigan served as Director of Special Projects at Mannes College of Music in New York City; Competition Director and Director of Marketing and Special Projects at Concert Artists Guild in New York City; and General Manager of the Vermont Mozart Festival in Burlington.

(Compiled and Edited by Frank J. Oteri)