New Works Selected for Cliburn 2009 Semifinals

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The competitors of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition have selected four new works by American composers to be included in their semifinal round programs. The 2009 American Composers Invitational composers and their works are: Mason Bates (White Lies for Lomax); Derek Bermel (Turning); Daron Hagen (Suite for Piano); and John Musto (Improvisation & Fugue).

Twenty-eight composers submitted works for this year’s Invitational. A jury consisting of composers Sebastian Currier (winner of the Foundation’s second American Composers Invitational in 2005), Samuel Adler, and Melinda Wagner, and pianist Ursula Oppens, under the guidance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano, and assisted by pianist John Root narrowed the field to the final group.

The final selections were sent to the thirty competitors in late February, and each one has chosen a piece to perform in his/her semifinal round program. All composers’ names were withheld until competitors made their selections.

Every composer whose work is performed by one of the twelve semifinalists will receive a cash prize of $2,500, and the composer of the piece that is performed by the largest number of semifinalists will receive the grand prize of $5,000. (—From the press release)