Third Season of Music Alive – Composers and Orchestras Together Announced



Ten American composers and seven orchestras are teaming up for the third round of Music Alive – Composers and Orchestras Together residencies during the 2002-03 season. A collaboration between Meet The Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League, the program pairs orchestras with composers who serve as advocates for contemporary music both within the organization and out in the community.

Since its inception two years ago, Music Alive has supported the residencies of 26 composers with 20 different orchestras ranging in size from youth and community ensembles to major symphony orchestras. During residencies of two to eight weeks, composers assist in the performance of their own works, work with the organization’s administration, and participate in the orchestra’s education programs.

Jesse Rosen, chief program officer of the ASOL, says that though the program is still relatively new, evidence of the impact the residencies can have is already being seen. “I suppose the most dramatic was the residency in Annapolis with Steven Paulus. It was amazing the interest and excitement and the way the board came to have a different understanding of what [new music programming] could be.” Where they had previously viewed contemporary music with fear and suspicion, they were now seeing its potential to bring in new audiences and add excitement to programming. Part of that residency’s effectiveness Rosen attributes to Paulus’s “galvanizing personality,” its excellent organization, and how well it involved many aspects of the community. Though there is no concrete measure of this type of success, Rosen, who was in attendance at the final concert, recalls, “There was a buzz in the house. It was sold out and people were just really excited about it.”

The upcoming class of composers is younger than is typically the case, the majority born in the 1960s and ’70s. “One of the goals of the program, and I don’t know how often we say this, is to develop ongoing relationships,” Rosen points out. “It pleases us to be able to provide that first in-road to the orchestra world and facilitate that connection for these young composers.”

2002-2003 Music Alive Residencies:
(Composer biographies courtesy Meet The Composer and the ASOL)

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies/John Mackey (4-week residency)

John Mackey is a respected 28-year old composer whose rhythmically driven work contains elements of popular/rock music. Mackey was recently appointed the first music director of the Parsons Dance Company. His works have been performed throughout the United States and around the world, and he has received commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, the Dallas Theater Center, the New York Youth Symphony, and Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, among others. John Mackey holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra/Jeremy Gill (2-week residency)

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1975, Jeremy Gill received his B.M. with high distinction in 1996 from the Eastman School of Music in NY, and his doctorate in composition at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. After school, he accompanied the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, helping create the ongoing Cayman Islands Summer Music Camp. At various times in his career, Dr. Gill has served as oboist, pianist, baritone saxophonist, conductor, and most recently as composer-in-residence with the aforementioned Cayman Islands Summer Music Camp, which serves children from several Caribbean Islands. Jeremy Gill currently resides in Philadelphia, where, shortly after his arrival, he was invited to join the staff of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/Pierre Jalbert (3-week residency)

At 33, Pierre Jalbert is already a highly accomplished composer, having been awarded two BMI Foundation and three ASCAP Foundation prizes, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Rome Prize in composition, among other honors. He has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, the Fischer Duo, and violinist Midori. In addition to the post at the American Academy in Rome, he has also held residencies at the Copland House and the California Symphony. Pierre Jalbert is currently on faculty at Rice University.

National Symphony Orchestra/Cindy McTee (2-week residency)

Composer Cindy McTee holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University (B.M.), Yale School of Music (M.M.), and University of Iowa (Ph.D.). Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fulbright-Hayes Senior Lecturer Fellowship in computer music at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland. She has received commissions from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Northern Arizona University, and the Barlow Endowment.

South Bend Symphony Orchestra/Jonathan Bailey Holland (3-week residency)

Heralded by Newsweek as “one to watch,” Jonathan Bailey Holland has had works commissioned and performed by the Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago Civic, Chicago Youth, Cleveland, Detroit, Florida Philharmonic, Indianapolis, Minnesota, National, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Antonio, and St. Louis Symphony orchestras, among others. He has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Presser Foundation, and earned a Bachelor of Music from Curtis Institute of Music and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Tucson Symphony Orchestra/Dan Coleman (3-week residency)

Born in New York City in 1972, Dan Coleman has lived in Arizona since 1999. He studied composition at The Juilliard School, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Aspen Music School. Recent honors include the 2001 Haddonfield Symphony Composers Competition, a 2000 Arizona Commission on the Arts Fellowship, a 1999 Aaron Copland Award, and the 1998 Whitaker Commission from the American Composers Orchestra. In 1997, Coleman received the Victor Herbert/ASCAP Award for his Sonata in Two Acts, a work for violin and piano. Past commissions include Music for a Cold Night for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Song at the End of Summer for the Dallas Symphony, quartetto ricercare for the Cypress String Quartet, and Sad and Ancient Phrases for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.

Westchester Philharmonic/Derek Bermel/Ingram Marshall/Tobias Picker/Melinda Wagner (4-week residency – 1 week per composer)

Derek Bermel, just in his 30’s, has caught the eye of colleagues, critics, and audiences across the globe. He has been hailed for his creativity and theatricality as a composer of chamber, symphonic, theatre, and pop works, as well as for his versatility and virtuosity as a clarinetist, conductor, jazz and rock musician. In May of 2001 he was awarded the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition. He has also won many of today’s most important prizes, including a Guggenheim award, Fulbright Fellowship, and residencies at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Tanglewood, Banff, and Yaddo.

Ingram Marshall has performed his own music widely in the USA and Europe, concentrating on live-electronic works. Increasingly, his ensemble music has been performed and commissioned by a variety of performing organizations-from symphony orchestras such as St. Louis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, to chamber groups such as Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Awards, grants, and commissions have come from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fromm Foundation, California Arts Council, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, who honored Marshall with the academy award in music, citing him as a “composer with his own voice.”

Tobias Picker began composing at age eight. By age thirty, Picker was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Bearns Prize, a Charles Ives Scholarship, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. In 1992 he received the prestigious Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. From 1985-90, Picker was composer-in-residence of the Houston Symphony, and in 1995 he was named composer-in-residence for the Pacific Music Festival, founded by Leonard Bernstein. Tobias Picker has composed works in virtually all genres, including three symphonies, three piano concertos, concertos for violin, viola, and oboe, numerous songs, string quartets, and chamber music for various combinations of instruments.

Melinda Wagner was born in Philadelphia and received graduate degrees in music composition from the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. Her composition Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion – commissioned by Paul Lustig Dunkel and the Westchester Philharmonic – received its premiere in May 1998 and was awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Ms. Wagner’s works have been performed by the New York New Music Ensemble, the Society for New Music, Orchestra 2001, and other leading organizations. Commissions have come from the Chicago Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Barlow Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Fromm Foundation, and the American Brass Quintet among others.