To Be Young and Talented: 2002 Morton Gould Young Composer Award Winners



Twenty-nine young composers have been offered a hand establishing their careers thanks to the recognition and financial support of a 2002 Morton Gould Young Composer Award. This ASCAP Foundation program recognizes composers under 30 whose works are selected through a juried national competition. The honorees were acknowledged at the Third Annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards Event in NYC hosted by Peter Schickele.

This year’s winners range from as young as 9 years old up to 30, and were selected from among 450 submissions. They were awarded cash prizes totaling more than $30,000. Congratulating the award recipients, ASCAP composer/Board Member Stephen Paulus read a statement by ASCAP Foundation President Marilyn Bergman reminding everyone that the awards “identify and encourage gifted young composers” who “represent the future of American concert music.”

Martin Kennedy of Tuscaloosa, AL, one of the young composers honored that evening, acknowledges the importance of such recognition early in an artist’s career. He explains, “Receiving an ASCAP award can open many doors for young composers, and these opportunities are invaluable for any student looking to hone his craft…Besides the obvious benefits that come along with winning such a prestigious prize, the award also brings with it the opportunity to make life-long relationships with your musical peers.”

Julia Scott Carey, 16, of Wellesley, MA picked up her fifth Morton Gould Award for composers under the age of 18. Ms. Carey, who within the past year was signed by the Theodore Presser Company, has found the recognition extremely important in defining her career as a musician and as a composer. “It can be difficult for a young composer to obtain performances, especially for large-scale works, but the recognitions I have received from ASCAP have done much to encourage conductors and artistic directors to view my work seriously. I am also aware that the support I have received from ASCAP for past work has made me a more attractive candidate for commissioning competitions, by showing me to be a committed and experienced composer, in spite of my age.”

She adds that “on a more personal level, composition is, by its nature, a solitary pursuit. It is very comforting personally to be recognized by such an esteemed organization, especially at the early stages of a career. ”

Established in 1979, the annual ASCAP Foundation Young Composer program was renamed and dedicated to the memory of Morton Gould following his death in 1996. Morton Gould served as President of ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation from 1986-1994. A child prodigy, his first composition was published by G. Schirmer when he was just six years old, and he maintained a commitment to encouraging young composers throughout his life.


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2002 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer honorees pictured with Peter Schickele, Gerard Schwartz, Bright Sheng, Dennis Russell Davis and ASCAP’s Fran Richard and Cia Toscanini.
Photo by Steve Ladner

The 2002 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards recipients are:

Mason Bates of Oakland, CA
Robert L. Bennett, Jr. of Burbank, CA
Tzu – Ling Sarana Chou of Taichung, Taiwan
Reena Esmail of Los Angeles, CA
Gabriela Frank of Berkeley, CA
Stefan Freund of Bloomington, IN
Vivian Fung of New York, NY
Yotam Haber of Haifa, Israel
Matthew Kajcienski of New York, NY
Martin Kennedy of Tuscaloosa, AL
Anthony Lanman of Bloomington, IN
Damon Lee of Lansing, MI
Jookang Lee of Seoul, Korea
Paola Prestini of Trento, Italy
Adam Roberts of Columbus, OH
Philip Rothman of Buffalo, NY
Huang Ruo of Hai Nan Island, China
Matthew Van Brink of East Northport, NY
Cynthia Lee Wong of Northboro, MA
Cody Westheimer of Santa Barbara, CA
Wang Xi of Shanghai, China

The following composers were recognized with Honorable Mention:

Kati Agocs of Windsor, Canada
Alan Chan of Kansas City, MO
Ian Corbett of Kansas City, MO
Kenneth Froelich of San Diego, CA
Derek Johnson of Boulder, CO
John Mackey of New York, NY
David Mallamud of Jenkintown, PA
Bear McCreary of Los Angeles, CA
Yevgeniy Sharlat of New Haven, CT
Adam B. Silverman of New York, NY
Zhou Tian of Shanghai, China

The ASCAP Foundation has made special Awards for composers under the age of 18:

Athena Adamopoulos (age 15) of New York, NY
Preben Antonsen (age 11) of Berkeley, CA
Kit Armstrong (age 10) of Los Angeles, CA
Stephen Cabell, Jr. (age 17) of Owensboro, KY
Julia Scott Carey (age 16) of Wellesley, MA
Kevin Kim (age 12) of Bergen County, New Jersey
Natasha Sinha (age 11) of Milton, MA
Milena Zhivotovska (age 16) of Kiev, Ukraine

The following composers received Honorable Mention:

Timothy Anders (age 16) of Litchfield County, CT
Nigel Armstrong (age 12) of Sonoma County, CA
Sebastian Chang (age 14) of Orange County, CA
Ann Fontanella (age 13) of West Chester, PA
Anna Lindemann (age 16) of Boulder, CO
Alexander Moran (age 12) of Rockingham, NH
Christopher Shimojima (age 15) of Bergen County, NJ
Jeffrey Stanek (age 18) of Madison, WI
Zachary Wadsworth (age 18) of Richmond, VA

The six ASCAP composer/judges for the 2002 competition were: Samuel Adler; Eve Beglarian; Chen Yi; Donald Freund; Roberto Sierra; and Chris Theofanidis.

In addition, ASCAP’s Concert Music Honorees included:

Gerard Schwarz, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony and the Liverpool Philharmonic
Peter Schickele, composer
Bright Sheng, 2001 MacArthur Fellowship
Henry Brant, 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Composition
Justin Davidson (ASCAP Concert Composer) 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism
American Composers Orchestra for its 25 Years of Service to the music of our time