Whether she’s using a koto as an expressive vehicle for anything from jazz standards to electronic experimentation, writing idiosyncratic music for chorus and now orchestra, or creating music with plants and even insects crawling over her body, Miya Masaoka has been making us look and listen to the world around us in totally new ways for decades.
Maria Schneider, Paola Prestini, James M. Kendrick, John Nuechterlein and the American Composers Forum, plus the 27 recipients of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, were honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) during its 15th Annual Concert Music Awards.
Eight young composers, aged 14 to 27, received cash prizes totaling $20,000 during the 62nd Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Among the winners were Michael Boyman and Daniel Temkin who tied for the William Schuman Prize, the top honor, and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg who received the Carlos Surinach Prize, awarded to the competition’s youngest winner.
What music most appropriately captures the zeitgeist of 2002? Steve Reich’s Daniel Variations (created in response to the shocking February 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal’s South Asia Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl) was not composed until 2006, but another Reich work, his apocalyptic Three Tales (created in collaboration with Beryl Korot) immediately stands out in my mind.