The American Composers Forum will present its 2014 Champion of New Music award to conductor Marin Alsop, retired ASCAP Vice President of Concert Music Frances Richard, and percussionist Steven Schick, at public ceremonies this spring in Baltimore, New York City, and Saint Paul.
Since Ashley’s work was by design extremely collaborative, we wanted to honor his memory on NewMusicBox by having his key collaborators—each of whom are important creators in their own right—share their personal stories about working with him over the decades.
The biennial award honors “contemporary composers of outstanding achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition.”
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music, which total $175,000. The winners were selected by a committee of academy members and will be presented at the academy’s annual ceremonial in May.
Steve Reich is the first American composer to be awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Contemporary Music category. The award, which comes with a cash prize of €400,000, has previously been awarded to Pierre Boulez, Salvatore Sciarrino, Helmut Lachenmann, and Cristóbal Halffter.
The American Composers Forum in partnership with So Percussion, have announced the finalists in the 2014 American Composers Forum National Composition Contest. Each of the three finalists, who were selected from over 250 applications based in 39 states, will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and be asked to compose an eight- to ten-minute piece for So Percussion.
Yusef Lateef’s art traveled in higher dimensions, transcending medium or style. His telescope of intuition ranged far into deep space, towards new galaxies of thought and musical processes. He was a prototype of the modern renaissance artist. He refused to let any outside force define him or his activities.
Henri Lazarof believed in working very hard to develop the tools a composer needs. For example, he knew every instrument inside and out, and insisted that we all learn them at least as well. It was difficult to argue with such an approach. He lived what he taught.
Since I loved the way Jim Hall played, I called him to set up a time for a lesson. The thing I loved about him was how relaxed he made me feel. There was no ego there, no “look how great I am.” He gave you just what you needed and that has been his approach to his improvisations: just the right amount of notes, no more no less, played with impeccable style and a tone that leaves you wanting more and more.
Award-winners in over 50 categories spanning composers writing for symphony orchestra and chamber ensembles, jazz groups, musical theatre, film and television, as well as rock, R&B, country and children’s songwriters, were honored at the ASCAP Foundation’s 18th Annual Awards Ceremony.