Copland House has announced the launch of CULTIVATE, an intensive, annual, all-scholarship creative workshop and mentoring program dedicated to developing the talents of American composers in the initial stages of their professional careers. For the inaugural session this summer, five composers from across the U.S. have been invited to participate: Nathan Heidelberger, 25 (Westchester Community Foundation Valentine and Clark Fellow); Roger Zare, 27 (ASCAP Foundation Fellow); Michael Djupstrom, 31; Reena Esmail, 29; and Michael Ippolito, 27. Composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel, who will serve as director of the new initiative, noted that he expects “an intense week of workshops, analysis, inspiration, vision, revision, deconstruction, re-revision, contemplation, and perspiration.”
The inaugural sessions will take place July 31-August 5 at Copland’s National Historic Landmark home and various other locations in northern Westchester County, New York. The focus of the composer fellows’ work will be a brief, small-ensemble piece they will each write especially for CULTIVATE. On arrival, fellows will hear a rehearsed reading of each new piece by Music from Copland House, and daily sessions with Bermel and the ensemble thereafter will help fellows further hone and refine their works. CULTIVATE concludes with a public concert and live recording of all the new works on the afternoon of August 5 at Copland House at Merestead in Mount Kisco, NY. All costs of composer participation, working sessions, travel, accommodations, and meals are covered by the CULTIVATE program.
Evening sessions will feature explorations and analysis by Bermel of important modern works, and informal conversations with prominent, innovative industry leaders who are actively thinking about and re-shaping 21st century concert music. Among the discussion leaders are Alan Pierson, music director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Alarm Will Sound, and critic and lecturer Greg Sandow. Major support for CULTIVATE comes from the ASCAP Foundation, Westchester Community Foundation Valentine and Clark Scholarship Fund, John G. Strugar, MD, and the Friends of Copland House.
Applications for the next CULTIVATE round will be due December 1. The program is open to all American citizens or permanent residents between the ages of 22 and 28 who are at the earliest stages of their professional careers. Selection will be based solely on the artistic quality of the submitted work samples, which will be reviewed by an outside panel of musicians, headed by Bermel.
(—from the press release)