Eric Nathan wins 2011 ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize

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Eric Nathan

Eric Nathan has been awarded the ASCAP Foundation’s Rudolf Nissim Prize for his orchestra work Icarus Dreamt, which was selected from among 260 entries. The prize, presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally, includes a $5,000 cash award.

Quoting from the program notes, “The concept for Icarus Dreamt is from the inspiration of Arthur Ganson’s kinetic sculpture, Machine with 23 Scraps of Paper, Henri Matisse’s collage, Icarus, and the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Icarus Dreamt combines allusions to the fluttering scraps of paper in Ganson’s sculpture, lyrical gestures of Matisse’s collage, and the narrative trajectory of the Greek myth.” Icarus Dreamt has been performed by the Aspen Concert Orchestra, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Maryland Repertoire Orchestra. It was also read by the American Composers Orchestra in their 2009 Underwood New Music Readings.

Nathan is a currently a doctoral student at Cornell University where he studies with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, and Kevin Ernste. He received his Masters of Music from Indiana University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Yale College. His compositions have been performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad at venues including Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Banff Centre, Composers Now Festival at Symphony Space, New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University, Toronto International Piano Competition, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, and featured on NPR’s radio show “From the Top” and Canadian CBC Radio 2.

The jury also awarded honorable mentions to Kati Agocs (Boston, MA) for Perpetual Summer, a 13-minute orchestral work, and Elizabeth A. Kelly (Los Altos Hills, CA) for ISO Amor, a 13-minute work for two sopranos, tenor and chamber orchestra.

The judges for this year’s Nissim Prize were: Ryan McAdams, music director of the New York Youth Symphony; Paul Phillips, music director and conductor of The Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus, and director of orchestras and chamber music at Brown University; and Diane Wittry, music director of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (PA) and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (CT).

(—Condensed from the press release)