Narong Prangcharoen has been named the winner of ACO’s 2011 Annual Underwood Commission, bringing him a $15,000 cash award for a work to be premiered by ACO in a future season. Chosen from six finalists during ACO’s 20th annual Underwood New Music Readings on June 3 and 4, 2011, Prangcharoen won the top prize with his work Pubbanimitta (“Foreboding”).
Of Prangcharoen’s winning piece, Underwood mentor composer Paul Chihara said, “The music leaps off the page with a voluptuous sensuality from its first moments until it final perorations. It is well constructed and harmonically interesting: accessible and exotic, yet very individual and occasionally quirky in its orchestration and phrase structure. Mr. Prangcharoen writes music that reaches and moves his listeners with soaring melodies and intense rhythmic dance patterns.”
Prangcharoen was also chosen as the winner of this year’s Audience Choice Award, selected by the audience by ballot at the readings. As the winner in that category, he was commissioned to compose an original mobile phone ringtone which is available to everyone who voted, free of charge. Prangcharoen’s ringtone utilizes traditional Thai instruments, recorded by the Music and Performing Arts Players at Burapha University.
Upon winning the commission, Prangcharoen said, “I was astonished to be selected as the winner, especially when all of the composers who participated were so impressive. I am truly honored to be chosen, and am already looking forward to writing for ACO.”
Born in Thailand in 1973, Prangcharoen studied with Chen Yi and received his doctoral degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prangcharoen’s music has been performed in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. His works have been heard at the Beijing Modern Music, MoMA Music and Grant Park Festivals, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and at the Library of Congress. Prangcharoen is also the winner of the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Competition and Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Competition Prizes, and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award. He is currently teaching at the Community Music and Dance Academy of the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri in Kansas City, and is the founder of the Thailand Composition Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2007, the Thai government named Prangcharoen a Contemporary National Artist and awarded him the Silapathorn Award.
(—from the press release)