Michael Jackson-Themed Orchestra Piece Wins ASCAP Nissim Prize

Vincent Calianno sitting at a desk and staring at a large orchestral score manuscript.

Vincent Calianno has been awarded the 36th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize for The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson, a 12-minute work for orchestra. Selected by a panel of conductors from among 170 entries, the Brooklyn-based Calianno will receive a prize of $5,000.

The Long and Winding Road

A country road that twists and turns

I am expected to bring fresh music in every week. I have spent more than twenty years writing to deadlines and I am proud to say I’ve never missed one, but this feels different. I don’t know why. For each lesson, I bring in music.

Still B.A. After All These Years

A large clock displaying the time 5:32 in front of a building.

I’m staggering, this late December, to the end of my first semester in graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree in composition, but I am thrilled to report that my comrades in the department are just as worn out as I am. This counts as a win because I am 58, and they are younger than my own children.

Royce Vavrek: So Many Juicy, Amazing Words

Royce Vavrek sitting down in front of a graffiti-strewn wall.

While an extremely wide range of composers are writing operas in the United States today, many of these disparate operas share an important trait—a libretto written by someone who was born in Alberta, Canada: Royce Vavrek. The gregarious Vavrek at first seems like an unlikely candidate for the mysterious, and regretfully somewhat anonymous, profession of writing opera librettos, but he loves telling stories and collaboration.

Get Vulnerable

Matt Marks, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Lainie Fefferman, and David Smooke standing outside Peabody.

I’m hoping that the 2016 New Music Gathering can be a space where we can all shed the need to project individual strength and can take the time out of our shells to ask the questions and voice the concerns we might usually refrain from sharing.

Remembering Composer and MTC Founder John Duffy (1926-2015)

John Duffy

With John Duffy, everything was possible. He radiated an optimism as forthright and clear as it was free of guile and self-importance. Though the limits of observable reality might be challenged, audacity never distracted from core purpose. His optimism happily went about its business. It lived solidly on terra firma. It got things done.

Good Old-Fashioned Human-to-Human Connection on a Very Honest Level

People sitting across from each other in pairs in a room. In front a woman listening to music with an earbud that is emanating from a man's laptop.

When I heard that Daniel Felsenfeld, Lainie Fefferman, and Matt Marks were creating this conference, I wanted in even though I didn’t really like conferences–they make me think of barriers and give me the heebie jeebies. But take self-aggrandizement and/or alienation away, and you’re left with conversations and ideas being exchanged between people who simply want to create art and people who want to facilitate the making of that art.

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