My article today in Musical America reviews the NY Philharmonic’s Contact! Concert on 12/16 at the Met Museum. While I enjoyed the music – hearing HK Gruber perform Frankenstein!! was a particular treat – I took issue with the announcement at the event of Alan Gilbert being awarded Columbia University’s Ditson Prize, which recognizes a conductor for his advocacy for American composers. This season, the Contact! series includes only one American: Elliott Carter. It’s a far cry from their inaugural season just two years ago, when they featured Sean Shepherd, Nico Muhly, Arlene Sierra, and others. Perhaps Maestro Gilbert will take the opportunity of being acknowledged for past programming decisions to reinvest future seasons of Contact! with a commitment to emerging American composers.
Archive for the “Awards” Category
Dec 20 2011
Jun 09 2011
ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras presented 26 Adventurous Programming awards to orchestras who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to contemporary composers at a special Awards Presentation held today during the League’s 66th National Conference in Minneapolis.
“For the past 54 years, the members of ASCAP have presented adventurous programming awards to orchestras whose mission not only perpetuates the great orchestral tradition of the past, but insures that concert music in America remains relevant, vibrant and alive,” said Frances Richard, ASCAP Vice President & Director of Concert Music, “We salute those orchestras who have a commitment to the music creators of our time.”
Cia Toscanini, ASCAP Assistant Vice President of Concert Music, presented the awards to American orchestras whose past season prominently featured music written within the last 25 years.
The winners are:
John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music:
Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming:
Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming:
Awards for Programming of Contemporary Music:
Group 1 Orchestras (expenses more than $15.9 million):
Group 2 Orchestras (expenses $7.5 million – $15.9 million):
Group 3/4 Orchestras (expenses $2.0 million – $7.5 million):
Group 5/6 Orchestras (expenses $550,000 – $2.0 million):
Group 7/8 Orchestras (expenses less than $550,000):
Jun 02 2011
The 2011 Celebrate Asia competition from the Seattle Symphony is now open!
Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia announces the second Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composition Competition. The Competition seeks to promote and recognize young composers who are interested in Asian culture, music and traditions. The concept originated in 2008, when local Asian leaders wanted to find a way to strengthen bonds with the broader community through a cultural celebration. Celebrate Asia is part of the Seattle Symphony’s Around the World series.
The Seattle Symphony, presenting its 109th season in 2011–2012, will come under the artistic leadership of Music Director Designate Ludovic Morlot in September 2011, following the close of Gerard Schwarz’s Farewell Season as Music Director. The Orchestra performs in the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. The Symphony is internationally recognized for its adventurous programming of contemporary works, its devotion to the classics, and its extensive recording history. From September through July, the Symphony is heard live by more than 315,000 people.
•Award and Performance
1.Works must have Asian influences (for example: Asian folk melodies, Asian stories and legends, Asian traditional instruments).
6.Interested composers should submit:
Questions and inquiries may be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apr 23 2011
We’re saddened to learn from David Starobin of the passing of composer Peter Lieberson in Israel, due to complications from Lymphoma. He had been battling the disease since 2006 and for a time it had been in remission. But in late 2010, Lieberson travelled to Israel to seek treatment for a recurrence of the cancer.
Alex Ross has posted a touching remembrance on The Rest is Noise.
Lieberson’s music was an extraordinary mixture of disparate strands of influences. It encompassed an intuitive post-tonal vocabulary, rooted in dodecaphonic training but also capable of lush verticals and, particularly in his vocal music, supple lyricism and sweeping melodies. In later years, his interest in meditation and Zen Buddhism contributed another layer of resonances and an intriguingly metaphysical counterweight to some of the modernist tendencies of his oeuvre.
Among the many honors he attained was the prestigious Grawemeyer Prize, which he won in 2008 for Neruda Songs. Although he was a finalist for the award on multiple occasions, the Pulitzer Prize eluded him. Back in 2004, I suggested that this injustice made him the “Pulitzer’s Susan Lucci.”
Of course, during this sad time, one can’t help but think of the passing of Lieberson’s late wife, the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, also of cancer. Lieberson wrote a number of memorable pieces for her, including the aforementioned Neruda Songs. If there’s a signature example to use when we advocate for our government to continue to fund medical research, I’d offer this one up: two brilliant creators in the prime of life laid low so cruelly. Both had so much yet to offer. It’s a tragedy that we’re bereft of their artistry and humanity far too soon.
Apr 18 2011
Madame White Snake by Zhou Long has been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Frank J. Oteri has the details at NewMusicBox.
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Feb 14 2011
Sure, we all can complain about the Grammy Awards. For me, the lack of representation of classical music and jazz on the telecast is just one of many disappointments. But before the glitz of the runway and glamour of the broadcast, several artists were acknowledged for their achievements in these genres.
The Naxos Group nearly ran the table last night. Their artists and imprints picked up a total of nine Grammy awards.
Noteworthy among the winners were Michael Daugherty, recognized for his Deux Ex Machina, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra; they garnered 3 awards for their Naxos All-Daugherty recording (Best Contemporary Classical Composition, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Engineered Album, Classical).
The NSO has had quite a challenging year; they were compelled to vacate their performance space, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, for several months due to the severe flooding that struck the city in May, 2010. Now, they’re back in their renovated home and they have much to celebrate!
Jan 19 2011
When the 2010 Composer Collaboration Awards call for proposals went out on May 10, 2010, music presenters, ensembles, and composers all over the San Francisco Bay Area called, paged, and emailed one another, then got together to put their dream projects down on paper in time for the deadline.
Today the staff and Boards of six organizations, their chosen composers, and their artistic collaborators are popping champagne corks and dancing around their offices. They’ve received $75,000 each from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to make six world premieres.
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music – Laura Karpman and Independent
Corporation of the Fine Arts Museums (FAMSF) – Sarah Wilson and Aerial Dance Company, Catch Me Bird
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco – Mark Izu and Choreographer, Kimi Okada
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana de San Jose Incorporated (MACLA) – Guillermo Galindo and Chamber Ensemble, Quinteto Latino
Z Space Studio (Z Space) – Marcus Shelby and Co-Creator, Margo Hall
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Dec 02 2010
The 53rd Annual Grammy nominations have been announced (list of nominees in the Classical category here). Lots of contemporary classical represented, even in the more general categories.
Congratulations to Steve Mackey and Michael Daugherty: both are up for Best Classical Album. The ensembles that recorded their works, BMOP and the Nashville SO, respectively, are also up for Best Orchestral Performance.
Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin was nominated in the Opera category, while Magnus Lindberg’s Graffiti and Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 were both nominated for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Also glad to see the Sherry Quartet’s recording of Schoenberg and the Parker Quartet’s Ligeti disc (both on Naxos) receiving nominations.
There’s much more. And, of course, there will always be omissions that dismay us. Particularly so in 2010: this was a good year for recordings!
Congratulations to Louis Andriessen for winning the University of Louisville’s 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. He received the award for La Commedia, his fourth opera. This year’s award is $100,000.
Aug 25 2010
Steve Reich’s latest Nonesuch CD recently arrived, sans artwork in a little cardboard case. The disc features Double Sextet and 2×5, his collaborations with Eighth Blackbird and Bang on a Can. The former piece won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The latter is his most explicit use of rock instrumentation to date.
According to the Nonesuch site, it’s still in the “pre-order” phase of activities, so we’ll be good and hold off on a proper review ’til it’s closer to the actual release date (9/14).
Suffice it to say, if you’re a regular visitor to Sequenza 21, you’re likely going to want one, possibly three, copies of this recording. An intergenerational summit – minimalist elder statesman meets post-minimal/totalist ace performers – that, in terms of importance, is more or less the Downtown version of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.
Here’s some footage of Reich rehearsing BoaC: