Archive for the “Competitions” Category

Continuing their collaborative efforts to spotlight the work of Missouri composers, the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative  have announced the selection of two orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert in March. The two winning pieces were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project. The winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Stephanie Berg

The work chosen in the Open category is Ravish and Mayhem by Stephanie Berg, a native of Parkville who earned her master’s degree in composition from the University of Missouri last May and now lives in Columbia. The winning composition in the High School category is Appalachian Rhapsody by Dustin Dunn, a 16-year-old junior at South Iron High School in Ironton.

Dustin DunnThe winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO. The judges also awarded Honorable Mentions to Nicholas S. Omiccioli of Kansas City for his work flourishes, and to Patrick David Clark of Columbia for FE 700° C.

Both winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia. Tickets are $15 for individuals, $40 for a group of up to 5, and can be purchased in advance online at http://www.columbiachorale.com/ or at the door.

The concert also will spotlight several contemporary works for chorus, including the world premiere of La Terra Illuminata by Mizzou adjunct assistant professor Paul Seitz, a new piece commissioned specifically for CCO and the Columbia Chorale by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music, and is the direct result of the generous support of Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Mizzou has really been doing good stuff down that way the past few years, and it’s important to remember that the heartland of America is just as much a breeding ground for new music, composers and performers, as are the two coasts. Keep it up!

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Composers under 30, listen up - the world famous Kronos Quartet wants you.

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Congratulations to pianist Peter Poston for winning the David Lang 2011 Competition.

Below is his award-winning entry, a performance of Wed, submitted via YouTube:

Poston will get to perform as part of an all Lang program at le poisson rouge in New York City on May 6, 2012 at 5pm. The concert at LPR includes Andrew Zolinsky performing selections from the CD, a new 4-hand piano work premiered by Zolinsky and Poston, a new 6-hand piano piece for the 3 runners-up – Catarina Domenici, Katherine Dowling, and Denise Fillion – and performances by guitar legend Derek Johnson and other special guests.

This Was Written by Hand

Piano Music by David Lang

Andrew Zolinsky, piano

Cantaloupe Music CD

Wed, the audition piece for the David Lang 2011 Competition, is featured on This Was Written By Hand, David Lang’s latest CD, a recital disc recorded for Cantaloupe by pianist Andrew Zolinksy. It is one of eight “Memory Pieces” included on the disc. This group serves as postminimal “Characterstucke,” an attractive and mercurial group of contrasting miniatures.

Then there is the touching title work. One of Lang’s most organically constructed pieces, it was, indeed, written by hand and intuitively constructed. A meditation on the ephemeral nature of life, it captures a similar poignancy to Lang’s recent vocal work “Little Matchgirl Passion,” but writ smaller, more intimately. To both this and the Memory Pieces, Zolinsky brings a fluid grace and subtlety that abets the spontaneous, almost improvisatory, character of the material.

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Next up in Hilary Hahn‘s chats with the composers writing for her 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores!, it’s New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead.

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And composers, don’t forget that the 27th encore slot is still open until March 15th, and it could be you!  So tusches off seats, fire up your Finale & Adobe, but get cracking!

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YouTube Preview Image

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Here’s a contest for pianists with the music of David Lang. Read all about it here.
David explains more in this video: http://youtu.be/BrmQqX_Qs5o

Between November 15, 2011 and December 31, 2011, download the score to wed from David Lang’s memory pieces without charge from http://digital.schirmer.com/lang-contest
Learn the music and make a video of yourself playing it.
Post the video on YouTube.com by midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on December 31, 2011.
**IMPORTANT** you must tag the video with the following phrase: David Lang Piano Competition 2011

I spoke with David when he was in South Texas just last year about composition: http://vimeo.com/11256163

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Update (July 5, 2011): The Villiers Quartet has revised its guidelines for its new music competition. The most notable change is the age restriction, which has been raised to 35. Good luck!

London’s Villiers Quartet is seeking new works by composers under 35. If you’re an emerging composer looking for an international performance opportunity, check out the guidelines to have your work premiered next season by this exciting, young ensemble. I’ll let the ensemble’s first violinist, James Dickenson, explain: YouTube Preview Image

And here are their guidelines, which can also be found at the Villiers Quartet’s web site.

The 2012 Villiers Quartet New Works Competition

The Villiers Quartet seeks new compositions from young composers as part of its 2011-2012 concert season at St Andrew’s Church, Fulham Fields, London, UK. The concert season, which already consists of string quartets by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Delius, and Beethoven, will feature a competition open to an international field of new and upcoming composers.

Three finalists will be chosen via online voting and have their works performed in London by the Villiers Quartet on April 29th, 2012. The winner will be determined at the concert by audience vote. The winner will receive a prize of £500 and a studio recording of their piece, plus inclusion of their work into the Villiers Quartet repertoire for upcoming seasons.

Competition Requirements:

This competition is open to composers aged 35 and under as of January 5th, 2012.
All composition entries must be original and unpublished works written for string quartet instrumentation: 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello.
Compositions must be no longer than 20 minutes in length. You may write whatever form you want, and there is no limit to the number of movements. For instance, you might be inspired to write a one movement rhapsodic interlude. You might write a 20 movement work where each movement lasts one minute. Or you might follow the classical four-movement form as laid out by Haydn. The floor is wide open.
Deadline for submissions is January 5th, 2012. Submissions can be sent electronically, or by post. Applications sent by post must be postmarked no later than January 5th, 2012. Applications received or postmarked after this date may not be considered.
We encourage you to be creative and experimental. Most of all, we want to hear your music. For more information on competition guidelines, visit www.villiersquartet.com/2012competition.

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George Manahan

The American Composers Orchestra has been holding annual reading sessions for twenty years now: quite a milestone!

This weekend will see composers of concert music hearing their works read by the ACO, conducted by George Manahan, with one of the composers being awarded a $15,000 commission.

For the first time, there will also be sessions devoted to jazz composers.

The New Music Readings’ (June 3 & 4) participating composers are Janet Jieru Chen, Mukai Kôhei, Michael Djupstrom, Narong Prangcharoen, Jordan Kuspa, and Kate Soper.

The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings’ (June 5 & 6) participating composers are Harris Eisenstadt, Mark Helias, Adam Jenkins, Erica Lindsay, Nicole Margaret Mitchell, Rufus Reid, Jacob Sacks, and Marianne Trudel.

Rufus Reid

20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Friday, June 3 at 10am (working rehearsal) & Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm (run-through)
One Composer to Win $15,000 Commission, Another to Win Audience Choice Award

Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings
Sunday, June 5 at 2pm (working rehearsal) & Monday, June 6 at 7:30pm (run-through)
Presented with The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University
Featuring Eight Jazz Composers Selected from the 2010 JCOI Intensive

Conducted by ACO Music Director George Manahan

All events free & open to the public, reservations: www.americancomposers.org
Miller Theatre | Columbia University | Broadway at 116th, NYC
More information: 212.977.8495 or www.americancomposers.org

Listen to audio samples from Underwood New Music Readings participants here.

Listen to audio samples from the JCOI Readings participants here.

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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
The winning composer will receive a $1,000 cash award and an opportunity to visit Seattle for the world premiere. The winning score will be performed by Seattle Symphony and conductor Mei Ann Chen on February 24, 2012, in Benaroya Hall at the annual Celebrate Asia! concert.
•Eligibility
All composers born after January 1, 1966, are eligible.
•Jury
Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Music Director
Simon Woods, Seattle Symphony Executive Director
Elena Dubinets, Seattle Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning
Members of the Seattle Symphony Artistic Advisory Committee
•Submission Guidelines

1.Works must have Asian influences (for example: Asian folk melodies, Asian stories and legends, Asian traditional instruments).
2.Works must be new, original and accessible.
3.Works should be 3 to 6 minutes in duration.
4.Works should be for orchestra or chamber orchestra with instrumentation no larger than 3333 – 4331 – T+3 – hp – kybd – str. Woodwind doublings are allowed.
5.The submitted work must have had no prior performances.

6.Interested composers should submit:
- A legible, bound, full score
- A recording of the piece on a CD (midi-format is OK)
- A clear description of the composition’s Asian influence(s)
- A biography, with current address, e-mail address, and phone number
- If selected, professionally prepared parts will be required 60 days before the concert.
•Entry Fee and Deadline
There is no entry fee. All entries must arrive no later than Friday, October 21, 2011. Seattle Symphony is not responsible for lost or damaged material. The winning composition will be announced before Friday, November 18, 2011.
•Send submission to:
Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composer Competition
ATTN: Amy Stagno
Seattle Symphony
P.O. Box 21906
Seattle, WA 98111-3669

Questions and inquiries may be emailed to: celebrateasia@seattlesymphony.org

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I’m looking forward to hearing violinist Miranda Cuckson premiere a new chamber concerto by Jeffrey Mumford tonight at Symphony Space.



Cuckson is a tremendous talent. Her recent CDs of music by Ralph Shapey, Donald Martino, and Michael Hersch are required listening for anyone interested in post-tonal chamber music.


The concert also includes works by Harold Meltzer, Victoria Bond, and Brian Ferneyhough. Cuckson is joined by the Argento Ensemble; the Da Capo Chamber Players will also perform (details below).


Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival Program
Monday, April 11, 2011, 7:30 pm; $20/Seniors $15
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater in Peter Norton Symphony Space
Ticket information here

Jeffrey Mumford: through a stillness brightening (world premiere)
Argento Ensemble

Commissioned by the Argento New Music Project through the generosity of Marianna Bettman (in memory of Judge Gilbert Bettman) and Sonia Rothschild.

Brian Ferneyhough: La Chute D’Icare
Argento Ensemble

Harold Meltzer: Exiles
Da Capo Chamber Players, Mary Nessinger, mezzo soprano

Victoria Bond: Instruments of Revelation (NY premiere)
Da Capo Chamber Players

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