2002 Prize Winner
aron Travers won the 2002 Barlow Prize, a $10,000 commission to write a new 15-20 minute work for organ solo that will be premiered in 2003 by five of America’s top organists: Fred Swann, President of the American Guild of Organists (AGO); Pamela Decker, University of Arizona; Kimberly Marshall, Arizona State University; Christopher Young, Indiana University; and Donald Cook, Brigham Young University. Mr. Travers is in his last year of doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music. He has studied composition with Richard Hoffmann, Robert D. Morris, Christopher Rouse, and Steven Stucky. His organ compositions have been featured and honored at past conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He has won numerous awards and commissions and has been honored at conferences of the AGO. The judging panel selected him from among 173 foreign and domestic applicants.
Other Commissioning Programs
he Endowment awarded nearly $60,000 in its other annual commissioning programs to eleven composers, who were commissioned to compose pieces for the following ensembles, listed below.
George Arasimowicz’ Bursting while Colors Bloom was premiered at the 2002 World Harp Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.
Shih-Hui Chen’s Jian was premiered by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in October at the New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall.
Lisa DeSpain’s String Quartet No. 1 / Rise and Fall for the Cassatt String Quartet was premiered in February at the Joyce Theater, New York with the Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company. Her work will also be performed at the Winnipeg Festival in February 2003.
Dorothy Chang’s Wind/Unwind was premiered by the Kylix New Music Ensemble at Indiana State University in April. Upcoming events include a performance by North/South Consonance of New York City on January 19, 2003, and a performance at Florida State University’s Festival of New Music on January 31, 2003 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Zhou Long, 1994 Barlow Prize winner, was one of four composers to receive an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. Each recipient will also receive an award toward the recording of one work.
Kevin Puts’ 1999 Barlow Prize commission piece, Second Symphony, was premiered in March by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra at Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City, on November 22 and 23 with Keith Lockhart conducting. Kevin also received the Benjamin H. Danks Award for Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Kevin was the inaugural recipient of this award which is given to an exceptional young composer of orchestral works.
César Mateus’ Visitations was premiered at the Ventura Chamber Music Festival in May. It will also be performed by the Arditti String Quartet in July at the Centre Acanthes-Radio France Festival in Villeneuve-Lez-Avignon and broadcast over Radio France.
Sheila Silver’s Piano Concerto as performed with pianist, Alexander Paley, has been released by Naxos on their 21st Century Classics series. This piece was premiered by Paley and the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1997 as a result of her 1995 Barlow Commission award.
Stacy Garrop’s Wicked was premiered by the Klang Ensemble in October at the Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University.
Chen Yi’s Ning was performed in Carnegie Hall in May, with Colin Jacobsen, violin; Yo-Yo Ma, cello; and Wu Man, pipa.
Mack Wilberg’s Two Carols was premiered in December, 2001 by the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh.
T he Barlow Endowment looks forward to the 2003 Summer meetings. We have a “bumper crop” of scores submitted by over 400 composers from around the world who have entered the Barlow Prize competition for a new orchestra work. This year’s prize will feature a $17,000 commission to write a new work that will be premiered by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and American Composers Orchestra. The Endowment has never received this many submissions for the Prize since the Endowment’s inception.
We also look forward to the judging of the special Joseph Smith bicentennial commissions. Four winners will be picked from among several applicants, and these winners will write works to be premiered by BYU’s top ensembles including the BYU Philharmonic, Wind Symphony, BYU Singers, and Concert Choir.
Of course, we will be judging our General Commissions, and Regular LDS Commissions as well. For 2003, the Endowment expects to award more money than in any previous year. Once the judging is over, the Endowment will notify all winners and announce the results to the press.
T his has been a year of diverse opportunities and achievements for the Education Grant. As usual, I will describe them in turn.
More than two-thirds of the funds went to scholarships for eleven composition students, about evenly divided between graduate and undergraduate students (including a few who moved from one category to the other during the year). Several of those students have now been welcomed into prestigious graduate composition programs elsewhere (Queens College, Indiana University). Among the more notable works produced by students receiving Barlow funds are a beautiful song cycle on texts by children of the Holocaust, some international award-winning carillon pieces, a children’s opera soon to be produced, and a wonderful 15′ modern dance piece recently performed here (twice). We are pleased with the achievements of our scholarship students. We are learning, however, that the demands on the Education Grant are so great that we probably must award scholarships more sparingly in the future.
Among those demands are ways of sponsoring the work of new and continuing faculty members. During the past year much of that sponsorship went to support new faculty member Steven Ricks. His four-movement work for soprano and chamber ensemble entitled Leave Song was recorded here by the outstanding vocalist Jennifer Larson, who also lectured to our students on new music voice techniques. The recording, featuring seven BYU faculty instrumentalists was issued on a CD produced by the Society of Composers, Inc., entitled Sonic Images (Capstone CPS-8712). With Barlow Education Grant help, Ricks was also able to represent BYU at two major events. The first of these was the Oliver Knussen Workshop: Music of Elliott Carter at Carnegie Hall in May. Ricks was able to gain a great deal of new knowledge in the art and craft of conducting–he is currently director of BYU’s Group for New Music–as well as conductor of Carter’s music. The following month Ricks was able to attend June in Buffalo, an important annual gathering of important American composers.
I should mention the Grant funding two of our female students to travel and attend Composing a Career: A Career Development Symposium for Women Composers, a very worthwhile event in California. These students came back with much useful practical knowledge about making good on the business side of music composition–and also some quite interesting aesthetic insights gleaned from working with some of the more experimental composers at the symposium.
Aside from Jennifer Larson, we were able to bring two Barlow Lecturers to campus. First was Daniel Harrison, a theorist who taught a general audience here about some structural devices of early twentieth-century composers, new ways of hearing the various layers of the music. Second was the brilliant Robert Ashley, who held two master classes with our composers and, during a general lecture period, performed excerpts from several of his solo operas to an amazed and enthusiastically appreciative audience of students and faculty.
Finally, I mention the Barlow-sponsored visit to our campus of the Canyonlands Ensemble, a University of Utah-based group specializing in some of the more challenging-to-perform music of the past few decades. Their visit and performances were stunning, illuminating, daunting and, above all, a superb feast for the eyes and ears of our students.
Aside from all of these items–too many of them as it turned out, since they gobbled up our carryover funds, new funds, and then some–various faculty members also received generous support for the composition and presentation of their work–e.g., making copies of scores and CDs to send to prospective patrons. What can we say? It was an enlightening year, one to celebrate and remember–all enabled by the Barlow Education Grants, for which our deepest gratitude, as always, goes to the Barlow Endowment.
Barlow Board of Advisors
C laude Baker, who has agreed to a second five-year term on the Barlow Board of Advisors, was awarded a 2002 Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Baker was one of four composers chosen to receive this national award which recognizes outstanding artistic achievement. He was also awarded a joint commission by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to write a work in celebration of the ISO’s seventy-fifth anniversary. The premiere of the new piece will take place during the 2004-05 concert season and will be conducted by the orchestra’s new music director, Mario Venzago.
M urray Boren is the Composer in Residence at Brigham Young University where he also teaches composition and music theory. Compositions include 9 operas, 26 cantatas and over a hundred chamber works. He also writes extensively for the theater, most recently scores for productions of Antigone and Wind In the Willows. Current commissions include a harp concerto for the American Harp Society 2004 Convention, choral works for the New York Summer School of the Arts, 2003 program; and a band piece for a consortium of high schools. A CD of his compositions is available on Tantara Records.
B arlow Bradford received his B.M. (Piano Performance) from the University of Utah, and his M.M. (Orchestral Conducting) and D.M.A. (Keyboard Collaborative Arts) from the University of Southern California, where he also received the Most Outstanding Student award for both his Masters and Doctorate Degrees. He has held several positions including Music director of Millennial Arts Association, Faculty member of University of Utah, and Music Director of Orchestra at Temple Square and Associate Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He is presently Music Director of Utah Chamber Artists and a free-lance musician. His arrangements, compositions and recordings are heard and performed throughout the United States.
B ruce Polay’s selected guest conducting appearances included three concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of the Emporda, Spain; and a Mellon Foundation-funded trip to Russia to guest conduct the Kislovodsk Philharmonic and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (of the Kislovodsk Philharmonic), in two concerts each; as well as invitations for guest conducting in Italy and Romania. He was invited to judge at Sicily’s Caltanisetta International Chamber Music Competition and recently recorded Fridrich Bruk’s Second Piano Sonata, which was dedicated to him, on a CD produced in Europe on Sony Classical.
M elinda Wagner, Pulitzer prize-winning composer, recently heard the premiere performance of her piano concerto, Extremity of Sky. The piece was composed for Emanuel Ax and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with support from the Prince Charitable Trusts. Current projects include a song-cycle for soprano Christine Brandes and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, chamber works for Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001, and an overture for the New York Pops.
Barlow Board of Directors
K. Newell Dayley
Alice Barlow Jones
Scott M. Boyter