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2004 Annual Report

  • Judith-Bingham.jpg

    The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University is pleased to announce commission winners for 2004. After reviewing 362 composer applications from around the world, the judging panel awarded Judith Bingham from London, England the Barlow Prize. The judging panel also granted Francis Pott from Winchester, England the distinction of Honorable Mention in this competition.

    Ms. Bingham studied composition and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. As a singer with the BBC Singers from 1983-1996, she honed her individual choral style, and quickly became one of Britain’s most sought-after composers. Her compositions and renown now reach audiences around the globe.

    For more information about Judith Bingham, Barlow Prize Winner, consult her website.

    General and LDS Commission Recipients
    Out of 134 applicants in our other commissioning programs, the Endowment granted $52,000 to twelve composers who will write works for the following musicians or ensembles.

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    Louis Karchin’s Orpheus premiered January 12, 2004 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The piece was performed by the Earplay Ensemble. A subsequent performance took place March 25, 2004 at the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society at New York University’s Skirball Center.


    Christian Asplund’s Elemental Ethers for microtonal vibraphone and fretless guitar was premiered May 2003 by Mikro Propaganda (Tom Baker/Dale Speicher Duo) in Seattle with another performance at Brigham Young University on Friday, March 19, 2004.


    Mario Davidovsky’s Sefarad: Four Spanish Ladino Folkscenes premiered by Boston Musica Viva on October 3, 2004. The premier took place at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University. Another performance by Speculum Musicae was held in January 2005 in New York City.


    David Liptak’s String Quartet No. 2 premiered on October 7, 2003 by the Cassatt String Quartet at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Other performances by the Cassatt Quartet were performed on November 5, 2003 in Syracuse and November 12, 2003 in Sacramento. Another performance was scheduled for March 25, 2004 in New York.


    Lansing McLoskey’s Glisten premiered by The Calyx Trio on October 10, 2004 at the Longy School of Music’s Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The piece was written for piano trio.


    Steven Ricks’ Boundless Light premiered November 11, 2004 at Brigham Young University’s Madsen Recital Hall. Carlton Vickers was the flute soloist.


    John Harbison’s Songs America Loves to Sing premiered by The DeCapo Chamber Players at a concert at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. The premier was November 16, 2004.


    Neil Thornock’s new piece Infusco/Ascendo premiered on December 4 and 10, 2004 at the Ford Recital Hall at Indiana University by soloist Nathan Wood.


    Todd Coleman’s Exquisite Corpse premiered at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at Grinnell College in Iowa on December 11, 2004. The piece was performed by guest cello soloist Florent Renard Payen.

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    Tom Durham

    2004 Report

    During its summer meetings of 2004, the Barlow Endowment’s judging panel reviewed 486 applications and nearly 1,000 scores from composers around the world. For the first time in our history, these applications requested an excess of $1,100,000 in commission fees. At the end of an arduous judging week, the Endowment awarded a total of $83,000 in commissions to composers. This included $11,000 for the Barlow Prize, $54,000 for General Commissions, and $18,000 for LDS Commissions. The last two totals represent a record $72,000 to composers for those two commissioning programs.

    The growth of interest in Barlow Endowment funding suggests that our profile is receiving worldwide attention. We regularly hear from interested parties about the unique manner in which we go about our business. As I said last year, we continue to remain steadfast in our pledge to assist composers in their efforts to create great music and have it performed by the best ensembles in the most respected venues.

  • The Barlow Education Grant supports students and faculty of the BYU School of Music in their education and their professional endeavors in music composition.

    Michael Hicks

    2004 Report

    We spent 2004 largely saving up for projects in 2005. After several years on the edge (or even in the red) we summoned enough frugality to prepare for larger projects next year–recording and distributing faculty works (on the Tantara label), funding student travel to symposia, and inviting several high-profile guests (including Barlow-commissioned composers) to work with our students.

    We have, however, managed to overcome frugality enough to sponsor visits by composers Eric Ewazen and Tom Baker, two quite divergent musical voices who had their music performed here, as well as lectured and taught master classes. We also sponsored travel of faculty composers Christian Asplund and Thomas Durham to premieres of some of their new works; assisted in the mastering of new recordings by Christian Asplund, Michael Hicks, and Steven Ricks; provided manuscript preparation funds (for student wages and copying costs) for nearly all of our composers; hired musicians for readings and recordings of student works; paid our share into the graduate scholarship fund; transported students to and from Abravanel Series composition events in Salt Lake City; and so forth.

    Our deepest thanks, as always, to the Barlow Endowment for these Education Grants, which visibly–and, more important, audibly–enhance and edify our composition program in the BYU School of Music.

  • Barlow Board of Advisors

    Claude Baker

    Claude Baker’s Tableaux Funebres for Piano and String Quartet, commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Louisville in celebration of its fifth anniversary, was premiered on April 25, 2004 by Ursula Oppens and the Pacifica String Quartet. The work was subsequently selected as the winner of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s Seventh Annual Composition Contest and was performed by that group on February 7, 2005. Baker’s Maerchenbilder, commissioned jointly by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, premiered on May 6 and 7, 2005. Mr. Baker has also recently been named as the Composer-in-Residence for the 2005 EAMA (European American Musical Alliance) Summer Program held from July 1-31 at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

    Murray Boren

    Murray Boren is the Composer-in-Residence at Brigham Young University where he also teaches composition and music theory. His compositions include 10 operas, over 100 chamber works and numerous band and orchestra pieces. He also writes extensively for the theater. His most recent scores were for productions of “Antigone” and “Nathan the Wise.” Recent commissions include a harp concerto for the American Harp Society’s 2004 Convention, choral works for the New York Summer School of the Arts 2004 program, and both an opera and a song cycle about Joseph Smith, Jr. recordings of his compositions are available on Tantara Records.

    Lansing McLoskey

    Lansing D. McLoskey’s term on the Barlow Board of Advisors commenced January 1, 2004. His music has been performed across the U.S. and in 10 other countries on four continents. Among his many grants and commissions are those from the N.E.A., American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, the Barlow Endowment, and the National Foundation for the Arts. He has written for such ensembles as The Hilliard Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, The New Millennium Ensemble, and has received over three dozen awards for his music. Recent and upcoming projects include a short work for pianist Grant Johannesen, a new work for The Calyx Trio, a choral work for Ensemble 1521, and a collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Ann Steuernagel.

    Bruce Polay

    Bruce Polay was recently selected as the 2004 Illinois Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras for an unprecedented second time. He has upcoming guest conducting invitations to China, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine. Two commissions, Suite on Catalonian Folksongs, will be premiered on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of the Emporda, and one for a two-piano work will be premiered in San Francisco. Dr. Polay’s Illumination for orchestra (2003), commissioned by the Galesburg Symphony Society, premiered with him conducting the Knox-Galesburg Symphony in April, 2004. Additionally, Bruce will make two compact discs: one of the piano works of Fridrich Bruk (Finland) to be distributed by Sony Classical, as well as one of his selected solo piano works and chamber music, including Semi-Suite for Piano Trio, featuring the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Trio.

    Melinda Wagner

    Melinda Wagner, a 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. Ms. Wagner will be Composer- in-Residence at the 2005 Vail Valley Music Festival where she will hear the Dallas Symphony perform 57/7 DASH (for percussion and orchestra).

    Guest Judges


    Philip Brunelle

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    Michael Emery

    BBC Singers
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    Brady Allred

    University of Utah Singers
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    Barlow Board of Directors

    Stephen M. Jones

    Family Representative
    Alice Barlow Jones

    Vice Chair
    Dale Monson

    Financial Officer
    Scott M. Boyter

    Executive Director
    Thomas Durham

    Rebecca Ott