2022 Annual Report
The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University proudly announces commission winners for 2022.
Bobby Ge is a Chinese-American composer and avid collaborator who seeks to create vivid emotional journeys that navigate boundaries between genre and medium. He has created multimedia projects with the Space Telescope Science Institute, painters collective Art10Baltimore, the Scattered Players Theater Company, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Ge has received commissions and performances by groups including the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Albany Symphony’s ‘Dogs of Desire,’ the Harbin Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Academy, Music from Copland House, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, the Bergamot Quartet, the Boss Street Brass Band, and Mind on Fire. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D at Princeton University as a Naumberg Fellow, and holds degrees from UCBerkeley and the Peabody Conservatory.
The judging panel consisted of the Endowment’s Board of Advisors: Miguel Del Águila, Kevin Anthony, Chen Yi, Benjamin Sabey, and Benjamin Taylor; and four guest judges: Jindong Cai, Elisabet Curbelo Gonzalez, Haruhito Miyagi, and Lynn Vartan. Jerry Hou (Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra), Bryan Kolk (Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra), and Mike Repper (New York Youth Symphony), along with guest judge Jindong Cai, represented the performing consortium in selecting the Barlow Prize.GENERAL AND LDS COMMISSION RECIPIENTS
FROM 209 APPLICATIONS REPRESENTING 17 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
13 TALENTED COMPOSERS
WERE AWARDED GENERAL AND LATTER-DAY SAINT COMMISSIONS
Toggle ItemPremieres and Performances
Click on an image for more information regarding premieres and performances of pieces written by Barlow recipients.data-content-type="event"6:00 PMMonday, January 17overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=data-content-type="event"4:00 PMSunday, January 23overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=data-content-type="event"Saturday, February 05overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=data-content-type="event"Tuesday, March 08data-content-type="event"7:30 PMSaturday, March 19data-content-type="event"8:00 PMFriday, April 08data-content-type="event"9:30 AMSaturday, June 04data-content-type="event"11:00 AMFriday, August 19data-content-type="event"1:00 PMSunday, April 25data-content-type="event"7:30 PMFriday, September 16data-content-type="event"7:30 PMFriday, September 30data-content-type="event"7:20 PM - 9:20 PMTuesday, October 04data-content-type="event"7:00 PMTuesday, October 11data-content-type="event"7:30 PMTuesday, October 25data-content-type="event"8:00 PMThursday, October 27data-content-type="event"4:00 PMSunday, October 30data-content-type="event"7:30 PMMonday, November 21
Toggle ItemChair Report
The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at BYU has been recognizing and supporting talented composers for almost 40 years. The legacy Milt and Gloria Barlow established with this endowment and the Barlow family’s continued support is incredible to see. We are thankful to be a part of such a tremendous endeavor.
The camaraderie at Snowbird each July as the Barlow Endowment Board of Directors and Advisors meet together for judging and administrative meetings is a highlight. This year an amazing team of judges reviewed nearly 400 Barlow Prize applications and selected Bobby Ge as the 2022 Barlow Prize winner. He will compose a major new work for four outstanding Youth Orchestras from Atlanta, Seattle, New York City, and Guangzhou, China. Thirteen additional composers were awarded General and Latter-day Saint Commissions to write works for a diverse group of ensembles and musicians.
Sadly, we said farewell to Benjamin Sabey as he completed his four-year term on the Barlow Board of Advisors in December 2022. We will miss his expertise, collegiality, and especially his avid support of new music.
Argentinian composer, Julián Mansilla, will begin a four-year term as a new advisor in January 2023. We look forward to working with him. We were also thrilled to welcome Maile Roberts back in the role of Barlow Program Assistant during 2022.
It has been exciting to see the numbers of Barlow premiers and performances rising again after decreased events in recent years as a result of the pandemic. Seventeen Barlow commissioned works were performed during 2022, including works from both our former and current Barlow Directors, Ethan Wickman and Dan Bradshaw. It is a joy to see live music performances once more happening around the world.
Toggle ItemIntern Reports
It is definitely one of the highlights of my life as a student composer to work as an intern for the Barlow Competition. I'm so glad that I made the choice to seize this precious opportunity even though I had to skip a few days from an ongoing summer program. One of the greatest things about being an intern here is that I got the opportunity to listen to the judges' comments on the submitted pieces. It's very interesting to reflect on the difference between my notes which I took and their opinions.
I was too focused on the local details and hadn't made it a habit to feel the whole formal structure as well as the motion and goal of the music. The judges do care about technique, but even more they value if the music moves the listener, as there are so many composers that do a great job on technique. It taught me we cannot just write beautiful sound for the sake of beautiful sound only; it is the satisfying development and the close connection between the dramatic design and the composer 's thoughts that makes a piece make sense and stand long, and the originality plays a significant role in helping the music distinguish itself.
I learned so much when the judges disagreed with each other. There was one time when they were debating on the rationality of graphic notation. The discussion reinforced the responsibility that the composer has to take when directing a "subjective" piece and made me think more deeply about what makes group improvisation successful within the context of contemporary music.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Barlow family. This life-changing experience exposed me to people and opportunities I never could have imagined. The things I learned and the conversations I had were thought-provoking and have greatly enhanced my confidence in staying in the career path as a composer.
My experience as an intern for the Barlow Endowment was very eye opening for me. As a composer, I often ponder how I can make music that is meaningful and significant in the world of art. To watch talented musicians listen, analyze and ultimately judge the pieces that were submitted taught me how to make better music. The judging is certainly not all subjective. There are universal principles that seem to govern what makes a piece of music significant.
I loved watching the judges agree about certain aspects of a piece, and also subconsciously agreeing with them as well. It made me introspect and think, if I were to write an orchestral piece, would I have included that item, or incorporated that principle? The most common thread I found in the music that was submitted to the final round was that the music built somewhere, it led the listener on a journey and had DIRECTION.
I also especially enjoyed the discussion that was had in the final judging room about the value of experimentation and innovation in music. I often think about this question myself. Sometimes I throw away principles that have worked and been used for centuries in music all in the effort to create something different. But maybe, there is value to sticking with principles and theories that have been proven to work and connect with an audience. This conversation changed the way I think about music. I'm so grateful to have heard insights from musicians and composers with such experience and expertise. Thank you, Barlow family, for such an unforgettable experience.
It is with great pleasure, appreciation and gratitude that I submit my report about my internship at the 2022 Barlow Endowment Competition. Such a wide variety of thinkers, composers and conductors, appeared as judges for this unique event. Even wider, was the diverse ocean of talent that manifested in the form of compositions and composers from across the globe.
As we nestled ourselves in the hidden recesses of the Little Cottonwood Canyon, national and international applicants from China, Australia, Greece, South Africa and thirty-eight other countries, submitted their works to be adjudicated for the esteemed Barlow Prize. It was astounding to me to see and hear the level of consideration, philosophy and talent that still exists in this world. I had the unique pleasure of sharing meaningful conversations with marvelous artistic minds. Some of which I would not be reluctant to refer to as new friends. As a composer, I thank the Barlow family for being stewards and vigilant protectors of our fragile art form and for providing an opportunity for those who have a voice, to make it publicly audible.
Working as an intern for the Barlow Endowment was an incredible and enlightening experience. I loved learning from the wonderful composers and conductors, and I know I will carry the lessons I learned from this experience with me for the rest of my college career and beyond. During the scheduled judging sessions, I had the opportunity to watch the judges critique a wide variety of works.
I observed many philosophical discussions and even debates, which covered topics such as the effectiveness of non-traditional scores, the use of improvisation in composition, computer programs for electronic compositions, and treating spoken word as music. I came away from these sessions with more questions than answers and felt inspired to think more deeply about the music I create and listen to.
Outside of judging sessions, I was able to speak with the judges about everything from their careers to their personal lives. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn about the countless career opportunities within the field of music composition, and to hear each individual's unique story. I learned that there is not just one correct way to be a composer and received lots of valuable advice about how to advance my studies and career. Over the course of my internship, I was exposed to new ideas, music styles, and composers. Although I didn't love every piece I heard, I developed a new respect for music that's different from what I typically listen to. Now, after my experiences collaborating with and learning from the judges, I am able to walk away with new insights, new contemporary role models, and a new excitement for creating music.
Working as an intern for the Barlow Endowment has been and will remain a highlight of my time at BYU, on par with every guest lecture or residency and many concert experiences. It was refreshing to be exposed to such a broad variety of music and approaches to the organization of sound during the pre-judging process, and many of the things I saw and heard expanded my imagination of what is possible with music, both as a composer and as a performer.
All of the judges are very well-established professionals with finely honed perspectives and a wealth of experience and being present with them during the semi-final and final rounds was deeply educational, and I believe I will be reviewing my notes
frequently for some time. I was particularly inspired by the careful consideration given to many of the more adventurous and bold compositions, as well as the recognition for diverse individual and cultural voices, including unconventional notation,
non-western styles and instruments, thoughtful uses of electronic media, improvisatory elements, and straightforward, genuine, soulful melody. It can be challenging to speak in qualitative terms regarding an art so subjective as music, but
insofar as quality can be defined, I think that the Barlow Endowment demonstrates that there is space in the world of serious art music for great diversity and imagination for anyone with the dedication to treat their voice with respect through their craft.
I'd like to personally thank the Barlow family for providing such a unique space for new music and the exchange of exciting ideas where connections can be made and fostered and so much of the best of the human experience is enjoyed and championed.
Dr. Chen Yi is a Distinguished Endowed Professor in Music Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. Her music blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. World premiere performances of commissioned works in 2022 have included her Song of Spring for string quartet at the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, MA; Impressions from Chinese Zodiac for saxophone solo at Juilliard School in NYC; Jingu Suite for cello solo by Cora Swenson Lee in ISU-Normal; Dank Mountains for harp solo by Yolanda Kondonassis in Cleveland; Cello Pieces for Alisa by Alisa Weilerstein on her concert tour; Chinese Ancient Dances adapted for Chinese suona and piano by Yazhi Guo in Boston.
New orchestral works are commissioned by the New Jersey Symphony in the US and University of Nottingham in UK . Major performances are presented by Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra in IW, New England Philharmonic in MA, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in NY, West Michigan Symphony, World Youth Wind Symphony in Interlochen (MI), Nanchang Symphony Orchestra in China, Oakland Symphony Orchestra in CA, London Philharmonic in UK , Quad City Symphony in IW, South Dakota Symphony in SD, Fort Collins Symphony in CO, Ensemble Signal, Kansas City Chorale, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and university choirs and bands in the States. She has been a Featured Composer of the 43rd Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young (MA), June in Buffalo (NY), Staunton Music Festival ( VA), SUNY-Fredonia New Music Festival and San Jose State University Contemporary Music Festival with her chamber and large ensemble works performed. Chen Yi is a recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award for Choral Music at the 2022 World Choir Festival, in World Youth and Children Choral Artists Association's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration in China.
Kevin Anthony serves as an Assistant Professor of Composition at Brigham Young University, where he teaches music theory courses and Electronic music composition. His music is heavily influenced by modern technology, blending experimental, classical, and popular elements, and often incorporates new media and audiovisual mediums. He is also the director of the Electronic Music Studio and Director of the Group for Computer Music.
In recent years, Kevin's work was featured in the Audiovisual Frontiers virtual exhibit presented by the University of California, Riverside. Additionally, he performed at The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music (SEAMUS) National Conference and the Electronic Music Midwest Annual Festival. He also presented at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression International Conference at NYU Shanghai, sharing research on methods for creating interactive audiovisual elements for live performance. Kevin composed the music for the short film Giselle, which has recently been screened at Saint-Petersburg International Film Festival, the Experimental Dance and Music Festival, the New York Arts and Entertainment Festival, the Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival, and has been viewed in several other venues. Early in 2023, Kevin's composition Languor was premiered by renowned quartet Hub New Music. Currently, he lives with his wife and four children in Springville, Utah.
Benjamin Sabey writes orchestral, chamber and live computer interactive music that has been described by Gramophone as revealing, "a brilliant technique and a keen ear for sound, timbre and arc." His music has been performed by the Arditti Quartet, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the New York New Music Ensemble, the La Jolla Symphony directed by Steven Schick, Elevate Ensemble, NOISE and many others.
Most recently, his music was selected for the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin and the SoundOn and NWEAMO festivals in San Diego. Recent commissions include a major new work for the Mivos Quartet and a piece for Ensemble PHASE, a quintet of traditional Korean instruments from Seoul. Discography includes Sabey's debut solo album " Winter Shore" and a specially commissioned work appearing on the debut album of Ensemble TrioPolis. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Dr. Sabey heads the theory, composition and electronic music programs at San Francisco State University.
Benjamin Dean Taylor is a composer of contemporary concert music. His energetic, adventurous music provides a uniquely refreshing sonic experience for performers and audiences alike. Trained as a trumpet player and pianist, he performs with and writes music for a variety of chamber ensembles, orchestras, jazz combos and big bands, wind bands, and choirs. As a sought-after composer for wind band, Taylor has been commissioned by over 100 band directors of players at all educational levels.
Passionate about inspiring the rising generation of musicians, he is the founder and executive director of Music Creators Academy, a yearly summer program that teaches musical creativity in a virtual setting. He also serves as the Program Director for the Indiana University Jacobs Composition Academy, a year-round virtual composition program for aspiring composers. Recent highlights include a performance of Shattering Infinity by the Omaha Symphonic Winds and a professional presentation at the Ultimate Music Business Summit. His work for solo euphonium and audio track titled "FLOW " is regularly performed around the world including recently in Thailand, Japan, Spain, Chile, and Canada. Taylor received his doctorate degree from Indiana University and currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife and six children.
Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila has established himself among the most distinctive and highly regarded composers of his generation with over 130 works that combine drama, driving rhythms and nostalgic nods to his South American roots. His music, which enjoys over 200 performances annually, has been hailed as "brilliant and witty " (N.Y. Times) and "sonically dazzling" (L. A. Times).
2021-22 highlights include five CD releases including his Barroqueada by Eroica Trio and WindSync's Wind Quintet No. 2 (which placed # 2 on Billboard Classical Charts); premieres/performances/ collaborations with Chicago Philharmonic/Leonard Slatkin; the Symphony orchestras of Augusta, Portland, Seattle, Akron, Minnesota, Chelsea NY, Richmond, Decatur, Great Falls; Brooklyn and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, Staatskapelle Weimar; Oslo and Montevideo Philharmnics, and staged choreographed production of his music by Sao Paulo Theater Orchestra and Ballet in Brazil. Upcoming 2023 releases include albums of his orchestral works by Augusta Symphony (Albany) and his piano quintets by Cuarteto Latinoamericano. 2021-2022 festivals featuring/premiering his works include Aspen, Bowdoin, Oregon Bach Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and international festivals in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Elizabet Curbelo GonzalezGuest Judgedata-content-type=""
Haruhito MiyagiGuest Judgedata-content-type=""
Lynn VartanGuest Judge
Jerry HouSeattle Youth Symphony Orchestradata-content-type=""
Mike RepperNew York Youth Symphonydata-content-type=""
Bryan KolkSeattle Symphony Youth Orchestradata-content-type=""
Jindong ChaiGuangzhou Symphony Youth OrchestraBarlow Board of Directors
Nancy Barlow Cox