2013 Prize Winner
For more information about Narong Prangcharoen of Kansas City, the Barlow 2013 Winner, consult his website.
he Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University proudly announces commission winners for 2013. After reviewing 240 composer applications from several countries worldwide, the judging panel awarded Narong Prangcharoen of Kansas City, Missouri, the $15,000 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for wind ensemble. The Barlow Endowment’s performing consortium consisted of the United States Marine Band, the Florida State University Wind Orchestra and the Brigham Young University Wind Symphony. The panel also granted David Dzubay of Bloomington, Indiana the distinction of Honorable Mention in this competition.
Dr. Prangcharoen has a DMA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied under Yi Chen. Other mentors include Paul Chihara, Zhou Long, and Augusta Read Thomas. The New York Times “described Prangcharoen’s work as “atmospheric [weaving] the spiritual and vernacular sounds of Mr. Prangcharoen’s native Thailand into a skillfully orchestrated tapestry [with] moments of ethereal beauty.” He currently teaches in the Community Music and Dance Academy of the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri (Kansas City). Prangcharoen founded the Thailand International Conposition Festival, now in its ninth year.
fter considering 135 applications in our General and LDS commissioning programs, the Endowment granted $60,000 to nine composers who will write works for the following ensembles and musicians:
This year the Barlow Endowment sponsored a special 2013 Chinese competition open to all Chinese composers. The winner was commissioned to compose a 10-12 minute work for violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, and percussion, which was premiered at the 2014 Beijing Modern Music Festival (BMMF).
Yang Zheng was born in 1988 in Liaoning Province, China, and was raised in a very musically-influenced family. Zheng enrolled in the Composition Department at the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing) in 2006. He studied under Professor Qin Wenchen, a famous Chinese composer.
During his study at the conservatory, Zheng won prizes in a variety of composition competitions in China including The Ministry of Culture Symphony Composition Competition, Palatino and also the China Arts College Composition Competition. Zheng has won many different kinds of scholarships and was selected as the one of the “Three good students of Beijing.”
E ach summer, the Barlow Endowment holds its annual summer meetings at the Snowbird Resort in the majestic mountains high above Salt Lake City. Participants include members of the Boards of Directors and Advisors, guest judges, Endowment staff, representatives from participating ensembles included in that year’s performing consortium, and student interns from Brigham Young University’s music composition division. We judge the Endowment’s flagship competition, the Barlow Prize, the General and LDS competitions, and other special competitions that arise from time to time. The judging involves lively exchanges among the panel, but members always accord each other due respect and collegial deference.
This year we saw a marked international interest, especially among our Asian colleagues. There are several reasons for this: first, the Barlow Prize was awarded to Thailand native, Narong Prangcharoen, who will compose a new work for three wind ensembles: The United States Marine Band, Florida State University’s Wind Orchestra, and Brigham Young University’s Wind Symphony; second, Yi Chen, a Chinese native, won a Barlow General Commission to write a work for Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra; third, the Endowment held its first ever special Chinese competition exclusively for Chinese composers; and fourth, Leilei Tian, a Chinese LDS composer who lives in Paris, was appointed to a five-year term on the Board of Advisors. Ms. Tian is the first international and LDS female member of the board.
Now, with three decades of operations under its belt, the Barlow Endowment continues to lead out in promoting modern music. We proudly support those composers in the vanguard to create new soundscapes.
A large share of the Barlow Education Grant goes towards direct student support by way of scholarships, assistantships, internships, travel awards, fee support for festivals and performances, and support for guest artists that work directly with students.
Established in 2011, the Milton A. Barlow Scholarship and the Barlow Student Composition Award are ongoing scholarships/awards presented to the most outstanding composition student(s) in our program. The Milton A. Barlow Scholarship is a one-year, full-tuition scholarship, and the Barlow Student Composition Award is a $500 cash award that comes with a commission to write a new piece for one of BYU’s premiere large ensembles. These two named awards have added prestige and visibility to the composition area and we look forward to the continued success of the recipients and the recognition these awards bring to the Endowment.
The recipient of the 2013 Milton A. Barlow Scholarship for the second year in a row was Katherine Adams, a first-year masters student in music composition. Katherine was a strong undergraduate who presented an impressive senior recital and we were pleased to be able to offer her this support heading into her first year of graduate study. With the support of the scholarship, Katherine is able to increase her focus on electronic music and learn new software tools and applications.
The recipient of the 2013 Barlow Student Composition Award was current senior, Matthew Webb, majoring in music composition and mathematics. He was commissioned to write a new work for the BYU Philharmonic and his completed work, Cornerwise, was premiered on February 13, 2014, in the de Jong Concert Hall under the direction of Kory Katseanes. The profile of this performance was enhanced by the fact that the concert was broadcast live on KBYU-FM and also included a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 by guest artist Marc-André Hamelin.
As a brief follow-up, last year’s recipient of the Barlow Student Composition Award was Emily Lawlor Robison, a current masters student who will complete her degree this summer. Emily has had a strong finish to her degree which included a trip to China in the summer of 2014 with Barlow Board of Directors Chair, Dean Stephen Jones, and a group of composition students to attend the Beijing Modern Music Festival. While there they attended the premiere performance of Yang Zheng’s work for the special Chinese Barlow Commission.
August 2013 marked the ninth year BYU student interns have assisted with the annual Barlow summit and Barlow Prize and commissions judging. Four of our students—Emily Lawlor Robison, Matthew Webb, Scott Gibson, and Mark Zabriskie—helped prepare the applicants’ files and coordinated hundreds of scores, recordings, and other materials that would be used in the judging process. They attended the meetings, which included several days of reviewing scores and judging by the Barlow Board of Advisors and guest judges. Students not only observed the judging process first hand while assisting in the various rooms, but also had several opportunities to interact directly with these professional composers and performers during meals and breaks. The Barlow Internship program has been a great boost to our program and we look forward to its continuation.
In connection with BYU Laycock Center funding, Barlow funds supported a residency by the Amsterdam-based chamber ensemble Hexnut in September 2013. The group, which consists of Ned McGowan (flutest/composer), Susanna Borsch (recorder), Anton Weeren (trumpet), Ere Lievonen (piano/harpsichord), and Michaela Riener (voice), was accompanied by lighting designer Floriaan Ganzevoort and sound designer Micha da Kanter to assist with their presentation of the multimedia concert WRENCH as part of the BYU BRAVO Series. WRENCH was presented in the de Jong Concert Hall on September 25, 2013 and featured a choreography between the images of Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky, and new works by seven composers that were written in response to the images. One of the pieces presented was Geometria Situs by former Barlow Board of Advisors member and BYU composition faculty member Steven Ricks. While on campus, Hexnut founder and flutist/composer, Ned McGowan, presented a Barlow Lecture on his music. The ensemble conducted a reading session where they rehearsed and recorded pieces by BYU student composers written specifically for their visit to BYU.
Barlow funds covered travel and lodging expenses and honoraria for two distinguished composers in 2013—both of whom presented Barlow Lectures to the composition students and general community.
Composer David Lang visited campus in March 2013 to present a lecture to the School of Music, work with student composers, and coach a student ensemble in the performance of his Pulitzer Prize-winning piece Little Match Girl Passion. He was particularly moved by his experience of hearing some composition students break into an a capella rendition of the LDS hymn Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy and appreciated being able to make connections between his own religious faith and practice and that of the students and faculty.
Composer Scott Johnson visited campus in November 2013 to present a lecture to the composition seminar and coach student performers toward a presentation of his piece Bounce, a movement from the larger work Convertible Debts. Johnson is a pioneer in the field of utilizing sampled spoken text in pieces as both a source of sound and an inspiration for the instrumental music, and his lecture touched on a number of interesting topics including the intersection of science and music as it related to his work.
Barlow Education Grant funds continue to provide needed and valuable support for our composition courses and providing honoraria for student performers that workshop and perform pieces by developing student composers. The practical training our composition students receive from these performances is a key part of their success in our program and in their consistent acceptance into competitive graduate programs.
Barlow funds continue to support worthy faculty projects and activities as a way of increasing the profile and reputation of the area and to ensure our faculty are in the best position to instruct the students in current trends and practices. This year funds also assisted in the completion of the mastering for Michael Hicks’s CD entitled Felt Hammers: The Complete Solo Piano Music, 1982-2010, performed by Keith Kirchoff (forthcoming July 2014 on Tantara Records). They also helped support the editing of two solo piano pieces by Steven Ricks, Medusa in Fragments and Stilling, also recorded by Keith Kirchoff.
Faculty composer and Barlow Board Advisor, Christian Asplund, released four CD’s and one DVD, all partially funded by Barlow but also with generous support from the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications and the Laycock Center. One of his releases, “The Laycock Duos,” functions as an engaging document of an ambitious residency program Asplund organized that included several of the leading free-improvisation performers/composers alive today. The release has had numerous favorable reviews, including a glowing write-up in “The Whole Note” that concludes with this line: “With an appeal to listeners of any stripe who appreciate well-played, brainy improvisations, ‘The Laycock Duos’ from Provo, Utah proves once again that unprecedented adventurous sounds can appear from unexpected locations.”
B eing an intern for the Barlow Endowment was a very rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to hear music from all over the world and listen to discussions by many great composers and conductors. This was invaluable to me as a composer. It helped me better understand what is happening in the world of new music and which direction I want to take with my own compositions.
There was a huge variety in the scores we saw, not only in style but also in quality. There were many interesting styles and approaches to composition and there were many elements in the music we heard that I would like to use myself.
The judges were a great help. They were quick to give advice and were happy to answer any questions. They all had great experience on which to draw and helped me get a better idea of what I would like to do in the future. Watching the judging process was very instructive. In most cases they could tell very quickly if an entry was going to be a competitor or not. The judging process helped me learn what these types of competitions are looking for and what worked well in the music we heard. What I found most interesting was that judging, the judges shared the reasons that they liked a certain piece over another. There were many different opinions and I thought the discussion was valuable.
Overall, this was a wonderful experience. I am very grateful to everyone who was involved, especially the Barlow family for supporting such an amazing program. It has been one of the highlights of my university career.
D uring my second year as a Barlow Intern, I was expecting the experience to be basically the same as the previous year – I did not think I would learn much more than what I had already learned the year before. I approached the internship with an attitude of “I’m so great because I’ve done this already” and I figured that I would simply be using this as an attractive item listed on my curriculum vitae. Of course, I was humbled when I discovered that there was much to learn, much I did not know, and much to gain from participating a second time – even more than the first!
Having the opportunity to converse with and get to know the judges consisting of composers and directors was priceless and seemed a little easier for me this year. I think having met them previously helped, I now feel that I can call a few of them friends. It was such a value to me to have ample opportunity to ask questions, ask for suggestions and advice, and hear the experiences of these wonderful people. They provided me with inspiration and a renewed determination to achieve my goals. Because of the relationships made, I feel like I will always be able to turn to them for help with my own compositions.
This year’s competition was to compose a piece for wind ensemble. I have spent most of my life performing in wind ensembles and have composed several pieces for the medium. To have been able to be in the room as the submitted pieces were being judged made a huge impact on me. I learned what sorts of compositions are considered interesting in the 21st Century. I learned the best ways to submit a piece for a competition. I was able to hear and see what hundreds of other composers are writing and partake in the vision of where wind ensemble music is headed as more new music is written for such an historically young ensemble. I learned through hearing and studying some of these submissions that there are many avenues and versatile options for this genre that have yet to be explored and that knowledge excites me.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a Barlow Intern again. It was a unique and uplifting experience and I am grateful to the Barlow Endowment, especially members of the Barlow family who do not know me personally but have made it possible for me to have such a wonderful educational experience. I am glad that I had such a potent and humbling time at Snowbird where I felt that my associations and observations will be beneficial to me for many years to come.
I had an invigorating experience participating as a student intern with the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. With a close-up look at the judging, I learned what it takes to be a viable contender for world class prizes. I also interacted with professionals and developed meaningful relationships.
The Barlow Endowment exacts the highest standards of craftsmanship and musicianship from its applicants. I was entranced with the judges’ ability to detect and promote excellence. I learned about the rigorous practicalities that must accompany an award winning application. This insight will be an invaluable resource as I seek excellence in my future pursuits. The Barlow experience has given me knowledge I could not have received in other ways.
Through the internship I interacted and developed relationships with industry-leading professionals. The judges were very personable. They talked openly with me and answered my questions. These unique experiences engendered personal connections among all the participants.
I am very grateful to the Barlow family for the wonderful support they give the Endowment. Their generosity made my experience possible. They enable a wide body of musicians to unite in the common effort of promoting the arts. With their help we are edified together.
I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to be an intern for the Barlow Endowment. This experience has helped me grow as a composer in several ways. Some of my favorite times during the judging retreat were the meals, and not just because of the food! At meals, we saw the judges as real people who had creatively solved real problems to get to where they are today. They had so much perspective to offer regarding my career questions as well as balancing work with other aspects of life.
In addition to learning a lot during meals and activities, being in the room while the judging process took place was priceless. Sometimes I would hear a piece that I really liked, and as I listened to the judges discuss it, I heard what musical ideas worked and why these ideas were successful. Listening to so much new music from around the world in such a short time has helped me gain a feel for emerging compositional trends and how I can employ them in my own music.
I feel that this experience has given me a great advantage over other composers who may not have had a similar opportunity. Many of the adjudicators have judged in other competitions, and to be able to see why they liked the music and what excited them or lost their attention, will help me create my own compositions that will have a better chance of catching a judge’s ear in future competitions.
Overall, my Barlow experience as an intern was a pleasure and a privilege and I plan to apply my new knowledge toward my own music. I heartily express my gratitude to the adjudicators and the Barlow Foundation for this unique experience.
Barlow Board of Advisors
C anadian-American composer and performer Christian Asplund’s interests include intersections of text and music, improvisation and composition, as well as modular textures and forms. In 2013, he released three CDs: The Laycock Duos, Extracts from the Fall of the House of Usher, and QNMA, all on Comprovise Records. He also released the DVD of his opera Floralesque. The scores for his compositions Six Nocturnes for Band and Unit Materials were published by Frog Peak Music. Asplund began a biweekly series, The Avant GaRawge, hosted by his avant garde jazz quartet, FunCoffin, in August of 2013 which has continued steadily since then, bringing experimental music and poetry to the Wasatch front. He continues to compose both large and small-scale works and teaches composition and theory at Brigham Young University.
T odd Coleman is the head of the Music Production and Recording Arts program and an Associate Professor of Music at Elon University in North Carolina. In 2013 two of Coleman’s newest works were premiered. The first, In varietate concordia (Many and One), a 12-minute work for orchestra, large chorus, and rhythm section, was commissioned by Elon University as the grand finale for The President’s Gala in April. The second, Numen Lumen, for organ and string quartet, took place at Elon University in October, performed by Timothy Olsen and the Ciompi Quartet, with further performances planned for the upcoming season.
S tacy Garrop premiered several pieces in 2013: Give Me Hunger, commissioned by the all-male chorus Chanticleer; Sanctuary, commissioned on behalf of the Lincoln Trio; Dirge Without Music, for soprano and piano, commissioned by Thomas Hamilton; Flight of Icarus, commissioned by the Capitol Saxophone Quartet; Songs of Joy and Refuge, commissioned by the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, as well as My Dearest Ruth, a soprano and piano piece commissioned by Jane and James Ginsburg in celebration of the 80th birthday of their mother, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and her final premiere of 2013, The Trumpets at Jericho, was commissioned by the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Her works have also been performed by Fifth House Ensemble, Gaudete Brass Quintet, VERGE Ensemble, neoLIT, Trio Paradis, Azure Ensemble, and the International Beethoven Project’s LOVE 2013 Festival, as well as by the choirs: Sacred and Profane, Virginia Chorale, South Bend Chamber Singers, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, Voices of Ascension, Chicago a cappella, Volti, Ecco, Wicker Park Choral Singers, and the ACDA Louisiana Collegiate Honor Choir. Her work, Fragmented Spirit, for alto saxophone and piano, was recently recorded by HD Duo and commercially released on their “Incandescence” CD, produced by Saxophone Classics. In addition to teaching composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, she is also on faculty at the fresh inc festival, an annual two-week summer program run by Fifth House Ensemble that teaches music entrepreneurship and provides performance opportunities for composers and musicians.
J ames Mobberley serves as a Curators’ Professor of Music at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Recent highlights in his career include performances and lectures at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Xi’an Conservatory (China), the Thailand International Composition Festival, the University of Florida, and a week-long guest residency at the Walden School’s Creative Musician’s Retreat, as well as the release of a work for a soprano and wind ensemble on NAXOS. Recent premieres include a work for solo viola by Chicago violist Michael Hall, and an extended work for chorus and wind ensemble for performers at UMKC. Current projects include a work for the Amrein/Henneberger duo (trombone/piano) with fixed media, and a solo work for flutist Luisa Sello. Past honors include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Van Cliburn Composers Invitational, and the Charlotte Street Foundation. Commissions have been received from the following: Koussevitzky Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Chamber Music America, St. Louis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Meet the Composer, Music From China, and Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Mobberley has appeared as a guest composer with the Taiwan National Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the Composers Forum at Wellesley College, and many additional venues around the world. He lives in Liberty, Missouri with his wife Laura, a writer, and sons Lucas and Jake.
E than Wickman is an Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Texas – San Antonio. His commission, Let the Word Go Forth, a large work for chorus and orchestra, received its premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Presidents’ Day National Choral Festival in February. The work, commissioned to commemorate 50 years since the Kennedy assassination, incorporated excerpts from several of Kennedy’s presidential speeches. Wickman’s music was also performed across several states and countries and included the New York premiere of Passages by violinist Piotr Szewczyk at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Upcoming projects include a new concerto for tuba and wind ensemble for International Tuba Euphonium President, Dr. Jerry Young; a new consortium concerto for flute and percussion for flutists Molly Barth, Linda Chatterton, Rita Linard, and Elizabeth McNutt; and the commercial release of Occidental Psalmody, a new piano work for Nicholas Phillips on the New Focus record label.
Barlow Board of Directors
Stephen M. Jones
Alice Barlow Jones
Scott M. Boyter