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Fifteen Composers Receive Awards Totaling $165,000

New York, February 16, 2011 -- The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the fifteen recipients of this year's awards in music, which total $165,000. The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members: Ezra Laderman (chairman), David Del Tredici, Fred Lerdahl, Bernard Rands, Steven Stucky, and Yehudi Wyner. The awards will be presented at the Academy's annual Ceremonial in May. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Arts and Letters Awards in Music

Four composers will each receive a $7500 Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice.  Each will receive an additional $7500 toward the recording of one work.  The winners are Karim Al-Zand, David Dzubay, Steven Mackey, and Lewis Spratlan.

Goddard Lieberson Fellowships

Two Goddard Lieberson fellowships of $15,000, endowed in 1978 by the CBS Foundation, are given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts.  This year they will go to John Aylward and Lansing McLoskey.

Walter Hinrichsen Award

Rand Steiger will receive the Walter Hinrichsen Award for the publication of a work by a gifted composer.  This award was established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, music publishers, in 1984.

Charles Ives Fellowships

Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Charles Ives' music, which has enabled the Academy to give the Ives awards in music since 1970.  Two Charles Ives Fellowships, of $15,000 each, will be awarded to Dan Visconti and Jay Wadley.

Charles Ives Scholarships

Six Charles Ives Scholarships of $7500, given to composition students of great promise, will be awarded to Christopher Cerrone, Louis Chiappetta, Michael Ippolito, Bryan Jacobs, Hannah Lash, and Alex Mincek.

Biographies of 2011 Award Winners in Music

The music of composer Karim Al-Zand (Arts and Letters Award) includes settings of classical Arabic poetry, scores for dance, multi-media works, and compositions for young audiences. His work explores connections between music and other arts, drawing inspiration from 19th-century graphic art, fables of the world, folksong and jazz, and his Middle Eastern heritage. He is the recipient of several national awards, including the Sackler Composition Prize, the ArtSong Prize, and the Louisville Orchestra Competition Prize. He is currently on the faculty of the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) and is a founding member of Musiqa, Houston’s premiere contemporary music group.

Stillness and Change, the debut album of John Aylward (Goddard Lieberson Fellowship), will be released by Albany Records this spring. Aylward has received grants, fellowships, and awards from the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, ISCM, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Aspen Festival, and Tanglewood. In 2009 Aylward founded the Etchings Festival for contemporary music. He is Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Clark University in Massachusetts. Previously, Aylward taught at Tufts and Brandeis Universities. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and is originally from Tucson, Arizona.

Christopher Cerrone (Charles Ives Scholarship) was born in 1984 in Huntington, NY. He is a composer of orchestral, chamber, dramatic, and electronic music. His works have been performed across the US and Europe, most recently by New York City Opera, violinist Hahn-Bin, the New York Youth Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, and the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. He is co-artistic director and composer-in-residence for the New York City-based ensemble Red Light New Music and has received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Yale. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Louis Chiappetta (Charles Ives Scholarship) is currently pursuing his BM at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studies with Keith Fitch. He began formal composition studies at age thirteen at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division. Mr. Chiappetta has had works performed at such music festivals as the Aspen Music Festival and School, MusicX (Switzerland), and the Dartington International Summer School (England). In 2010, he was the recipient of an ASCAP-Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Next autumn, he will continue his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, working with Julian Anderson.

David Dzubay (Arts and Letters Award) has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the US-Mexico Fund for Culture, and the Fromm and Barlow foundations, among others. Recent honors include Guggenheim, MacDowell, Yaddo, Copland House, and Djerassi fellowships, and the 2010 Heckscher Prize. His music has been performed in the US, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia, is published by Pro Nova Music, and is recorded on the Sony, Bridge, Centaur, Innova, Naxos, Crystal, Klavier, Gia, and First Edition labels. He is chair of the composition department and director of the New Music Ensemble at Indiana University, spent three years as composer-consultant to the Minnesota Orchestra, and spent one year as composer-in-residence with the Green Bay Symphony. He will join the faculty at the Brevard Music Center this summer.

Michael Ippolito (Charles Ives Scholarship) has received commissions and awards from the Cincinnati Symphony, Albany Symphony, New York City Ballet, janus, The Juilliard School, and ASCAP. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied composition with Joel Hoffman and Michael Fiday, and improvisation with Alan Bern. Currently, he is a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School where he studies with John Corigliano. He is active as an educator and is the assistant artistic director for the New York Youth Symphony’s Making Score, a program for young composers.

Bryan Jacobs (Charles Ives Scholarship) is a doctorate candidate at Columbia University where he studies with Fred Lerdahl, Fabien Lévy, and Tristan Murail. His music has been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. He has had performances at Festival Ai-maako (Chile), La Muse en Festival (Paris), Festival Archipel (Geneva), as well as numerous other music festivals in the US and abroad. His acoustic and electro acoustic compositions have earned him awards from the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art competition, Centre for Computational Musicology and Computer Music, and RTÉ Lyric FM.

New York City-based composer Hannah Lash (Charles Ives Scholarship) has been hailed by the New York Times as “innovative,” and “strikingly talented.” Her music has won the Naumburg Prize, the Fromm Foundation Commission, and BMI Women’s Music Commission. Her chamber opera Blood Rose (2010) will be presented in New York City Opera’s VOX Second Stage Series in the 2011 season. Lash earned a Ph.D. in composition from Harvard University in 2010 and is pursuing an Artist Diploma in composition at Yale. She has held teaching fellowships and assistantships at Harvard and Yale, and served as a guest faculty member at Alfred University during the spring of 2010.

Steven Mackey (Arts and Letters Award) was born in 1956. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. Mackey has been honored by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship, and Lieberson Fellowship from the AAAL, two awards from the Kennedy Center, and a Stoeger Prize. He has been commissioned by the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Kronos Quartet, the Holland Festival, and Irish and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. Mackey is currently Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Princeton University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985.

Lansing McLoskey (Goddard Lieberson Fellowship) has been described as “a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear” by the American Composers Orchestra, and “a distinctive voice in present day American music.” Recent performances include premieres in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Rome, Chicago, Miami, and Melbourne, Australia, and performances in Aspen, Tanglewood, and Lima, Peru. Current projects include a concerto for Triton Brass and a consortium of wind ensembles for 2011-12, and a commission from the soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy, where he will be the Composer-in-Residence this summer. McLoskey is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Alex Mincek (Charles Ives Scholarship) is a New York-based composer and performer. He studied composition with Tristan Murail and Fred Lerdahl at Columbia University. Mincek’s music has been recognized through commissions and grants from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the New Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra-Leipzig, Ensemble XXI, Present Music, Yarn/Wire, MATA, the French Ministry of Culture, Abbey de Royaumont, Meet The Composer, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and ASCAP. Mincek currently serves as the saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble, a group dedicated to contemporary music, which he founded in 1998.

Lewis Spratlan (Arts and Letters Award), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2000, was born in 1940 in Miami, Florida. From1970 until his retirement in 2006, he served on the music faculty of Amherst College. He has recently completed Architect, a chamber opera. A Summer’s Day, commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, was premiered in 2009, and his opera Life is a Dream received its world premiere and four additional performances by the Santa Fe Opera in July and August, 2010, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. His music is recorded on the Albany, Gasparo, Koch International Classical, Navona, Opus One, and Oxingale labels.

Rand Steiger (Walter Hinrichsen Award) has had his compositions performed and commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Ircam, San Diego Symphony, Southbank Sinfonia, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Composer Fellow. Steiger's recent compositions explore a hybrid approach to just and equal-tempered tuning. He is also deeply involved in computer music research, and many of his works combine orchestral instruments with digital signal processing and spatialization. Steiger is a Professor in the Music Department at UC San Diego, and is Composer-in-Residence of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Dan Visconti (Charles Ives Fellowship) has been commissioned by ensembles including the Kronos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, and Minnesota Orchestra, and has been premiered at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Library of Congress. He has been honored with the Berlin Prize, the Bearns Prize, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Barlow Prize, BMI and ASCAP awards, and received grants from the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America. Visconti studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Jay Wadley (Charles Ives Fellowship) has received awards from ASCAP, SCI, and the AAAL (Charles Ives Scholarship). His commissions include Trumpet Concerto for the Yale and Williams College Bands, and a new work for Electric Guitar, Amplified Clarinet, and Electronics for the Nouveau Classical Project's MATA Interval Series concert. Born in Edmond, Oklahoma, in 1983, Wadley earned a BM with honors from OCU as well as both an MM and AD from the Yale School of Music. Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, he is Co-Founder/Composer/Producer for Found Objects Music Productions, LLC.

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