THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS ANNOUNCES 2010 MUSIC AWARD WINNERS Sixteen Composers Receive Awards Totaling $170,000 (includes Jesse Jones and Eric Nathan CSO members)



Sixteen Composers Receive Awards Totaling $170,000

New York, March 4, 2010—The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music, which total $170,000.  The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members:  Robert Beaser(chairman), Bernard Rands, Gunther Schuller, 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.


Four composers will each receive a $7500 Academy 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 Daniel Asia, David Felder, Pierre Jalbert, and James Primosch.


The Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond award of $10,000 is given to a promising mid-career composer.  This year the award will go to James Lee III.


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 Philippe Bodin and Aaron J. Travers.


Paula Matthusen 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.


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 toAnna Clyne and Michael Djupstrom.


Shawn Brogan Allison , Jesse Benjamin Jones, Eric Nathan, Clint Needham, Jude Vaclavik, and Roger Zare will receive Charles Ives Scholarships of $7,5000, given to composition students of great promise.


The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts.”  Each year, the Academy honors over 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5000 to $75,000.  Other activities of the Academy are exhibitions of art, architecture, and manuscripts; purchases of art for donations to museums; publications on the Academy’s history and events; publications on the Academy’s history and readings and performances of new musicals.  The Academy is located in three landmark buildings designed by McKim, Mead & White, Cass Gilbert, and Charles Pratt Huntington on Audubon Terrace at 155 Street and Broadway.

Biographies of 2010 Award Winners in Music

Shawn Brogan Allison (Charles Ives Scholarship) has had his music performed by eighth blackbird, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), The Esoterics, Cantus, the Cornell Chorale; and his work will be heard this summer at the Tanglewood and June in Buffalo Festivals. His honors and awards include a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the 2009 Polyphonos competition (U.S. Composer category), and the Jerome Commissioning Competition, as well as funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the University of Chicago Council on the Arts, and the Cornell Council for the Arts. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, where he has studied with Shulamit Ran and Marta Ptaszynska. Originally from Newport News, VA, he holds degrees in composition and saxophone performance from St. Olaf College (B.M.) and Ithaca College (M.M.), studying with Dana Wilson, Timothy Mahr, and Peter Hamlin.

Daniel Asia has been an eclectic composer from the start. He has enjoyed grants from Meet the Composer, a UK Fulbright award, Guggenheim Fellowship, MacDowell and Tanglewood fellowships, DAAD Fellowship, Copland Fund grants, NEA, Koussevitsky Foundation, and Fromm Foundation.  From 1991-1994 he was Composer-in-Residence with the Phoenix Symphony, and from 1977-1995 Music Director of the New York-based contemporary ensemble Musical Elements.  He has been Professor of Music at the University of Arizona since 1988.  Asia’s five symphonies have received wide acclaim from live performances and their international recordings.  Under a recent Barlow Endowment grant, he is presently writing for The Czech Nonet, the longest continuously performing chamber ensemble on the planet, founded in 1924.  The recorded works of Daniel Asia may be heard on the labels of Summit, New World, and Albany.

Philippe Bodin (Lieberson Fellowship) was born in France and has lived in the US since 1997.  He earned a D.M.A. in composition from Yale University where he studied with Martin Bresnick and Nicholas Maw. A finalist in the 2007 America Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings, he has received prizes, awards, grants, and residencies in the United States from the Barlow Endowment, American Composers Forum, Jerome Foundation, Utah Arts Festival, American Music Center, MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo, and abroad from the Lutoslawski, Angelo-Comneno, and Homage to Mozart competitions.  He has been commissioned by the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Orkest de Volharding, Electra; the Eroica Trio, Mannes Trio, Mojave Trio, and Kungsbacka trio, Left Coast, Empyrean, TM +, and Voxabulaire.  His work has been performed for Los Angeles’s Monday Evening Concerts, the Asia Pacific Festival, and various festivals and venues in Europe.

Anna Clyne (Charles Ives Fellowship), a London native, is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Her work, which includes collaborative projects with cutting-edge choreographers, film-makers, visual artists and musicians, has been commissioned and performed worldwide. Recent honors include commissions from Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Roulette/Jerome Foundation, awards from ASCAP and SEAMUS, performances by Sentieri Selvaggi, the American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra; and a residency with the Los Angeles-based Hysterica Dance Company. In Fall 2010, she will begin a two-year residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Mead Composer in Residence. Her music has been composed for and programmed by such artists as Alex Ross, Esa-Pekka Salonen, ETHEL and BalletX.  Anna Clyne holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Edinburgh University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.  She  resides in New York City, and her music is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Michael Djupstrom (Charles Ives Fellowship) has been recognized through honors and awards from such institutions as theAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Composers Forum, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, and the Académie musicale de Villecroze, among many others. His compositions have been performed across the United States as well as in Europe and Asia.  Djupstrom was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1980, and began piano lessons at the age of eight. He studied music composition at the University of Michigan, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center, and has studied in Paris with composer Betsy Jolas. He lives in Philadelphia, where he teaches piano at Settlement Music School and courses in music theory and orchestration for Boston University’s online programs in music.

David Felder (Academy Award) has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Council commissions, fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Guggenheim, Koussevitzky, and Fromm foundations, two awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer “New Residencies” with the Buffalo Philharmonic, two commissions from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and a commission from the Siemens Foundation.  Felder is Birge-Cary Chairholder in Composition at SUNY Buffalo, Artistic Director of the “June in Buffalo” Festival, and Director of the Center for 21st Century Music at the university.  From 1992 to 1996 he was Meet the Composer “New Residencies” Composer-in-Residence with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WBFO-FM. He formed and is the Artistic Director of the Slee Sinfonietta, and is a SUNY Distinguished Professor. His works are published by Theodore Presser, and recorded by Albany, Mode, Bridge, EMF.

Pierre Jalbert (Academy Award) has been honored with the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Award.  His music has been performed worldwide, with four Carnegie Hall performances of his orchestral music, including the Houston Symphony’s Carnegie Hall premiere of his orchestral work, big sky.  He has received orchestral commissions from the California Symphony; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Oakland East Bay, Marin, and Santa Rosa Symphonies through Meet the Composer Foundation’s Magnum Opus Project, and the Vermont Symphony.  He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, California Symphony, and Chicago’s Music in the Loft chamber music series. Select commissions and performances include those by the Ying, Borromeo, Maia, Enso, Chiara, and Escher String Quartets, and the symphony orchestras of London, Budapest, Seattle, Houston, Fort Worth, Colorado, and Albany. Jalbert is Associate Professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston. He serves as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston ensemble.

Jesse Benjamin Jones (Charles Ives Scholarship) is a native of New Mexico.  He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in composition from Eastern Oregon University and the University of Oregon.  Jones is the recipient of Aspen’s Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship and Cornell’s Sage Fellowship, as well as a Teaching Assistantship and Outstanding Scholar in Music Award from the University of Oregon.  Jones’ compositions have been featured on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, at the Oregon Bach Festival and Aspen Music Festival, and performed by music ensembles such as the Israeli Chamber Project , So Percussion, FIREWORKS, Ossia, and the American Composers Orchestra.  Jones resides in Ithaca, New York, where he is pursuing a DMA at Cornell University.

James Lee III (Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond), born 1975 in St. Joseph, Michigan, cites as his major composition teachers Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, and Bright Sheng.  He was a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2002, where The Appointed Time for string quartet and Psalm 61 for members of the Boston Symphony Chorus were premiered. Leonard Slatkin premiered Beyond Rivers of Vision at the Kennedy Center and A Different Soldier’s Tale with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  The National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony have performed Mr. Lee’s work. Concerts of Lee’s music this season include Scenes Upon Eternity’s Edge for flute and piano trio performed by Marcia Kamper and the Monument Piano Trio and sonata for piano performed by Terrence Wilson in Seattle.  Dr. Lee earned a bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.   He serves on the faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Paula Matthusen (Walter Hinrichsen Award) resides in Miami and New York.  Her music has been performed by Alarm Will Sound, ICE, orchest de ereprijs, Dither, Glass Farm Ensemble, Kathryn Woodard, James Moore, Jody Redhage, and Todd Reynolds, and at venues including Roulette Intermedium, Merkin Concert Hall, Diapason Gallery, Sonic Arts Research Center, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music, Third Practice, ArtBots, the Gaudeamus New Music Week, and SEAMUS.  Her awards include a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, the MacCracken and Langley Ryan Fellowship, and a Van Lier Fellowship. Matthusen is Director of Music Technology at Florida International University.

Eric Nathan (Charles Ives Scholarship) is a doctoral student at Cornell University where he studies with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra and Kevin Ernste.  He has studied at Indiana University (M.M.), Yale College (B.A.), and The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and has received fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, and the Wellesley Composers Conference. Past teachers include Claude Baker, Sven-David Sandström, Jeffrey Hass, Kathryn Alexander, John Halle, Matthew Suttor and Ira Taxin. Awards include the Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School, American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, William Schuman Prize from BMI, Morton Gould Young Composer Award from ASCAP, First Prize in the SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition, Brian Israel Prize from the New York Federation of Music Clubs, and the Abraham Beekman Cox Prize from Yale.  Performances include those by the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Yale Symphony, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Damocles Trio, Society for New Music, and Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

Clint Needham (Charles Ives Scholarship) is currently a Jacobs School of Music Doctoral Fellow in composition at IndianaUniversity, where he also completed his Master of Music degree. He received his B.M. degree from the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in 2004.  Additionally, he has received fellowships for study at the Aspen Music Festival and the Wellesley College Composers Conference. His primary teachers include Claude Baker, Loris Chobanian, David Dzubay, Don Freund, P.Q. Phan, Sven-David Sandström, and Richard Wernick. Awards include the William Schuman Prize/BMI Student Composer Award, two ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Aspen Music Festival Jacob Druckman Prize, an American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, and a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission. Performances of his music have been given by the American Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Stanford Wind Quintet, and Symphony in C.

James Primosch (Academy Award), who studied with George Crumb and Mario Davidovsky, has had works performed by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Collage, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Twenty-First Century Consort. Dawn Upshaw included a song by Primosch in her Carnegie Hall recital debut. Commissioned works by Primosch have been premiered by the Chicago Symphony, Speculum Musicae, and pianist Lambert Orkis. Recordings of eleven compositions by Primosch have appeared on the Albany, Azica, Bard, Bridge, CRI, Centaur, and New World labels, with new discs of vocal and choral works planned. He has also been active as a pianist, including work as a liturgical musician. He is currently at work on a commission for the Albany Symphony.

Aaron J. Travers (Lieberson Fellowship) was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1975.  He has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music, the Third Coast Percussion Quartet, the Hamilton College Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Tarab Cello Ensemble, the Barlow Endowment, and the South Dakota Symphony.  Mr. Travers has been honored with the AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition, the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, the Barlow Prize from the Barlow Endowment of Brigham Young University, the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the AAAL.  He has taught at Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, Syracuse University and Hamilton College.  He currently teaches composition at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Jude Vaclavik (Charles Ives Scholarship), a native of Houston, Texas, is a doctoral candidate in composition at the JuilliardSchool, where he earned his B.M. and M.M. degrees.  His principal teachers include Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. Vaclavik’s accolades include a Palmer-Dixon Prize, a New Juilliard Ensemble Commission Competition award, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, a First Music Young Composers Commission Competition award, and a Juilliard Composers Orchestral Competition award.  Vaclavik has been commissioned by the American Festival for the Arts, The New Juilliard Ensemble, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, and the New York Youth Symphony.  His work has been performed by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and TorQ Percussion Quartet.   While at Juilliard, Vaclavik has held a Literature and Music Teaching Fellowship, an English Teaching Fellowship, and a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship.  At the Aspen Music Festival, he received a Composition Fellowship.

Roger Zare (Charles Ives Scholarship) has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times).  Zare has received the ASCAP Foundation’s Rudolf Nissim Prize, two BMI Student Composer Awards, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, and a fellowship to the 2010 Aspen Music Festival composition masterclass.  Zare is currently pursuing his D.M.A. at the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty.  He received his Master’s degree from Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Christopher Theofanidis and Derek Bermel, and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California.


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