March 7, 2000 1999 Serge Koussevitzky Awards Announced

Commissions for New Musical Works Given to 10 Composers

Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation Inc. have awarded commissions for new musical works to 10 composers. The commissions are granted jointly by the foundations and the performing organizations that will present the newly composed works.

Award winners and the groups co-sponsoring their commissions are: Jason Eckardt and the Libra Ensemble; Richard Felciano and Southwest Chamber Music; Brian Fennelly and the Pro Arte Quartet; Pablo Furman and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; Lee Hyla and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Scott Johnson and the New Millenium Ensemble; Steven Mackey and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Roland Moser and Parnassus; Pablo Ortiz and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players; and Roberto Sierra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation of New York, founded in 1950 and 1942, respectively, perpetuate Koussevitzky's lifelong efforts to encourage contemporary composers. Serge Koussevitzky was appointed conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1924 and served in that post for 25 years. He died in 1951. Works commissioned by him and the two foundations include established masterpieces such as Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes and Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra.

Commissions are awarded annually on a competitive basis and are open to performing organizations or individuals and to composers without regard to national origin or affiliation.

Groups must submit an application for a composer whose work they would like to commission jointly with the foundations, and they must undertake to perform the work within two years of its completion. Manuscripts of commissioned works are deposited in the Music Division of the Library of Congress.

Composer Jason Eckardt has been recognized through commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Fromm Foundation, and the Centre de la Voix, and fellowships from the Fondation Royaumont, the MacDowell and Millay Colonies, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Mr. Eckahrdt received a doctorate in composition as a Presidential Fellow at Columbia University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor. He is co-founder and Executive Director of Ensemble 21 in New York. Mr. Eckardt will write a new chamber music work for the Libra Ensemble of Australia.

Richard Felciano is Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, where he founded the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, an interdisciplinary facility linking music, cognitive psychology, linguistics, computer science, and architecture. A native of California, Mr. Felciano studied in Paris with composers Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen and in Italy with Luigi Dallapiccola. He received awards and commissions from the French and Italian governments, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford, Rockefeller, Fromm and Guggenheim Foundations. Southwest Chamber Music, based in Los Angeles, co-commissions Mr. Felciano with the foundations.

Brian Fennelly, Professor Emeritus at New York University, studied at Yale University. His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Koussevitzky Foundations commissioned Mr. Fennelly's Fantasy Variations (1985) for orchestra. In 1997 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Mr. Fennelly co-directs the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, which he founded in 1967. He will write a new work for the Pro Arte Quartet.

Born in Argentina, composer Pablo Furman emigrated to the United States in 1976 and received a doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has taught at UCLA and the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently on the faculty of San Jose State University, where he serves as the Coordinator of the Music Composition Area.

Mr. Furman is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and California State University. Commissions have come from the International Computer Music Association, the New Music Works ensemble, and the Earplay ensemble, among others. The San Jose Chamber Orchestra co-commissions Mr. Furman with the foundations.

The foundations and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project commission Lee Hyla to compose a new violin concerto. This marks Mr. Hyla's second Koussevitzky commission; The Dream of Innocent III is the result of a 1985 award. Born in Niagra Falls, New York, Mr. Hyla grew up in Indiana. He is co-chairman of the composition department at the New England Conservatory. The Fromm, Barlow, and Naumburg Foundations, as well as the Mary Flagler Casey Charitable Trust and Concert Artists' Guild, have commissioned works from Mr. Hyla. Other awards include the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rome Prize.

Trained in both musical and visual arts at the University of Wisconsin, composer Scott Johnson has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, soprano Dora Ohrenstein, and the New York State Council on the Arts. The Koussevitzky Foundations and the New Millenium Ensemble (New York) join to commission a new chamber work from Mr. Johnson. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and other support from organizations such as Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest, the Jerome Foundation, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Concert Artists' Guild/Mary Flagler Cary Trust.

Steven Mackey is Professor of Music at Princeton University, where he is co-director of the Composers Ensemble. His composition awards include Guggenheim and Lieberson fellowships, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Bearns Prize from Columbia University. He has twice won the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards. Mr. Mackey's commissions include those from the Kronos Quartet, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Koussevitzky Foundation commissioned Moebius Band for soprano and chamber ensemble in 1986. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center co-commissions Mr. Mackey's new Koussevitzky award.

Swiss composer Roland Moser studied piano, conducting and composition in Bern, Switzerland. Following a year at the Electronic Music Studio of the Cologne Conservatory, Mr. Moser secured a teaching position at the Winterthur Conservatory. Since 1984 he has been a professor of composition and music theory at the Conservatory of the Music Academy in Basel, Switzerland. The composer is a member of the experimental music g oup Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern and is commissioned by the foundations and Parnassus to create a new work for chamber ensemble.

Pablo Ortiz was first trained in his native Buenos Aires, where he received a degree from the Universidad Catolico Argentina. He later came to New York to study at Columbia University. Mr. Ortiz is Associate Professor of Composition at the University of California, Davis. Previously he taught at the University of Pittsburgh and was co-director of the Electronic Music Studio there. Among Mr. Ortiz's awards are a commission from the Fromm Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He will write a piece for chamber ensemble commissioned jointly by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the foundations.

The Philadelphia Orchestra joins the foundations in commissioning composer Roberto Sierra for a new orchestral work. Born in Puerto Rico, Mr. Sierra studied there and in Europe, completing advanced work at the Hochschule für Musik under composer Grygory Ligeti. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Sierra served as Composer-in-Residence of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He then joined the composition faculty of Cornell University. He has recently written works for cellist Carlos Prieto and for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Festival Casals de Puerto Rico.


PR 00-027
ISSN 0731-3527