September 30, 2016 Koussevitzky Foundation Announces Commission Winners
Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress has awarded commissions for new musical works to five composers. The commissions are granted jointly by the foundation and the organizations that will present performances of the newly composed works.
Award winners and the groups co-sponsoring their commissions are Zosha Di Castri and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); David Fulmer and Spektral Quartet; Felipe Lara and Ensemble Modern (Germany); Alexandre Lunsqui and New York New Music Ensemble; and Amy Williams and JACK Quartet.
Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949, was a champion of contemporary music. Throughout his distinguished career, he played a vital role in the creation of new works by commissioning such composers as Béla Bartók, Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. He established the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress to continue his lifelong commitment to composers and new music. Applications for commissions are accepted annually.
The Koussevitzky commissioning program is designed primarily for established composers who have demonstrated considerable merit through their works and for orchestras and chamber groups that have a record of excellence in the performance of contemporary music. For more information, visit Koussevitzky.org External.
- Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist whose works are noted for expanding pure concert music into interdisciplinary, multi-media projects including electronics, sound arts, video and dance. She has been commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, among others. Di Castri received the Jules Léger Prize for new chamber music in 2012 for her work “Cortége,” and, with Julia Den Boer, won the 2016 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. She is assistant professor of music at Columbia University.
- David Fulmer, recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, composes and performs as a conductor, violinist and violist. The success of his award-winning violin concerto at Lincoln Center in 2010, in which he appeared as soloist, led to engagements and collaborations with prominent ensembles in the United States and abroad. Fulmer earned first prize at the International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers, becoming the first American to take that honor. He is the recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Carlos Surinach Commissioning award from Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).
- Felipe Lara’s works have been performed widely at festivals and concert series in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Born in Brazil, Lara won the 2008 Staubach Preis in Darmstadt for his second string quartet, which includes live electronics. Recent commissions have come from Ogni Suono and New Music USA, and from Ensemble InterContemporain, for which Lara wrote “Fringes,” a large-scale work for spatialized ensemble of 22 players. Current projects include a feature-film score for Brazilian cinema and an extended work for saxophones, electronics and ensemble. Lara is a lecturer at Harvard University’s Department of Music.
- Alexandre Lunsqui is professor of composition, music theory and contemporary music at Sau Paulo State University in his native Brazil. Lunsqui, who studied and worked in the U.S. and Europe, has been awarded numerous honors and commissions, including those from the New York Philharmonic, Loadbang Ensemble, the Ernst von Siemens Foundation, the Chelsea Music Festival and Ensemble L’arsenale. Other awards include the Virtuoso Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil and the Fromm Foundation Award. Lunsqui’s varied background includes jazz, Brazilian music and contemporary improvisation, as well as contemporary classical music.
- Amy Williams’s compositions have appeared at prestigious contemporary music venues in the U.S., Australia, Asia and Europe. As a performer in the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, she has appeared at new music festivals and series throughout Europe and the Americas. Williams received the Howard Foundation Fellowship, a Fromm Foundation commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. She is associate professor of composition at the University of Pittsburgh and serves as artistic director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont.
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