October 11, 2018 (REVISED January 10, 2019) Library's Koussevitzky Foundation Announces 2018 Commission Winners
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
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 performing organizations that will present the world premiere performances of the newly composed works.
Award winners and the groups co-sponsoring their commissions are Stefano Gervasoni and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Huck Hodge and the Seattle Modern Orchestra, Alex Mincek and the Mivos String Quartet with guitarist Nadav Lev, Christopher Trapani and the Spektral Quartet, and Wang Lu and Yarn/Wire.
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 in 1949 to continue his lifelong commitment to composers and new music. Applications for commissions are accepted annually.
The Koussevitzky Foundation has commissioned nearly 500 works, created by some of the world’s most celebrated composers, which are an integral part of the Library’s unparalleled music collections. Among the commissions are examples of the composers’ most iconic works, including Bartók’s “Concerto for Orchestra”; Benjamin Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes”; Olivier Messiaen’s “Turangalîla-Symphonie”; and Arnold Schoenberg’s cantata “A Survivor from Warsaw.” The Library holds the composers’ original manuscripts of these works.
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.
Born in Bergamo, Italy, Stefano Gervasoni studied at Milan’s Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi before working with György Ligeti in Hungary and later at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris. He served residencies at Villa Medici, Domaine de Kerguéhennec and Lausanne Conservatoire, and was awarded prizes and grants from leading organizations in Europe. As a teacher, Gervasoni has led courses in Darmstadt, Paris, Tokyo, Brazil, Spain and in the U.S. at Columbia and Harvard universities. His works include an opera, “Limbus-Limbo,” commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Percussions de Strasbourg. Gervasoni is published by Suvini Zerboni.
Huck Hodge is the recipient of many distinctions in the field of contemporary music, including the 2018 Charles Ives Living, the largest music award conferred by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Other major awards include the Rome Prize, the Gaudeamus Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fromm Foundation commission. His music has been performed at major venues and festivals in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Before joining the University of Washington, where he is chair of the composition faculty in the School of Music, Hodge taught composition at Columbia University, from which he earned his M.A. and D.M.A. He is published by Alexander Street Press and Babel Scores (Paris), and recorded by New World and Albany labels.
Alex Mincek is a composer, performer and co-director and founder of the New York-based Wet Ink Ensemble. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alpert Award and multiple awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has been recognized through commissions and awards from such arts institutions as the French Ministry of Culture, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, ASCAP and the National Endowment for the Arts. Mincek received his M.A. from the Manhattan School of Music and his D.M.A from Columbia University. He is anassistant professor in the composition and music technology program at Northwestern University in the Bienen School of Music.
Christopher Trapani maintains an active career in the U.S., U.K. and in other parts of Europe. Commissions have come from the BBC, the JACK Quartet and Radio France, among others. Born in New Orleans, Trapani studied music composition and poetry at Harvard. Following a Fulbright grant, he worked on research projects at IRCAM and later returned to the U.S. to complete his doctorate at Columbia University. Trapani won the Gaudeamus Prize and the Luciano Berio Rome Prize in composition. Other honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange, and the Julius F. Ježek Prize. Trapani’s music has been performed by leading ensembles in the U.S. and abroad.
Composer and pianist Wang Lu received the 2019 Berlin Prize in music composition. She is the David S. Josephson Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University. Born in Xi’an, China’s ancient capital, Lu attended Beijing Central Conservatory and received her doctorate from Columbia University. An active festival participant, she has appeared at the New York Philharmonic Biennale, Tanglewood, Cabrillo, Beijing Modern, Aspekte and Havana New Music Festivals. Recent projects include collaborative work on an installation at Brown University’s Cohen Gallery and a residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Lu’s music is available on New Focus Recordings.
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