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July 28, 2009

Koussevitzky Foundation Announces Commission Winners for 2009

The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc., have awarded commissions for new musical works to seven composers. Jointly granting the commissions are the foundations and the performing organizations that will present the newly composed works.

Award winners and the groups co-sponsoring their commissions are Edmund Campion and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players; Yu-Hui Chang and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble; Chong Kee Yong and the Momenta Quartet; Sofia Gubaidulina and "Contempo," the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago; Christopher Wendell Jones and sfSound; Eric Lindsay and the Adorno Ensemble; and Bruno Mantovani and eighth blackbird.

A native of Taiwan, Yu-Hui Chang’s works have been performed in the Netherlands, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and throughout the United States. Orchestras programming Chang’s works include the Taipei Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, along with leading chamber ensembles, such as Adorno, Dinosaur Annex, Earplay, the Group for Contemporary Music, Nieuw Ensemble, and the Alexander and Lydian String Quartets. Awards and fellowships include those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize from the Asian Composers League. Chang teaches composition at Brandeis University.

Edmund Campion is professor of music at the University of California at Berkeley, where he also serves as co-director of the Center for New Music and AudioTechnologies. Campion’s works have been produced and commissioned by IRCAM (L’Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris, Radio France, and the Centre National de Création Musicale. The Rome Prize, the Nadia Boulanger Award, the Paul Fromm Award at Tanglewood, and the Fulbright and Charles Ives fellowships are among his many honors. Recent projects include a Fromm Foundation commission written for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and a French Ministry of Culture Commande d’etat, composed for the Percussion de Strasbourg Ensemble.

Leaving a rural farming community for studies in Kuala Lumpur, Chong Kee Yong has advanced degrees from the Royal Flemish Conservatory. He has earned numerous prizes and honors, among them the Prix Marcel Hastir at the Royal Academy (Belgium), the Andrzej Panufnik Competition (Poland), the Max Reger-Tage International Competition (Germany), and the Isang Yun Music Prize (Korea). In addition, Chong won the 2004 Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s International Composers’ Award. Recent commissions include works for the Musica Viva Festival in Munich and Vlaaderen Symphonie Orkest in Belgium.

In 1970, Sofia Gubaidulina co-founded the Astreia Ensemble, a group that enabled her to explore compositional techniques with Russian, Caucasian and Asian folk instruments, which combined with Western techniques as influences on her style. She was first allowed to travel to the West in 1985, and since then her list of commissions, performances, recorded works and prizes has grown significantly. Her commissions have come from world-renowned ensembles, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and the Kronos Quartet. Gubaidulina has been recognized in the U.S. by election as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Christopher Wendell Jones resides in San Francisco and teaches at Stanford University, where he earned his doctorate in music composition. His music has been featured internationally at festivals and in concert series including the Darmstadt Ferienkurse in Germany, the Ictus International Composition Seminar in Brussels, Italy’s Cortona Contemporary Music Festival, and Merkin Hall’s Interpretations Series in New York City.

Eric Lindsay is the recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award; the Peter David Faith Endowed Memorial Award and the Carolyn Alchin Memorial Scholarship, both from the University of Southern California; and the Robert Schumann Scholarship in Composition from the Aspen Music Festival and School. As a performer, Lindsay twice won the Seattle Symphony’s Gold Medalist Program as an oboist, and he received an award from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival as a pianist.

Bruno Mantovani has been commissioned by Radio France, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre de Saarbrucken, Cologne Radio, and the Ensemble InterContemporain. Prizes and fellowships have come from the City of Stuttgart, Gaudeamus in Amsterdam, the Academy of Beaux-Arts, and the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Foundation.

The Koussevitzky Music Foundation of New York and the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, established in 1942 and 1950, respectively, perpetuate Serge Koussevitzky’s lifelong efforts to encourage contemporary composers. Koussevitzky was appointed conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in 1924, a post he held for 25 years. Works commissioned by him and the two foundations include such established masterpieces as Benjamin Britten’s "Peter Grimes" and Béla Bartók’s "Concerto for Orchestra."

Commissions are awarded on a competitive basis and are open to performing organizations and to composers regardless of national origin or affiliation. Performing groups must submit an application for a composer whose work they would like to jointly commission with the foundations, and the groups must perform the work within two years of its completion. Manuscripts of commissioned works are deposited in the Music Division of the Library of Congress. The next application deadline is March 1, 2010. More information can be found at www.koussevitzky.org.

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PR 09-145
07/28/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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