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Wednesday, April 18, 2001, 9:30am - 1:00pm & 2pm - 5pm
Masonic Hall, 71 West 23rd Street, New York City

Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions

Dennis Russell Davies, Gil Rose, & Jeffrey Milarsky, Conductors; Robert Beaser, Artistic Director; Jennifer Higdon, Fred Lerdahl, & Michael Torke, Mentor Composers

LEONARD LEWIS: Concerto for Orchestra
JOSHUA PENMAN: As It Is, Infinite
PAOLA PRESTINI: Blue (Some Souls)
THOMAS TUMULTY: Movement IV from Symphony No. 1
GREGORY SPEARS: Circle Stories
DALIT WARSHAW: Tyburne Dance

Admission is free. Call 212-977-8495 x207 for info/reservations.

American Composers Orchestra Selects Nation's Top Emerging Composers for 10th Annual Whitaker New Music Readings

The American Composers Orchestra announces the winners of what has become one of this country's most coveted opportunities for emerging composers, the tenth annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions. The Readings, made possible by a grant from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, will be held on Wednesday, April 18th from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Masonic Hall (71 West 23d St., NYC). This event provides an invaluable opportunity for up-and-coming composers to experience a full orchestral rendering of their work, receive the reactions of other composers and performers, and obtain a professional quality tape to assist in their advancement.

This year, eight of the nation's most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers were selected out of nearly 200 submissions received from around the country. The winners are: Paul Yeon Lee, Leonard Lewis, Joshua Penman, Paola Prestini, Roger Przytulski, Gregory Spears, Thomas Tumulty, and Dalit Warshaw.

One of these composers will receive the ACO's Whitaker Commission, a $15,000 award to write a new work to be performed by ACO at Carnegie Hall. Last year's winner, Brian Robison, won top prize with his evocative orchestral work Imagined Corners, which was described by his former teacher, composer Steven Stucky, as "absolutely first-rate: well and thoroughly heard, beautifully made, and possessing just the right amalgam of cogent structure with alluring sound". Mr. Robison is composing a work entitled In Search of the Miraculous, scheduled for performance by ACO in the 2002-03 season.

To date, the Whitaker Reading Sessions have offered a vital resource to the industry by providing essential career development opportunities to over 50 composers, including such award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Derek Bermel, and Jennifer Higdon. ACO has helped launch the careers of many of today's top composers, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwanter, who both received Pulitzer Prizes for ACO commissions; and Robert Beaser, Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, and Tobias Picker, whom the orchestra championed when they were beginning their careers.

The reading sessions will be under the direction of ACO Music Director Dennis Russell Davies, Artistic Director Robert Beaser, and guest conductors Jeffrey Milarsky, Music Director of the Columbia University Orchestra, and Gil Rose, Music Director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Senior composer advisors, Fred Lerdahl, Jennifer Higdon, and Michael Torke, will serve as mentors throughout the proceedings.

Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions Composer-Participants & Works

Paul Yeon LeePaul Yeon Lee: Phoenix

Currently a doctoral student in composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Paul Yeon Lee's music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras, including Speculum Musicae, Charleston String Quartet, the University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, and Haddonfield Symphony. He has received many commissions including Redwood Symphony; percussionist Anthony J. Cirone, and cellist Stephen Czarkowski. Mr. Lee's honors and awards include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Haddonfield Symphony Young Composers' Competition, SJSU Dean Scholarship and ASCAP. His principal teachers include Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Pablo E. Furman, and Allen Strange, and is published by Theodore Presser Company.

Leonard LewisLeonard Lewis: Concerto for Orchestra

University of Missouri at Columbia faculty member Leonard Lewis has won awards, including ASCAP, BMI, the Joseph Bearns Prize from Columbia University and from Voices of Change. His works have been performed by soloists and ensembles such as Symposium 26, and the New Music Camerata, who premiered one of his works at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He has received commissions from the acting principal oboist of the Saint Louis Symphony, flautist Christine Gustafson, New Music Camerata, AURA of the Moores School of Music, and from the acclaimed pianist James Dick. He has worked with several leading composers, such as his former teacher Carlisle Floyd, Bernard Rands, David Del Tredici, Libby Larsen, Morton Subotnick, Shulamit Ran and William Doppmann.

Joshua PenmanJoshua Penman: As it is, Infinite

Joshua Penman, a senior at Yale University, was the winner of the 1998 BMI Student Composers awards and the 1999 National Association of Composers, USA East-Coast Chapter competition, and was selected to compete for the 2000 Gaudeamus prize in the Netherlands. His principal composition teachers have included Kathryn Alexander, John Halle, and Louis Andriessen. He has attended the New England Conservatory and the Koninklijk Conservatorium, as well as the Bowdoin and Music98 summer festivals. Mr. Penman is currently working on a 75-minute electroacoustic chamber opera, Samadhi-lila, which will be performed this April.

Paola Prestini. Photo Credit: Nan MelvillePaola Prestini: Blue (Some Souls)

Italian born composer Paola Prestini's music has been performed at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, the Clark Studio Theater in NY, the Peabody Institute, and by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies conducting. She is the recipient of a Soros fellowship, a Morse fellowship, and a teaching fellowship in music theory at Juilliard where she is currently assistant to the Music Theory department and head of the teaching fellows. While studying at Juilliard, she won the Juilliard Composers Competition with her orchestral work Barcarola, which was premiered in Alice Tully Hall. Ms. Prestini is the co-director and founder of VisionIntoArt, a multimedia group focused on collaborative interartistic performance for the promotion of new art. She has studied with Robert Beaser, Samuel Adler, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Roger PrzytulskiRoger Przytulski: Blitz

Roger Przytulski is currently completing a Master of Music in Composition at the University of Southern California. His pieces have been performed by the USC Thornton Symphony, CSULB Orchestra and chamber groups including the Spectrum Saxophone Quartet. Other projects include several short film scores, music for the theater, and a cello concerto, Ancient Trees. Currently studying with Donald Crockett, Mr. Przytulski's previous teachers include composers Martin Herman, Bruce Miller, John Prince, Stephen Hartke, and Frank Ticheli. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and has received several honors in composition including the 1999 CSULB Talent Scholarship and the 2000 Hans J. Salter Endowed Music Award.

Gregory SpearsGregory Spears: Circle Stories

Gregory Spears received his undergraduate training from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse, Augusta Read Thomas and David Liptak. He has recently completed a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Danish Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen where he worked with composers Hans Abrahamsen and Per Norgard. Mr. Spears has won two BMI Student Composers Awards as well as prizes from ASCAP, the MENC, and the Eastman School of Music. A recipient of a 1999 First Music Orchestral Commission from the New York Youth Symphony, Spears' Midnight Pictures was premiered in Carnegie Hall in May 2000. Mr. Spears is currently studying with Ezra Laderman at the Yale School of Music.

Thomas TumultyThomas Tumulty: Movement IV from Symphony No. 1

Thomas Tumulty, a finalist in the 1999 Mitropoulos International Competition, received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition from the Catholic University of America Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Washington D.C. Among his teachers were the late G. Thaddeus Jones, Dr. Conrad Bernier, Dr. Stephen Strunk and Dr. Elaine Rendler. Selected as one of 20 applicants to enroll in the Advanced Studies Program for the Music Industry (Film Scoring) at the University of Southern California, he had the opportunity to work with Bruce Broughton, Dr. Fred Steiner and Jimmie Haskell. He has also served as music director for many theater productions, including the post-Broadway release of "A Chorus Line" which received a Helen Hayes Award nomination.

Dalit Warshaw: Tyburne Dance

Dalit Warshaw's works have been performed by more than 26 orchestral ensembles, including the New York and Israel Philharmonic orchestras (Zubin Mehta conducting), the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony. Ms. Warshaw has also received commissions from groups ranging from the New York Festival of Song to the Boston Ballet II. Awards include the Aaron Copland International Competition for Young Composers, four ASCAP Foundation Grants, the Juilliard Student Composers Competition, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1984 she became the youngest person to win the BMI Award for Student Composers, with her orchestral piece Fun Suite, written at the age of eight. Past composition teachers include Milton Babbitt, Samual Adler, David Del Tredici, Fred Lerdahl, Jonathan Kramer, Victoria Bond, Donald Waxman and Edward Simons. Ms. Warshaw is currently on the faculty of Juilliard's Evening Division teaching orchestration, as well as teaching composition privately at the Juilliard pre-college.

Reservations & Info

The Readings will occur on April 18, 2001, from 9:30 am - 1pm, and 2-5 pm in the Grand Lodge of Masonic Hall located at 71 West 23rd Street, NYC. The proceedings are open to the public at no charge, and reservations are required. For reservations or further information, please call (212) 977-8495, ext. 207 or click here.

The Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions are made possible with the generous support of the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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