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Paul Yeon Lee wins 2001 Whitaker Commission

2001 reading session participants

2000 reading session participants


Monday, April 15, 2002
Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions

Dennis Russell Davies and Matthew Lima at the 2000 Whitaker New Music Readings9:30am - 1:30pm and 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium
Columbia University's Alfred Lerner Hall, Broadway at 115th Street, New York City

Dennis Russell Davies, music director & conductor
Robert Beaser, artistic director
Dante Anzolini & Paul Hostetter, guest conductors
James Mobberley, Yehudi Wyner & Steve Mackey, mentor composers

STACY GARROP: Sometimes a Wild and Quiet Place
HUANG RUO: City of Solace
ROBERT MANTHEY: The Celestial Clockwork
MILICA PARANOSIC: I Remember&ldots;(summer when Gianni was killed)
ANNA WEESNER: Sometimes a Wild and Quiet Place

Admission is free, but reservations are required.
Call: 212-977-8495 x201

American Composers Orchestra announces the winners of what has become one of this country's most coveted opportunities for emerging composers, the eleventh annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions. The Readings, made possible by a leadership grant from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, will be held on Monday, April 15th from 9:30am - 1:30pm and 2:30pm - 5:00pm in Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia University's Alfred Lerner Hall (Broadway at 115th Street). The Reading Sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for up-and-coming composers to experience a full orchestral rendering of their work, and receive the critical feedback from other composers and performers. The Sessions also serve the music industry, introducing a new generation of compositional talent.

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 winning composers are: Mark Applebaum, Anthony Barrese, Lisa Bielawa, Stacy Garrop, Huang Ruo, Robert Manthey, Milica Paranosic, and Anna Weesner. Honorable mentions go to Gregory Hutter, Damon Lee, and Ayse Onder.

After the conclusion of the Reading Sessions, one of these composers will receive ACO's Whitaker Commission, a $15,000 award to write a new work to be performed by ACO at Carnegie Hall. The 2001 winner, Paul Yeon Lee, won top prize with his evocative work Phoenix, praised for its "beautiful lyricism blended with dramatic, energetic, and rhythmic driving sections." Mr. Lee is currently working on a new composition for ACO, scheduled for performance at Carnegie Hall in the 2003-04 season. Previous Whitaker-commissioned composers Brian Robison, Hsueh-Yung Shen and Dan Coleman will have their new works performed at Carnegie Hall on March 2, 2003.

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 Schwantner, 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 Dante Anzolini and Paul Hostetter. Anzonlini is Assistant Professor of Music at MIT and has served as Assistant Conductor at ACO, collaborating with many contemporary composers including Tania León and Philip Glass. Hostetter is Music Director of the Lyric Orchestra of New York and Conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. He has premiered over 30 new works with ensembles ranging from The League ISCM to the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Composer advisors, James Mobberley, Yehudi Wyner, and Steve Mackey, will serve as mentors throughout the proceedings.

Composer-Participants & Works to be Performed

Mark Applebaum: SKUMFIDUSER!

Mark Applebaum received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, San Diego where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough. His music has been performed at Darmstadt, ICMC, SEAMUS, and SIGGRAPH. His commissions include the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, American Composers Forum, Zeitgeist, and the Paul Dresher Ensemble; performances by Speculum Musicae, the Arditti String Quartet, and Steven Schick. Applebaum is currently assistant professor of composition at Stanford University. "SKUMFIDUSER!" features a computer-generated tape part as "sparring partner" to the orchestra, making references to "techno music, the (nostalgic) surface noise of vinyl recordings, ambient music, and other 'elite'/'vernacular' collisions."

Mr. Applebaum's work is the first ever selected for the Reading Sessions to incorporate a technology component, and is included as part of ACO's newly launched Orchestra Tech initiative, which seeks to explore the integration digital technology and the symphony orchestra.

Anthony Barrese: Project Mayhem

Anthony Barrese received his Masters in Composition from New England Conservatory in 1999, where he studied with Robert Ceely. He studies privately in Milan with Roberto Andreoni, where he also served as Music Director of the Orchestra de Camera "Giorgio Strehler." He has won numerous awards including two BMI Student Composer Awards, and is establishing a reputation as a conductor as well as a composer. His piece, "Project Mayhem", is notable for its "color and intensity."

Lisa Bielawa: Roam

Lisa Bielawa is recipient of the Aaron Copland Award for emerging composers. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presented the premiere of her string quartet in April 2001. Her work has been featured at American Music Week in Bulgaria; the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the INFANT Festival in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia; the Bang On A Can Festival, and the Lincoln Center Festival. Lisa has received grants, fellowships and awards from The Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, NYSCA, New York Foundation for the Arts, ASCAP, the Omaha Symphony, and the Foundation Rayaumont in France. She is Co-Artistic Director of the MATA Festival in New York.

Stacy Garrop: Shadow

Stacy Garrop received her Doctorate from Indiana University in 2000 and has won several orchestra competitions resulting in performances by the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, New England Philharmonic, the Women's Philharmonic, and two readings by the Minnesota Orchestra. She was a finalist for the 2001 Rome Prize and received a 2001 Barlow Endowment commission. She has been in-residence at Banff, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Yaddo, Wellesley Composers Conference, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Theodore Presser Company publishes several of her works. She is Assistant Professor in Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Huang Ruo: City of Solace (Chamber Symphony No. 1)

Huang Ruo, a native of China, now lives in New York where he studies at the Juilliard School with Christopher Rouse. He received his Bachelor's Degree in 2000 from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His first symphonic work, "Expression & Imagination," written when he was just 15 years old, was premiered by the Shanghai Youth Orchestra. The Wall Street Journal calls his music "strikingly assured, marked by a descriptive grandeur and gravity."

Robert Manthey: The Celestial Clockwork

Robert Manthey received his Masters Degree from Yale University in 2001, where he studied with Joseph Schwantner and Ezra Laderman. He was the recipient of the Yale University School of Music Bradley-Keeler Memorial Scholarship, as well as a full scholarship to study at the Ecole d'Art Americaine, Fontainbleau, France. He also serves as Choir Director and Organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Trumbull, Connecticut. One adjudicator had this comment about "The Celestial Clockwork": "This composer understands nuance and color."

Milica Paranosic: I Remember&ldots;(summer when Gianni was killed)

Milica Paranosic, was born in Yugoslavia and earned her B.A. from the University of Arts in Belgrade. She went on to earn her Masters in composition from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Beaser. Equally accomplished in electronic and acoustic music, she is currently the Music Technology Lab manager at the Juilliard School. Her music has been called "a voice of the next generation."

Anna Weesner: A Wild and Quiet Place

Anna Weesner earned her B.A. from Yale University, and her M.F.A. and D.M.A. from Cornell University, where she studied with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra. She is currently assistant professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2001, she won the University of Pennsylvania Trustees Council Award, was a Fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference, and attended residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Blue Mountain Center. Composer John Harbison says of her music: "None of it proceeds in obvious ways. Her vocabulary is subtle and rather elusive; the effect is paradoxically decisive and confident."

Reservations & Info

The Whitaker New Music Reading Session take place on Monday, April 15, 2001, from 9:30am - 1:30pm, and 2:30 -5:00pm in Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia University's Alfred Lerner Hall (Broadway at 115th Street). The Reading Sessions are open to the public at no charge, but reservations are required. For reservations or further information, please call (212) 977-8495, ext. 201 or visit

The Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions and Whitaker Commission are supported by a generous grant from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO's Emerging Composer Programs are also supported by The Greenwall Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and The Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust, with additional public funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Additional support of the ACO comes from Alliance Capital Management L.P., Americans for the Arts, Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Bodman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Mr. Thomas Buckner, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Estate of Frank Goelet, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Christian Humann Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, Meet The Composer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Times Co. Foundation, Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Virgil Thomson Foundation.

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