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sessions offered by other orchestras
Composer Lisa Bielawa
Reading Sessions set for April 7, 2003
Bielawa has been named winner of the 2002 Whitaker Commission, an
honor that includes a $15,000 prize and a world premiere performance
by American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Chosen from among
eight finalists in one of this country's most coveted opportunities
for emerging composers, Ms. Bielawa won the top prize at ACO's annual
Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions with her work, Roam, inspired by
a passage in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Ms. Bielawa's work impressed
ACO's judges with its "high sense of drama and contrast."
Her work was called "gripping, evocative...highly
effective," and praised for its "wonderful shape from
beginning to end."
Whitaker winner, Paul Yeon 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 works
performed at Carnegie Hall on March 2, 2003.
native of San Francisco, Lisa Bielawa is known as a composer of
concert music, music for theater, and opera. A recent recipient of
the Aaron Copland Award for emerging composers, her string quartet
was premiered by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in April
2001. Recent residencies and performances include American Music Week
in Sofia, Bulgaria; the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the
INFANT Festival in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia; the Minnesota Orchestra
Composer Institute; the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne in Quebec; and the
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. In 1999 she collaborated with director
JoAnne Akalaitis on a music-theater version of Euripides' The Trojan
Women at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. She has appeared
as vocalist in her own works at the Bang On A Can Festival and in the
Hildegurls Electric Ordo Virtutum at the Lincoln Center Festival. Ms.
Bielawa 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, the American Composers
Forum, and the Fondation Royaumont in France. With Eleanor Sandresky
she is Co-Artistic Director of Music at the Anthology (MATA), a
festival dedicated to commissioning and promoting works by young
composers. Ms. Bielawa is also the Founder and Artistic Director of
the World Orchestra of Queens (WOQ), an orchestra of accomplished
amateur musicians from different countries and traditions, which
debuts in 2003.
Held in New
York this past April under the direction of ACO's Music Director
Dennis Russell Davies and Artistic Director/composer Robert Beaser,
the eleventh annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions attracted
more than 200 submissions from emerging composers around the country.
Also participating were mentor-composers Yehudi Wyner and James
Mobberley, and guest conductors Dante Anzolini and Paul Hostetter.
This year's finalists included Mark Applebaum, currently assistant
professor of composition at Stanford University; Anthony Barrese, who
received his masters in composition from New England Conservatory in
1999; Stacy Garrop, assistant professor in composition at Roosevelt
University in Chicago; Huang Ruo, who studies at the Juilliard School
with Christopher Rouse; Robert Manthey, who received his masters from
Yale in 2001, where he studied with Joseph Schwantner and Ezra
Laderman; Milica Paranosic, who earned a masters in composition from
Juilliard, where she studied with Robert Beaser; and Anna Weesner,
assistant professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania. The
Readings provide an invaluable opportunity for developing composers
to experience a full orchestral rendering of their work, receive the
reactions of conductors, composers and performers, and obtain a
professional quality recording to assist in their advancement. Over
the years, more than 50 composers have received crucial
career-development through ACO's Whitaker Readings, including such
award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Derek Bermel, Pierre
Jalbert, Randall Woolf, and Jennifer Higdon.
To date, the
Whitaker Reading Sessions have offered a vital resource to the
industry by providing essential career development opportunities to
over 50 composers. 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;
Robert Beaser, Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis,
Christopher Rouse, and Tobias Picker were all championed by the
orchestra when they were beginning their careers.
Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions will be held on April 7, 2003 in
New York City; the application deadline is 5pm on November 15, 2002.
Visit www.americancomposers.org/wnmr.htm, telephone 212-977-8495
x201, or email for
submission guidelines and application.
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.