Roger Zare Wins Earshot: China-US Composers Competition

New York, NY – Composer Roger Zare is the winner of the first ever EarShot China – U.S. Composers Project Emerging Composers Competition, which took place on May 31, 2016 at Beijing Concert Hall. The competition is part of the China – U.S. Composers Project, presented by ACO and the Beijing Modern Music Festival, and in Earshot’s first international program.

Zare won for his piece Fractal Miniatures and was presented the Competition Grand Prize by mentor composers Xiaogang Ye (Director of Beijing Modern Music Festival), Sola Liu (Award-winning composer of film and television scores), Robert Beaser (ACO Artistic Director Laureate & Chair of Composition at The Juilliard School) and Chen Yi (ACO Artistic Advisor), Danbu Chen (Director of YCP Beijing Modern Program), Xia Guan (Director, China National Symphony Orchestra), and Liguang Wang (President, China Conservatory).

The Competition Grand Prize includes the honor of a U.S. premiere performance of the winning piece by American Composers Orchestra in New York City as part of a major festival of Chinese and Chinese-American composer’s music. Taking place over three seasons or more, with multiple performances and exchange activities in both Beijing and New York City, the China-U.S. Composers Project will be one of the most significant cultural exchange projects ever undertaken between China and the U.S., and a major international exploration of the work of contemporary composers.

Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” He was born in Sarasota, FL and has written for a wide variety of ensembles, from solo instruments to full orchestra. Often inspired by science, mathematics, literature, and mythology, his colorfully descriptive and energetic works have been performed in five continents by such ensembles as ACO, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Australian-based Trio Anima Mundi, the Donald Sinta Quartet, and the New York Youth Symphony. An award winning composer, Zare has received the ASCAP Nissim Prize, three BMI Student Composer Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, a 2010 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Copland House Residency Award, Grand Prize in the inaugural China-US Emerging Composers Competition, and many other honors. An active pianist, Zare performed his chamber work, Geometries, with Cho-Liang Lin, Jian Wang, and Burt Hara at the 2014 Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. He has been composer in residence at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and currently serves with the SONAR new music ensemble.

Zare holds a DMA (’12) from the University of Michigan as well as degrees from the Peabody Conservatory (MM ’09) and the University of Southern California (BM ’07).

Zare is also the recipient of the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, and his winning piece Time Lapse was premiered by ACO in January 2010. The EarShot China – U.S. Composers Project Emerging Composers Competition, the first international EarShot program to date, was open to composers who were Chinese citizens residing anywhere in the world, and composers of Chinese-American descent who were U.S. citizens or non-citizens lawfully and permanently residing or studying full-time in the United States.

Support for the China-U.S. Composers Project is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing Performance & Art Group, Chinese Literature Foundation, Beijing BPA Music & Culture Co, Ltd. and Shanghai Supreme Co., Ltd. Special support for the China-U.S. Composers Project comes from the Estate of James S. Marcus. Special thanks to Ms. Shirley Young.