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2017 Music Award Winners

Sixteen Composers Receive Awards Totaling $195,000

New York, March 1, 2017 — The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music, which total $195,000.  The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members:  Yehudi Wyner (chairman), Samuel Adler, Martin Boykan, Sebastian Currier, Stephen Jaffe, Aaron Jay Kernis, Tobias Picker, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.   The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May.  Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Arts and Letters Awards in Music
Four composers will each receive a $10,000 Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice.  Each will receive an additional $10,000 toward the recording of one work.  The winners are Lisa Bielawa, Yu-Hui Chang, Jan Krzywicki, and Andrew Norman.

Walter Hinrichsen Award
Jake Landau will receive the Walter Hinrichsen Award for the publication of a work by a gifted composer.  This award was established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, music publishers, in 1984.

Andrew Imbrie Award
Eric Guinivan will receive the Andrew Imbrie Award of $10,000 for a composer of demonstrated artistic merit in mid-career.

Charles Ives Fellowships
Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Charles Ives’s music, which has enabled the Academy to give the Ives awards in composition since 1970.  Two Charles Ives Fellowships, of $15,000, will be awarded to Ryan Chase and Saad Haddad.

Charles Ives Scholarships
Katherine Balch, William Healy, Andrew HsuSky Macklay, Sid Richardson, and Hilary Purrington will receive Charles Ives Scholarships of $7500, given to composition students of great promise.

Goddard Lieberson Fellowships
Two Goddard Lieberson Fellowships of $15,000, endowed in 1978 by the CBS Foundation, are given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts.  This year they will go to Carl Schimmel and Dalit Warshaw.


Photo by Kate L Photography

Katherine Balch (b.1991) writes music that seeks to capture the intimate details of existence through sound. Her work has been performed across the United States and abroad by such ensembles as the Minnesota and Albany Symphony Orchestras, Yale Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and featured in Aspen, Norfolk, Fontainebleau and Santa Fe music festivals, IRCAM’s Manifeste and the LAPhil’s National Composer’s Intensive. Upcoming projects include new works for the Tokyo and Albany Symphonies, a residency with the MANCA festival in Nice, France, and a new piece for the California Symphony as their recently appointed Composer in Residence. Katherine is grateful for mentorship from composers Kati Agócs, Stratis Minakakis, Chris Theofanidis, David Lang, and Aaron Jay Kernis. She currently studies with Georg Haas and Fred Lerdahl at Columbia University, where she is pursuing her D.M.A.

Photo by Liz Linder

Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. The New York Times describes her music as, “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart.” Bielawa began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992 and has premiered and toured works by John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Michael Gordon. In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center. Bielawa’s music is frequently performed throughout the US and Europe. Highlights include premieres at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Orlando Philharmonic, and the Kennedy Center. She is currently working onVireo, an episodic opera which will be released for free, on-demand streaming in 2017.

Photo by Mike Lovett

The music of Yu-Hui Chang has been performed across continents in the Netherlands, Italy, UK, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the U.S. to critical acclaim. Among the commissions she has received are those from Fromm, Barlow, Koussevitzky, Meet the Composer (New Music USA), BMOP, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Earplay, Volti, Triple Helix, Monadnock Music Festival, Arts Council Korea, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center of Taiwan. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, Aaron Copland Award, and the Charles Ives Fellowship (2009) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is currently Associate Professor of Composition at Brandeis University.

Described as “the stuff of memory” (The Herald-Times) and a “whirlwind… of deftly explored contrasts of mood, from bombastic to introverted” (The New York Times), Ryan Chase‘s music has been performed by such ensembles as Alarm Will Sound, the Chelsea Symphony, Contemporaneous, the Flux Quartet, rogue collective, and members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. He has received fellowships and commissions from Tanglewood, Aspen, Copland House, and the Fromm Music Foundation. His accolades include an ASCAP Morton Gould Award, the William Schuman Prize for most outstanding entry from BMI Student Composer Awards, and the Brian M. Israel Award, among others. A graduate of Indiana University and the Mannes College of Music, he currently teaches at Colgate University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Composition.

Eric Guinivan’s music has been performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia and has received notable honors from BMI, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, the Theodore Presser Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University.  Eric has received commissions from the New York Youth Symphony, Lake Union Civic Orchestra, ASCAP, the Society of Composers Inc., and the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, among others.  A Grammy-nominated percussionist, Eric was a founding member of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and has performed as soloist with New York Youth Symphony, Downey Symphony, and the USC Thornton Symphony.  Eric holds degrees in composition and percussion from University of Southern California and Indiana University and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at James Madison University.

Photo by Dennis Christians

Saad Haddad (b. 1992) is a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electroacoustic music who achieves a “remarkable fusion of idioms” (The New York Times), most notably in his work exploring the disparate qualities inherent in Western art music and Middle Eastern musical tradition. His music delves into that relationship by transferring the performance techniques of traditional Arabic instruments to Western symphonic instruments, while extending their capabilities through the advancement of technology. This season features performances of several of his orchestral works, including Takht, Manarah, and a new work for the Albany Symphony. In addition, Haddad is serving as composer in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Ucross Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Studios of Key West, and the Luzerne Music Center.

Photo by Dennis Christians

William Healy is a composer and pianist based in New York. He is the artistic director of ShoutHouse, an ensemble of 15 hip-hop, jazz and classical musicians. Having played trumpet in an Afrobeat band for a few years, his music features performers from many corners of the New York music scene. In addition, he is an accomplished pianist specializing in Bach, with a repertoire that includes the complete Goldberg Variations and WTC Book 1. Recent awards include the Juilliard Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and Chimera Quintet Composition Competitions, and the W.K. Rose Fellowship. His work has been featured at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, on New Sounds with John Schaefer, WBAI’s Making Music, and the I Care if You Listen Mixtape. Healy is completing an M.M. in Composition at The Juilliard School, where he studies with John Corigliano under the Richard Rodgers scholarship.

Photo by Pete Checchia

Andrew Hsu is a critically-acclaimed pianist and award-winning composer. Writing music characterized as “an amorphous cloud of dissonance, slow and vibrating” (The New York Times), Hsu’s compositions have collectively received numerous honors over the years, including several ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and a BMI William Schuman Prize. A 2014 Gilmore Young Artist, Hsu’s pianism has been noted for “[channeling] Horowitz right down to the brilliant-yet-delicate high-treble sonority” (Philadelphia Inquirer). An avid chamber musician, Hsu will attend Marlboro Music beginning in Summer 2017. Hsu is currently a proud Kovner Fellow at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Matthias Pintscher. He also studies piano privately with Gary Graffman.

Photo by Joseph V. Labolito

Jan Krzywicki is active as a composer, conductor and educator.  As a composer he has been commissioned by prestigious performers and organizations who have performed his music both nationally and internationally.  He is the recipient of a 1996 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and in Italy at the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio) and the Liguria Center for the Arts (Bogliasco).  His work is published primarily by Theodore Presser Co. and Alphonse Leduc, and can be heard on Albany Records and other labels.   Since 1990 he has been conductor of the contemporary ensemble Network for New Music.  Krzywicki is a professor of music theory at Temple University, where he conducts the New Music Ensemble and has taught courses in analysis, performance practice, and ear training.


Photo by Suzanne Sheridan

Jake Landau, born in 1995, is a composer, producer, and pianist from Westport, Connecticut. His music has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Houston Grand Opera, and Premiere Division Ballet in venues such as David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall, and New York Live Arts Theater. In addition to his concert work, Landau frequently collaborates on electronic music, producing tracks and writing live arrangements for major pop and indie studios around New York City. His formative studies were with theater composer Lawrence Rosen, and Landau is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music under John Corigliano at The Juilliard School.

Photo by Aleksandr Karjaka

The music of composer, oboist, and installation artist Sky Macklay explores bold contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. Her works have been performed by ICE, Yarn/Wire, Wet Ink, Dal Niente, and The Da Capo Chamber Players. Her piece for the Lexington Symphony was the winner of the 2013 Leo Kaplan award, the top prize in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In 2015 her installation of inflatable harmonica-playing robots, Harmonibots, received the Ruth Anderson Prize. She has been commissioned by The New York Virtuoso Singers, Chamber Music America, and the Jerome Fund. Her string quartet Many Many Cadences, recorded on Spektral Quartet’s Grammy-nominated album, also received an ASCAP award. Originally from Minnesota, Sky is currently pursuing her DMA at Columbia University.

Photo by Mathew Imaging

Andrew Norman, recipient of Musical America’s 2017 Composer of the Year Award, is a Los Angeles-based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. His symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the BBC and Saint Louis Symphonies, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France, among others, with chamber music performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the CONTACT! series, the Ojai Festival and beyond. He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Philadelphia, and currently holds that post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Norman is the recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

Photo by Jiji KimPhoto

Hilary Purrington is a New England-based composer of contemporary classical music. Her works have been performed by many distinguished ensembles, including the Yale Philharmonia, the American Modern Ensemble, the Peabody Modern Orchestra, the Chicago Harp Quartet, and Voices of Change. In 2016, Purrington’s music was featured on the NY Phil Biennial’s New Music New Haven concert. Recent projects include commissions from the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Washington Square Winds, and the Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC. Purrington holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts at the Yale School of Music.

Photo by Eric Snoza

Sid Richardson writes concert music that imbues modern idioms with emotional grit and cerebral wit.  He has collaborated with ensembles such as The Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble Amarcord, and yMusic.  Sid has engaged in projects with prominent soloists like saxophonists Susan Fancher and Branford Marsalis, violinist Jennifer Koh, and pianist Conrad Tao.  His dissertation piece Red Wind sets the poetry of Nathaniel Mackey and features the poet himself along with soprano Mellissa Hughes and members of the New York-based ensemble Deviant Septet.  Originally from Belmont, Massachusetts, Sid is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Music at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  He holds degrees from Boston Conservatory, Duke University, and Tufts University.

Photo by Chanel Parrott Apsey

Praised by The New York Times as “vivid and dramatic,” the music of Carl Schimmel is dense with literary and musical references, often humorous, and combines intensity of expression with a structural rigor which draws upon his mathematics background.  Winner of the Bearns Prize and the Lee Ettelson Award, Schimmel has received honors and awards from many organizations, including MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, New Music USA, and ASCAP.  His works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, by ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Da Capo Chamber Players, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many others.  He is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Illinois State University.

Photo by Miranda Loud

A 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, Dalit Warshaw’s works have received performances by the New York and Israel Philharmonic orchestras, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony, among others. An active performer, she premiered her piano concerto, Conjuring Tristan, with the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2015, and has appeared as theremin soloist with BMOP, NY Festival of Song, and the San Francisco Symphony. Her CD, Invocations (Albany Records), was released in 2011. Additional awards include five ASCAP Grants, Fulbright and Charles Ives Scholarships, and two BMI Awards. A graduate of Columbia University and The Juilliard School, Warshaw has held multiple residencies at the Yaddo and MacDowell Artist Colonies, and currently teaches on the composition faculties of CUNY-Brooklyn College and the Juilliard Evening Division.

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