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David Dzubay
Professor, IU Jacobs School of Music

Nicole Roales
Office of University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Jacobs School composer takes home prestigious composition title

Sept. 5, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- David Dzubay, composer and professor of music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, took home first prize in the 2007 Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival/Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition.

A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, Dzubay was awarded $2,000, and his winning piece, Double Black Diamond, will be performed at the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival on Nov. 9. This is the second time Dzubay has won the competition. Fifteen years ago, Dzubay took home the first place title with his work, Snake Alley.

Double Black Diamond was originally commissioned by the Utah Arts Festival and premiered in 2005 at the festival. It also has been performed by the IU New Music Festival. The piece is about a ski run and contains three sections: Dreaming about skiing, taking the chair lift up and going down the hill. For the Indiana State competition, Dzubay made several revisions -- adding tuba and synthesizer parts -- and made the piece longer.

"This virtuoso piece is mostly very fast and rhythmical," Dzubay said. "Partly because of the subject matter, the music follows a central line with shifting orchestration involving everyone playing bits and pieces of this central music that is flying by. Originally composed for an outdoor festival venue, the piece is very direct. It's quite linear and goal-oriented.

"It was a fun piece for me to write, and it can be done with single strings, like when the IU New Music Ensemble performed it, or with multiple strings, which will be the case with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra," Dzubay continued.

Dzubay teaches composition, directs the New Music Ensemble and occasionally conducts an orchestra. He has conducted at the Tanglewood, Aspen and June in Buffalo festivals. He has also conducted the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Voices of Change -- an ensemble from the Minnesota Orchestra -- and strings from the Louisville Orchestra. From 1995-98 he served as composer-consultant to the Minnesota Orchestra. And he was the 2005-2006 composer in residence with the Green Bay Symphony.

Other honors Dzubay has garnered include a 2007-2008 Guggenheim Fellowship; residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Copland House; a "Meet the Composer" commission for the Manhattan Brass Quintet; the 2003 William Revelli Prize from the National Band Association; a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard; and the 2000 Wayne Peterson Prize for Music.

Dzubay's music has been performed in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico and Asia, by ensembles including the symphony orchestras of Aspen, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Honolulu, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota, Oregon, Oakland, St. Louis and Vancouver; the American Composers Orchestra, National Symphonies of Ireland and Mexico, New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and New York Youth Symphony; and ensembles including Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal), Onix (Mexico), Manhattan Brass, Voices of Change (Dallas), the Alexander and Orion String Quartets, the League/ISCM, Earplay and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. His music has been championed by soloists including Christine Schadeberg, Thomas Robertello, Corey Cerovsek, Carter Enyeart, James Campbell, Eric Nestler and David Starobin, and conductors including James DePreist, George Hanson, David Loebel, Michael Morgan, Eiji Oue, Richard Pittman, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Carl Topilow, David Wiley, Samuel Wong, Kirk Trevor and David Zinman. His music is published by Pro Nova Music, Dorn, and Thompson Edition and is recorded on the Centaur, Innova, Crystal, Klavier, Gia, First Edition and Sony labels.