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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jacobs School composer receives two prestigious honors

Feb. 14, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jeffrey Hass, director of the Indiana University Center for Electronic and Computer Music and professor of composition, received two significant professional honors during the past several weeks.

Hass, an IU faculty member since 1987, was named as one of the first four fellows of the newly-created IU Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH) for his project "Creative Applications of an Integrated Interactive Sensor Environment for Music and Dance Performance." During the two-year fellowship period, Hass will receive both financial and technical support from the institute as he fashions advanced methods for tracking movement of dancers and instrumentalists so that their actions control aspects of the sonic and visual environment of his works.

Hass has collaborated with faculty choreographer Elizabeth Shea from the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and lighting designer Rob Shakespeare on three previous works for dance incorporating computer music, video projection and movement tracking. Hass plans to tap campus expertise in areas of robotics, kinesiology, advanced visualization and artificial intelligence programming.

The new institute will bring together scholars, artists, librarians and IT experts working with computers and digital systems.

"Innovation in the arts and humanities is vital to the future of Indiana University and to the preservation and advancement of the arts and humanities globally," said Karen Hanson, IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president. "The new Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities will provide our already highly regarded arts and humanities faculty with additional tools, methods and materials for their outstanding scholarship and creative activities."

IDAH joins the ranks of similar national and international institutes at institutions such as the University of Glasgow, University of Virginia and the University of California Los Angeles. The institute is administered through IU's Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Additional information regarding IDAH can be found at:

Hass also was recently named the recipient of the 2007-08 Heckscher Foundation Composition Prize for his chamber orchestra work City Life. The composer will receive $4,000 and a performance by the Ithaca College chamber orchestra in March. Jennifer Higdon was the last recipient of the award, in 2004.

City Life was composed in 1990 for the Jacobs School New Music Ensemble, which premiered it that same year. The composition went on to receive the Concordia Chamber Orchestra Award when it was performed at the Lincoln Center. The piece has been performed by the Memphis Symphony and numerous new music ensembles around the country. It was played again at IU in November 2007, where it was once again conducted by Akira Mori, who had premiered the work 17 years earlier.

Hass previously taught on the faculties of Rutgers University and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He won the 1994 National Band Association competition, as well as the 1995 Walter Beeler Memorial Award with Lost in the Funhouse, a work for symphonic band and electronic tape, and the 1996 Lee Ettelson Composer's award for Keyed Up, a work for two pianos and tape. In 1997, All the Bells and Whistles placed first in the United States Army Band's 75th Anniversary Composition Competition.

Recently, his Symphony for Orchestra with Electronics was selected as winner of the 2006 ASCAP/Rudolph Nissim award. Recordings of his works have been released by the Indiana University Press, the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS), Arizona University Recordings, Albany Records and RIAX Records. Hass's compositions and videos of his dance works can be found at:

Hass is joined on the faculty of the Center for Electronic Music by composers John Gibson and Alicyn Warren. Further information on the center and its faculty can be found at