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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010

IU Jacobs School of Music student composer wins Bowdoin Festival competition

June 14, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Elliott Bark, a doctoral student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has won the Bowdoin International Music Festival's third-annual student composition competition.

His work, autumn leaves canvas for harp, will make its world premiere during the July 31 Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music concert at Studzinski Recital Hall at Bowdoin College, Maine.

In his program notes, Bark wrote: "autumn leaves canvas can be read in different ways. As a canvas where many autumn leaves are painted, as a canvas that illustrates the change from fall to winter or as an image that autumn has left and gone somewhere else when you read 'leaves' as a verb.

"To me, winning seems to mean that the people on the panel understood and appreciated what I tried to do in the music," he said. "Expressing what one wants should be one of the things that composers focus on, but being understood by others cannot be ignored. I'm so glad that others can see the image that I had while composing."

He will receive $500 for the honor.

Bark, a pianist, conductor and composer, is also assistant director of the IU New Music Ensemble and a doctoral fellow in the Jacobs School Composition Department. Among his other prizes are the 2007 Beethoven Club Composition Contest, 2008 Kuttner Quartet Composition Competition and first place for the 2009 SCI/ASCAP student commission in Region V. His Shalom for flute and orchestra, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony, was premiered in Carnegie Hall on May 23 by Bowdoin Festival alumna flutist Alex Sopp under the baton of Ryan McAdams.

The Bowdoin Festival's annual student composition competition is open to all students under the age of 35. Entries are judged anonymously by the festival's composition and instrumental faculty.