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Luiz Fernando Lopes
Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011

IU Latin American Music Center announces results of first recording competition

Feb. 1, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Latin American Music Center (LAMC) announces that violinist Colin Sorgi and collaborative pianist Jooeun Pak have won the first Latin American Music Recording Competition, held Jan. 29 and 30, with the final round in Auer Hall. Sorgi is a master's student, studying violin with Professor Jaime Laredo and Pak is a doctoral student, studying piano with Professor Edmund Battersby.

Colin Sorgi (right) and Jooeun Pak (left)

Print-Quality Photo

The competition, which opened the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the creation of the Latin American Music Center, is an outgrowth of the Annual Competition in Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America. This year, it included a total of four highly diverse program proposals, and the final round featured the performance of 11 compositions by three ensembles.

"The Latin American Music Center is proud to continue the competition project initiated, for the past 13 years, with assistance from the Embassy of Spain," said Carmen Helena, professor of choral conducting and director of the Latin American Music Center. "These annual competitions have focused attention on the extraordinary archive of Latin American works collected by the center with the assistance of the Cook Music Library."

The newly organized contest focuses on producing commercially available recordings in order to promote the repertoire among scholars, concert artists and presenters and to showcase the talent of emerging artists at the Jacobs School of Music. "A fully produced compact disc has become a calling-card, if you will, among music professionals," said Téllez.

Sorgi and Pak's virtuosic performance in the competition included works by three of the leading living Latin American composers -- Gabriela Lena Frank (from the United States and Peru, born in 1972), Paul Dessene (from Venezuela, born in 1959) and Miguel del Águila (from Uruguay, born in 1957).

"I am extremely excited and grateful to win this competition with Jooeun," Sorgi said. "It is a wonderful and rare opportunity to be able work on the daunting project of recording an entire album, and we're really looking forward to it."

A champion of contemporary music, Sorgi is the founder and artistic director of the Baltimore-based SONAR new music ensemble and has collaborated with members of Alarm Will Sound and Ensemble Intercontemporain. He is also an avid chamber musician and the first violinist of the Jacobs School's Kuttner Quartet as well as co-founder of the San Antonio-based River City Chamber Players.

Pak, a native of South Korea, has won prizes in several national and international piano competitions as a soloist, including Gold medal in Korean National Piano Competition, and Grand Prize in the Kyung Hyang Newspaper Competition. She has a strong interest in 20th and 21st century piano repertoire. Recent performances were with the Castleton Orchestra (under Lorin Maazel) and the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine.

Finalists in the Auer Hall concert included conductor Ben Geier, a student of William Jon Gray, Robert Porco and Téllez in a set of selections from Latin America. Geier was assisted in performance by vocal ensemble Vox Reflexa, instrumental ensemble ¡Sacabuche! and Ahn Mee Jung, recorder; Marcus Scholtes, violin; Chris Briden, viola da gamba; and Maria Martinez, cello.

Also performing in the finals, with a selection of Latin jazz works, was The Hunter Diamond and Ryan Knudsen Sextet, including Hunter Diamond and Josh Johnson, saxophones (both students of Thomas Walsh); Max Marshall, piano (student of Michael Weiss); Coleman Cook, bass (student of Jeremy Allen); Ryan Kudsen, drumset, and Mike Mixtacki, percussion (both students of Michael Spiro).

"Our entrants presented very persuasive and well-researched proposals for the recordings," Téllez said. "The preliminary and final round performances were of an exceptionally high level, which made the task of confirming the winners a challenge for the jury."

The competition was coordinated logistically by Luiz Fernando Lopes. This year's jury included Jacobs School of Music adjunct, full-time and emeriti faculty: Atar Arad, Ernesto Bitetti, Cary Boyce, Emma Dederick, Luke Gillespie, Jan Harrington, Espen Jensen, Javier León, Luiz Fernando Lopes and Juan Orrego-Salas, founder and first director of the Latin American Music Center. Téllez was the moderator.