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Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dean's Prizes in composition awarded

April 26, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Composition Department has announced the 2011 Dean's Prize Composition Competition awards in categories that include Orchestra or Wind Ensemble, Chamber or Ensemble, Undergraduate Composition and Electronic Music.

The Dean's Prize competition, sponsored by IU's Jacobs School of Music Office of the Dean and Composition Department, has been held annually since 1977 and since 1993, has also included the commission of a new work from the winner of Chamber or Ensemble.

The Georgina Joshi Composition Commission Award, made possible by a gift from the Georgina Joshi Foundation, provides an annual award to an undergraduate or graduate student composer within the Jacobs School's Composition Department for a composition for solo voice and instrumental ensemble. The commissioned work is premiered by the IU New Music Ensemble.

The Joshi Award is presented as part of the Composition Department's Dean's Prize competition to the student composer of the work involving voice that is ranked highest as judged by the Composition Department faculty.

2011 Winners

Category A (Orchestra or Wind Ensemble, $500 prize)

Brian Ciach (1977), Collective Uncommon for orchestra

Pianist and composer Brian Ciach is enjoying an active career in alternative classical music. A native of Philadelphia, he has heard and performed his music across the United States, in Berlin, Germany and Pavia, Italy. The 2009 premiere of his work Strange Assortments by the IU Percussion Ensemble was "a highlight among highlights in an extremely well-executed program" (Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times). Ciach's Second Piano Sonata has received both national and international recognition, winning the 2008 National Federation of Music Clubs Emil and Ruth Beyer Composition Award and the 2011 American Liszt Society's Bicentennial Composition Competition. Also a composer of electronic music, his work Waterclocks was selected for a performance at the 2009 SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) National Conference.

Ciach is in his final year in the doctoral program for music composition at the Jacobs School of Music, where he was also an associate instructor in music theory. He studied composition with P. Q. Phan, Claude Baker, Don Freund, John Gibson (electro-acoustic), Jeffrey Hass (electro-acoustic) and Sven-David Sandström at IU; Samuel Adler at the Freie Universität Berlin; Maurice Wright, Matthew Greenbaum and Richard Brodhead at Temple University; and privately with Richard Wernick. He studied piano with Charles Abramovic, Lambert Orkis and Ignat Solzhenitsyn at Temple University, and at the Darlington Arts Center with Benjamin Whitten and Harue Sato.

Category B (Chamber/Ensemble; $1,000 prize and commission for a new work to be premiered by the New Music Ensemble in 2011-12)
Francisco Cortéz-Álvarez (1983), Laundry Revolutions

Winner of the Jacob Druckman Orchestal Composition Award, Mexican composer Francisco Cortés-Álvarez (1983) received a degree in composition from the National University in Mexico, where he was awarded the Gabino Barreda Medal, and a master's degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he will continue with his doctoral studies. He has been selected to attend festivals and forums such as the Aspen Music Festival and School, Music11 at the Hindemith Music Center, Mizzou New Music Festival and Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enriquez.

Cortés-Álvarez has been a fellow of the Young Creators Program and received the Studies Abroad Grant given by Mexico's National Fund for Culture and Arts. His music has been performed in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Perú and France by soloists, ensembles and orchestras such as Alarm Will Sound, Mexico's National Symphonic Orchestra, the Aspen Sinfonia Orchestra, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra, Indiana University's Symphonic Band, the Carlos Chávez Young Orchestra, Cassatt String Quartet and Ensamble 3.

Category C (Undergraduate, $300 prize)
Max Grafe (1988), Moon Cycles

Max Grafe is a senior composition major at the Jacobs School of Music. His music has been performed in such diverse settings as Woodstock's Colony Cafe, Bloomington's Buskirk-Chumley Theater and Berlin's Centrum Judaicum. He has participated in seminars and classes with renowned composers George Tsontakis, Sebastian Currier and Samuel Adler and has received composition awards from ASCAP, Indiana University and the New York State Band Directors Association. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Grafe will pursue a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School as an Irene Diamond graduate fellow.

Category D (Electronic, $300 prize; established in honor of Morris and Sheila Hass)
Melody Eötvös (1984), Patoises: Wave I: Blue

Melody Eötvös is an Australian composer currently based in the U.S. She graduated in 2005 with First Class Honours from Australia's Queensland Conservatorium of Music and began her master's degree in 2006 at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying with Simon Bainbridge. She has had her music performed and recorded by internationally acclaimed ensembles such as the BBC Singers and the London Sinfonietta. Some recent collaborations include being the composer/arranger/conductor for the computer console game "Avatar: the Last Air Bender" (released 2006 THQ) and a commission for the Queensland Conservatorium Wind Orchestra (2007). In 2008, Eötvös participated in the Symphony Services Australia Young Composers Development program with Orchestra Victoria and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Composer's School in Hobart, both directed by Richard Mills AM.

During 2009, Eötvös participated in the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra Composers Workshop, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Composers School and the Modart09 Professional Development Project with the Sydney Song Company, directed by Roland Peelman. She was also awarded the APRA Professional Development Classical Award in Sydney and the 3MBS National Composers Award. She completed a Master of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Queensland in June 2009.

In 2010, Eötvös was selected for the National Composers Forum in Adelaide, Australia, which included the premiere of her first string quartet, "Olber's Dance in the Dark," by the Australian String Quartet. The work's revision was selected as the winner of the Jacobs School's Kuttner Quartet Composition Competition 2011. Since August 2009, she has been working on a Doctorate of Music at Jacobs.

Her fixed-media composition Die hohle Höhle was selected for the 2010 Soundcrawl: Nashville, the Midwest Composer Symposium, the Iowa Electronic Music Studios concert series and SEAMUS 2011. Most recently, Patoises: Wave I: Blue has been accepted into the International Computer Music Conference 2011 in Huddersfield, England, as well as being awarded the Jacobs Dean's Prize. This August, she will be returning to Adelaide, Australia, to attend the workshop and performance of her second string quartet, commissioned by the Australian String Quartet, and to participate again in the National Composers Forum 2011.

2011 Georgina Joshi Composition Commission Prize ($1,000 prize and commission for a new work for voice and ensemble to be premiered by the IU New Music Ensemble in 2011-12)
Tonia Ko (1988), Wanderer Moon -- for soprano and mixed ensemble

Born in Hong Kong in 1988 and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Tonia Ko is currently a first-year master's student in composition. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music in 2010, graduating with highest distinction. Her music has been performed by ensembles including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, New York Treble Singers and Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus. She has participated in festivals such as the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, Brevard Music Center, UNL Chamber Music Institute and the Warren Benson Forum for Creativity.

A three-time winner of the Lois Lane Prize, Ko has also received recognition from the Belvedere Festival and Chinese Fine Arts Society of Chicago. In addition to her studies in composition, she serves as an associate instructor of music theory at IU and is a piano student of Shigeo Neriki.