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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, January 10, 2008

Claude Baker named composer-in-residence at American Academy in Rome

Jan. 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Claude Baker, Class of 1956 Chancellor's Professor of Composition in the Jacobs School of Music, has been named the 2008-09 Paul Fromm Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

Every year, distinguished artists and scholars from around the world are invited by the director to reside at the academy for periods of two to four months. Residencies are offered in the same disciplines as those of the Rome Prize, and Residents serve as senior advisors to the Fellows and other members of the academy community.

This year, both John Corigliano and Olly Wilson are the Residents in Musical Composition. Baker will spend the fall semester of 2008 at the academy.

Recipient of the 2007 Tracy M. Sonneborn Award from Indiana University, Baker's other professional honors include an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; two Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards; a "Manuel de Falla" Prize (Madrid); the Eastman-Leonard and George Eastman Prizes; the inaugural "Barto Prize"; BMI-SCA and ASCAP awards; commissions from the Fromm and Koussevitzky Music Foundations; and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation and the state arts councils of Indiana, Kentucky and New York.

Among the many orchestras that have performed his music are those of Saint Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Louisville, as well as the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de RTV Española and the Orquesta Nacional de España. Other ensembles include the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the Pacifica String Quartet (with pianist Ursula Oppens). His works are published by MMB Music and Carl Fischer, and are recorded on the ACA, Gasparo, TNC and Louisville First Edition labels.

Prior to assuming his current position at Indiana University in 1988, Baker served on the faculties of the University of Georgia and the University of Louisville, and was a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music. At the beginning of the 1991-92 concert season, he was appointed composer-in-residence of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for eight years. In recognition of his contributions to the St. Louis community during that period, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1999.

Baker joins others in the IU Jacobs School of Music who have associations with the American Academy of Rome. Past winners of the Rome Prize, a fellowship for emerging artists and for scholars in the early or middle stages of their careers, include Professor Eugene O'Brien and Associate Professor P. Q. Phan.

About the Fromm Music Foundation

The Fromm Music Foundation aims to strengthen composition, the vital source of musical culture, and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.

Fromm Web site:

About the American Academy in Rome

The American Academy in Rome is one of the leading American overseas centers for independent study and advanced research in the fine arts and the humanities.

Music has played an important role at the American Academy in Rome since 1921, when the first Rome Prize Fellowships were awarded in Musical Composition. The roster of Academy Fellows and Residents since then has mirrored the development of American music, including such prominent composers as Samuel Barber, Robert Beaser, Jack Beeson, Martin Bresnick, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, David Diamond, John Eaton, Lukas Foss, Alexei Haieff, Howard Hanson, John Harbison, Andrew Imbrie, Betsy Jolas, Ulysses Kay, Barbara Kolb, Salvatore Martirano, George Rochberg, Roger Sessions, Harold Shapero, Randall Thompson, Charles Wuorinen, Yehudi Wyner and Ellen Taafe Zwilich, as well as many younger composers active today.

Two annual Rome Prize Fellowships in Musical Composition are currently offered and an annual residency (the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence).

Academy Web site:

More on Claude Baker

On September 27, 2007 the prestigious Tracy M. Sonneborn Award was presented to W. Claude Baker Jr., a composition professor in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. On that occasion Baker delivered his lecture "The Composer as Resident: the Role of the Composer in the Community." You can hear the award ceremony, which includes Baker's lecture by going to: