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Barlow Endowment Awards More Than $80,000 to Composers Selected for 2017 Commissions

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, which recognizes excellence in music composition, proudly announces recipients of its Barlow Prize, General and LDS (for composers who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 2017 commissions.

After reviewing 346 submissions from 31 countries, the judging panel awarded Dr. Gilad Cohen of Ridgewood, New Jersey, the $12,000 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for violin and piano in 2017. The panel also granted Yair Klartag of New York the distinction of Honorable Mention.

“The Barlow Prize is unique in that it offers a series of premieres by top-notch performers alongside the generous commission,” Cohen said. “During the composition process, I always like to imagine how the performers might play each passage, thus it will be inspiring to write the new piece while taking into consideration the unique voices of the musicians who will be premiering it.”

Gilad Cohen

Dr. Cohen is a graduate of Princeton University, the Mannes College of Music and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey. His music has been performed by groups such as the Brentano Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, the Israeli Chamber project, the Israeli Revolution Orchestra and many others. His honors include the Israeli Prime Minister Award for Composers, an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum, top prizes in the First Lin Yao Ji International Competition for Composition (Beijing) and the 2012 Franz Josef Reinl Composition Contest (Vienna).

Yair Klartag has studied composition with Ruben Seroussi (Tel-Aviv University) and Georg Friedrich Haas (Basel Musikhochschule). He is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Columbia University. His music has been performed by the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonietta, the Jack Quartet, the Mivos Quartet and others.

General and LDS:

After considering 150 applications from 10 countries to its General and LDS commissioning programs, the Endowment granted $72,000 to 12 composers, who will write works for the following ensembles and musicians:

  • Claude Baker (Momenta Quartet)
  • Chad Cannon (Mate Bekavac, clarinet, with orchestra)
  • Francisco Estevez (Horacio Lavandera, piano, with Mad4Strings)
  • Dylan Findley (Pulse Trio)
  • Stacy Garrop (Michael Hall, viola, with Bandung Philharmonic and Baroque on Beaver)
  • Georg Friedrich Haas (Third Coast Percussion)
  • Ted Hearne (Ensemble Dal Niente)
  • Todd Kitchen (Brevitas Choir)
  • Elainie Lillios (Bent Frequency)
  • Kyle Shaw (Keven Lewis, trumpet)
  • Joseph Sowa (Geraldine Johnson, English Horn)
  • Tina Tallon (Kurt Rohde, viola)

“The English horn has long been a favorite instrument of mine,” said Joseph Sowa, who received an LDS commission to write a 20-minute work for English horn and piano. “Unlike the violin or piano, it has a comparatively small repertoire of solo pieces. I'm excited to contribute an extended work to that literature.”
The judging panel included the Endowment's Board of Advisors: Leilei Tian, James Mobberley, Daniel Bradshaw and Dorothy Chang. Benjamin Sabey served as a guest judge during the Barlow Prize, General and LDS competitions deliberations, while Sam Richards served as a guest judge during the General and LDS commission judging. MingHuan Xu, Spencer Myer and Alexander Woods represented the performing consortia in selecting the Barlow Prize. Duo Diorama (MingHuan Xu and Winston Choi), David Bowlin (violin), Spencer Myer (piano) and Alexander Woods (violin) will premiere the new major work in 2018.

The Endowment wishes to thank all composers and ensembles that applied for commissions. Director Ethan Wickman regrets the Endowment was unable to fund many deserving projects. Next year's Barlow Prize will feature a new work for reed quintet. Details for this commission will be available soon on the Endowment’s website and Facebook pages.

About the Barlow Endowment:

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University encourages and financially supports composers who demonstrate technical skills and natural gifts for the composition of great music. The Endowment achieves this through its Barlow Prize, commissioning programs and support of student composers.

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition was established in September 1983 under the auspices of Milton A. and Gloria Barlow, who presented a substantial gift to Brigham Young University to engender and support excellence in musical composition. The Board of Directors and Board of Advisors have subsequently been engaged in employing the proceeds of the Endowment to support four programs: The Barlow Prize, General Commissions, LDS Composer Commissions and Education Grants.

Writer: Preston Williamson

Gilad Cohen

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