Eight young composers, ranging in age from 18 to 26, have been named winners in the 52nd Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Frances W. Preston, BMI President and CEO, announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a reception held June 18 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Awards Chairman Milton Babbitt and BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson, who serves as director of the awards, joined in the presentations.
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The 2004 award winners are Timothy Hall Andres (age 18, studies at Yale University); Thomas J. Dempster (age 23, studies at the University of Texas at Austin); Michael Djupstrom (age 23, studies at the University of Michigan); Aaron Michael Einbond (age 25, studies at the University of California Berkeley); Martin Kennedy (age 26, studies at the Juilliard School); David T. Little (age 25, studies privately in Boston); Scott Perkins (age 23, studies at the Eastman School of Music); and Scott Vollschleger (age 24, studies at the Manhattan School of Music).
The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior creative talent and winners receive scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education. In 2004, more than 700 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged under pseudonyms. Cash awards totaled $20,000.
Michael Djupstrom was the named the winner of the William Schuman Prize, which is awarded to the score judged "most outstanding" in the competition. This special prize is given each year in memory of the late William Schuman, who served for 40 years as Chairman, then Chairman Emeritus, of the BMI Student Composer Awards. Additionally, a special Carlos Surinach Prize, underwritten by the BMI Foundation's special endowed fund, was awarded to the youngest winner, Timothy Hall Andres.
The distinguished 2004 Student Composer Awards jury members included Richard Danielpour, Donald Crockett, Michael Torke and Gunther Schuller. The preliminary judges were Chester Biscardi, David Leisner and Bernadette Speach.
BMI has given 485 scholarship grants to young composers over the years, and many of today's most prominent and active classical composers received their first recognition from the BMI Student Composer Awards. Eleven former winners have gone on to win the coveted Pulitzer Prize in Music. The BMI Student Composer Awards competition is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, Inc.