Nine young composers, ranging in age from 19 to 25, have been named winners in the 48th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston will present the awards at a reception to be held today at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Milton Babbitt, Chairman of the awards, and BMI's Ralph N. Jackson, Director of the awards, will join in the presentations.
Photo by Dana Rodriguez
The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior creative talent and winners receive scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education. More than 500 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from throughout the Western Hemisphere in 2000, and all works were judged under pseudonyms. Cash awards totaled $20,000.
The 2000 BMI Student Composer Award winners are Delvyn Case (age 25, studies at the University of Pennsylvania); Jefferson Friedman (age 25, studies at The Juilliard School); Vivian Fung (age 25, studies at The Juilliard School); Evan Johnson (age 19, studies at Yale University); Tellef Johnson (age 22, studies at The Juilliard School); Daniel D. Kellogg (age 24, studies at Yale University); Nancy Jane Kho (age 22, studies at Indiana University); Tom Osborne (age 22, studies at Indiana University); and DJ Sparr (age 24, studies at the University of Michigan).
Preston will begin the ceremony by announcing upcoming commissioning projects from the BMI Foundation's Carlos Surinach Fund and Boudleaux Bryant Fund. These commissions will be open to BMI affiliated composers who are recent Student Composer Award winners. The first BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund commission will be for the American Composers Orchestra's 25th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall in 2002. The BMI Foundation is also working closely with Concert Artists Guild on the first BMI/Boudleaux Bryant Fund commission, which will be written for the new music ensemble, eighth blackbird.
Daniel D. Kellogg is the winner of the 2000 William Schuman Prize, 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, two Carlos Surinach Prizes, underwritten by the special fund, will be awarded to the two youngest 2000 BMI Student Composer Award-winners, Evan Johnson and Tom Osborne.
The distinguished 2000 Student Composer Awards jury members included Michael Daugherty, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Francis Thorne, and Robert Ward. The preliminary judges were Chester Biscardi, Shafer Mahoney and Bernadette Speach.
BMI has given 450 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. Established in 1951, the BMI Student Composer Awards is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation.