Nine young composers, ranging in age from 15 to 26, have been named winners of the 49th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston presented certificates and cash awards totaling $20,000 at a reception held June 15 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, along with Awards Chairman Milton Babbitt and BMI Assistant Vice President of Classical Music Ralph N. Jackson, who also serves as Director of the Awards.
The 2001 BMI Student Composer Award winners are Judah E. Adashi, Christopher Ariza, F�lix Fr�d�ric Baril, Anthony Barrese, Christopher J. Fisher-Lochhead, Eric Peter Froeberg, Vivian Fung, Marcus Macauley, and Jonathan Arthur Saggau. In recognition of their superior creative talent, the winners received scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education. More than 450 manuscripts were submitted to the competition and all works were judged under pseudonyms.
Preston began the ceremony by announcing two commissioning projects from the BMI Foundation’s Carlos Surinach Fund and Boudleaux Bryant Fund. These commissions are given to BMI affiliated composers who are former winners of the BMI Student Composer Awards. Composer Kevin Puts is the recipient of the first BMI Foundation/Carlos Surinach Fund Commission which will be premiered by the American Composers Orchestra. Used to support the work of young classical composers, this Fund was established by Carlos Surinach's generous bequest of his entire estate to the BMI Foundation. Composer DJ Sparr is the recipient of the first BMI Foundation/Boudleaux Bryant Fund Commission for eighth blackbird, the new music ensemble. This Fund is used to commission chamber works which include a violin part, and was established by the friends and family of the late composer and songwriter Boudleaux Bryant.
Preston also announced that Felix Frederic Baril was the winner of the 2001 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, two Carlos Surinach Prizes, underwritten by the special fund, were awarded to the two youngest 2001 BMI Student Composer Award winners, Christopher J. Fisher-Lochhead and Marcus Macauley.
The distinguished 2001 Student Composer Awards jury members included William Bolcom, Ingram Marshall, David Alan Miller, Joseph Schwantner and Jose Serebrier. The preliminary judges were Chester Biscardi, David Leisner and Bernadette Speach.
BMI has given 459 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 competition is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation.