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67th Annual BMI Student Composer Award Winners Announced

Posted in News on May 23, 2019
Pictured (L-R) are: President of BMI Foundation Deidre Chadwick, Kevin Day, Matthew Schultheis, Lucy McKnight, Henri Colombat, Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez, Anna-Louise Walton, Amelia Brey, Tyler Wayne Taylor,and BMI Foundation Director of Finance and Administration Jeff Payne.
Pictured (L-R) are: President of BMI Foundation Deidre Chadwick, Kevin Day, Matthew Schultheis, Lucy McKnight, Henri Colombat, Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez, Anna-Louise Walton, Amelia Brey, Tyler Wayne Taylor,and BMI Foundation Director of Finance and Administration Jeff Payne. Photo: Amanda Stevens for BMI

The BMI Foundation, in collaboration with BMI, has announced the nine young classical composers, ages 20 to 27, who have been named winners of the 67th annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Renowned American composer and Chair of the Student Composer Awards Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, BMI Senior Vice President of International and Global Policy Ann Sweeney, and BMI Executive Director of Classical and BMIF President Deirdre Chadwick presented the awards at a private ceremony held on May 21, 2019, at Tribeca 360° in New York City.

The 2019 award winners are:

  • Amelia Brey – age 24, studies at The Juilliard School
  • Henri Colombat – age 21, studies at McGill University
  • Kevin Day – age 23, studies at Texas Christian University
  • Liam Kaplan – age 21, studies at Oberlin Conservatory
  • Lucy McKnight – age 20, Carlos Surinach Prize, awarded to the youngest winner of the competition, studies at the University of Southern California
  • Marco-Adrián Ramos Rodríguez – age 23, William Schuman Prize, awarded for most outstanding score, studies at The Juilliard School
  • Matthew Schultheis – age 21, studies at Indiana University
  • Tyler Wayne Taylor– age 26, studies at Indiana University
  • Anna-Louise Walton – age 27, studies at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague

One composer also received an honorable mention in the competition: Katie Palka, an 18-year-old student of Ryan Francis in Portland. “We are delighted to honor these deserving and talented young composers,” said Deirdre Chadwick, who also serves as Director of the Student Composer Awards. “And we look forward to watching them as they embark on the journey of a rich life in music.”

The celebratory evening featured a performance by the GRAMMY-nominated Aizuri Quartet of the 2018 SCA-winning composition Carrot Revolution, composed by Gabriella Smith.

Alexandra du Bois, Jeremy Gill, Shawn Jaeger and David Schober served as preliminary panelists this year. The final judges were Kati Agócs, Donald Crockett, Stephen Jaffe and Elena Ruehr. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music among many other accolades, is the permanent Chair of the competition.

The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with annual educational scholarships totaling $20,000. This year, nearly 700 online applications were submitted to the competition from students throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged anonymously. BMI, in collaboration with the BMI Foundation, has awarded over 600 grants to young composers throughout the history of the competition.

For more information on this year’s award winners, please visit the BMI Foundation site.