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BMI Foundation Announces Carlos Surinach Award Winners

Posted in News on December 6, 2006

Ralph N. Jackson, President of the BMI Foundation, Inc., has announced that bassoonist Peter Kolkay is the recipient of the Carlos Surinach Prize, given to an emerging artist in recognition of "outstanding service to American music," and that composer Judah E. Adashi is the winner of the Carlos Surinach Commission. Established by a generous bequest from late BMI classical composer Carlos Surinach, these awards are given in cooperation with the Concert Artists Guild (CAG), a non-profit organization whose mission is to discover, nurture and promote young musicians.

Pictured are (l-r): BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson, Carlos Surinach Commission winner Judah E. Adashi, Carlos Surinach Prize winner Peter Kolkay and Concert Artist Guild President Richard S. Weinert. Photo by Dana Rodriguez

According to Jackson, "This is a unique program, which with the help of CAG, identifies a young performer who has shown a true dedication to American music, and then in turn, that performer chooses an emerging composer who will create a new work written specifically for the performer to premiere."

Performers are selected annually from the very prestigious roster of CAG's international competition winners and the composer is chosen from a pool of recent BMI Student Composer Awards winners.

A gifted musician who consistently displays both extraordinary musicality and virtuosic artistry, Peter Kolkay was awarded First Prize at the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, making him the first solo bassoonist to be so honored in the 51 years of the competition. Having quickly earned a reputation as one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation, Mr. Kolkay was recognized in May 2004 as the first artist on his instrument to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Mr. Kolkay is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS II program for the 2006-07 season, which features numerous performances at Alice Tully Hall. Recital engagements include a return to his alma mater, Lawrence University, where he will premiere Adashi's commissioned work, as well as a joint performance at Symphony Space in New York.

Hailed by The Washington Post as being "embarked on a promising career," composer Judah E. Adashi has been honored with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the BMI Student Composer Awards, the Aspen Music Festival, and has twice been in residence at the Yaddo artist colony. Recent commissions have come from the Aspen Music Festival and from the Arc Duo. Mr. Adashi directs the composition program at the Peabody Preparatory and is on the music theory faculty at the Peabody Conservatory. He also directs the Evolution Contemporary Music Series at An Die Musik, a Baltimore concert venue where he is composer-in-residence. His principal composition teachers have been Nicholas Maw and John Harbison; he holds degrees from Yale University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University.

Concert Artists Guild is a non-profit organization founded in 1951 whose mission is to discover, nurture and promote young musicians. CAG's annual international competition identifies gifted artists and presents the winners at its New York concert series. CAG also provides management services that include booking engagements, marketing and publicity support, and recording opportunities. CAG also commissions several new works each year and actively seeks non-traditional venues for classical music performances.

The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.