June 15, 2001

49th Annual BMI Student Composer Award Winners Announced

Press Release

NEW YORK, June 15, 2001—Nine young composers, ranging in age from 15 to 26, have been named winners in the 49th 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 today at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Milton Babbitt, Chairman of the awards, and Ralph N. Jackson, Director of the awards, joined in the presentations. 

The 2001 BMI Student Composer Award winners are: Judah E. Adashi (age 25, studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music); Christopher Ariza (age 24, studies at New York University); Félix Frédéric Baril (age 21, studies at Montréal University); Anthony Barrese (age 26, studies composition privately in Boston); Christopher J. Fisher-Lochhead (age 17, studies composition privately in New York City); Eric Peter Froeberg (age 20, studies at the University of Southern California); Vivian Fung (age 26, studies at the Juilliard School); Marcus Macauley (age 15, studies composition privately in Seattle); Jonathan Arthur Saggau (age 22, studies at Iowa State University).  The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior creative talent and winners receive scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education.  More than 450 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from throughout the Western Hemisphere in 2001, and all works were judged under pseudonyms.  Cash awards totaled $20,000.

Preston began the ceremony by announcing two commissioning projects from the BMI Foundation’s Carlos Surinach Fund and Boudleaux Bryant Fund.  Composer Kevin Puts is the recipient of the first BMI Foundation/Carlos Surinach Fund Commission which will be premiered by the American Composers Orchestra.  Composer DJ Sparr is the recipient of the first BMI Foundation/Boudleaux Bryant Fund Commission for eighth blackbird, the new music ensemble.

Preston also announced that Félix Frédéric 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 were:  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.

for further information contact:                                                                                    Ralph N. Jackson 212-830-2537