CLEFWORKS ANNOUNCES WINNING SCORE FOR THIRD ANNUAL COMPOSITION COMPETITION
MONTGOMERY, AL – ClefWorks® salutes composer David Crowell of Brooklyn, New York, for his winning submission, “The Open Road,” in the third annual Composition Competition selected from more than 150 entries representing 14 countries, 32 states and the District of Columbia. The world premiere of his original score will take place in Montgomery, Ala., on January 30, 2010.
Dedicated to bringing new music to area audiences, ClefWorks is a nonprofit chamber music organization that incorporates new and traditional music with other relevant art forms while blending unique social twists affording audience and performers an opportunity to interact. The annual Composition Competition is designed to encourage the creation of original works for chamber music ensembles and to enable collaboration between performers and composers. This year’s winning score was selected by the JACK Quartet, an internationally acclaimed New York City-based quartet praised for its “powerhouse playing” by the Chicago Sun-Times and its “extraordinary precision” by the Boston Globe. “The Open Road,” which has never been played before, will be performed by JACK on January 30, 2010 in Montgomery during ClefWorks’ five-day festival, Do you know JACK?, where Crowell will join the quartet to discuss the score’s nuances and introduce the composition to the audience.
According to JACK violist John Pickford Richards, selecting a winner was no easy task. “The competition was so close that we ended up with nine honorable mentions, which we truly hope to perform in coming years,” he said. “So, essentially, out of 10 finalists, we chose one winner.”
Finalists/honorable mentions selected by the JACK Quartet are: Patricia Alessandrini (New York), Matthew Barnson (New York), Trevor Christian Bjorklund (New York), Richard Carrick (New York), Nicholas Deyoe (California), Ulrich Alexander Kreppein (Germany), Daniel Pesca (Illinois), Valery Voronov (Germany) and Charlie Wilmoth (California).
The commissioning and performance of new works for string quartet is integral to the JACK Quartet’s mission, leading them to work closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Matthis Pintscher, Wolfgang Rihm, Elliott Sharp, Samuel Adler, and Aaron Cassidy with performances at La Biennale di Venezia, the Lucerne Festival, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, and the Festival Internacional Chihuahua. Crowell’s winning composition will immediately become part of the JACK Quartet’s repertoire.
“We chose David Crowell’s “The Open Road” because it’s innovative and at the same time beautifully written,” said JACK cellist Kevin McFarland. “It meets our criteria for what we think makes a work compelling, and at the same time we believe it will have a wide appeal to many different listeners. As a quartet, part of our mission is to widen the audience for new music, and we believe the beauty and rhythmic drive of Crowell’s work will excite and motivate listeners to continue to seek out new musical experiences.”
Based in New York City, Crowell has studied composition with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, Jonathan Dawe (Julliard) and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang. He recently completed a commission for A4TY, a project at the Bloomingdale School of Music designed to foster learning and interaction between students (1st-12th grade) and working composers and has been an active woodwinds player with the Philip Glass Ensemble since 2007. He was a featured composer at the 2009 MATA Festival, a New York City forum for presenting new music of emerging young composers from around the world, and was the 1st Prize recipient of the 2009 Brian M. Israel Award presented by the Society for New Music for his percussion piece titled “The Day After.”
Crowell’s winning ClefWorks entry, “The Open Road” is his personal tribute to the spiritual and humanitarian accomplishments of the Dalai Lama.
“While not an intentionally religious piece, the work expresses both melancholic reflection and unbridled optimism in recognition of the suffering of humanity and its equally powerful potential for transcendent understanding,” reads Crowell’s program notes for his composition.
ClefWorks held its Premiere Season in Montgomery, Alabama, during the summer of 2007, and extraordinary composers have been able to premiere their works each season since. The number of high-quality compositions submitted continues to grow with a record 154 entries for the third annual Call for Scores. Information on the Composition Competition, as well as the upcoming Do you know JACK? season, can be found on ClefWorks’ website at www.clefworks.org.