2014 BMI Student Composer Awards Announced

2014 BMI Student Composer Awards Announced

Deirdre Chadwick

BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick Introduces the 2014 BMI Student Composer Awards

Eight young composers, aged 14 to 27, have been named winners of the 62nd annual BMI Student Composer Awards presented by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), in collaboration with the BMI Foundation. Composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, permanent chair of the BMI Student Composer Awards, along with BMI President Del Bryant, and BMI Foundation President Deidre Chadwick announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a reception held at the Grand Salon in the J. W. Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City.

Each year, the William Schuman Prize is awarded to the composer of the work deemed the most outstanding in the competition; this year the result was a tie between two composers—Michael Boyman and Daniel Temkin—both of whose award-winning works are for orchestra. Temkin previously received a BMI Student Composer Award in 2012 for Butterflies and Dragons, a composition scored for “Pierrot” plus percussion chamber ensemble.

Two of the other 2014 winners, Chris Rogerson and Phil Taylor, have also been previous award recipients, but the other five–Michael Boyman, Saad Nadim Haddad, Paul Eddison Lewis, Grant Luhmann, and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg—are first time recipients. Wenzelberg, aged 14 and a student at the Julliard School Pre-College Division, additionally received the Carlos Surinach Prize, which is annually given to the youngest award-winner in the competition.

Below is a complete list of the 2014 award winners and their award-winning compositions:

  • Michael Boyman (b. 1989): Tightrope Walker for orchestra
  • Saad Nadim Haddad (b. 1992): Mai for string quartet and electronics
  • Paul Eddison Lewis (b. 1987): The Ninth Gate for contrabass quartet
  • Grant Luhmann (b. 1994): The Triumvirate for percussion trio
  • Chris Rogerson (b. 1988): String Quartet No. 2
  • Phil Taylor (b. 1989): Chiaroscuro for chamber orchestra
  • Daniel Temkin (b. 1986): From Distant Dreams for orchestra
  • Benjamin P. Wenzelberg (b. 2000): Midnight Tides for violin, cello, and piano
  • Boyman receives  BMI award

    Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (left) announces the first of the alphabetically distributed awards, to Michael Boyman (right) who receives the plaque from BMI President Del Bryant.

    The award winners receive scholarship grants to be applied to their musical education; awards this year totaled $20,000. In 2014, more than 300 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from applicants throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged anonymously. The jury members for the 2014 competition were Kristin Kuster, Ingram Marshall, Bernard Rands, and Kevin Puts. The preliminary judges were Alexandra DuBois, David Fulmer, Shafer Mahoney, and Sean Shepherd. Since 1951, BMI, in collaboration with the BMI Foundation, has awarded nearly 600 grants to young composers.

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