The American Composers Forum (ACF) Board of Directors has voted for four 2016 champions of new music: pianist and contemporary chamber ensemble founding member Gilbert Kalish; Opera Parallèle’s artistic director, conductor, and founder Nicole Paiement; new music writer, blogger, and New Yorker magazine columnist Alex Ross; and conductor, pianist, composer, and pedagogue Robert Spano. Each will receive a “Champion of New Music” award during public ceremonies this year. The award was established by ACF in 2005 as a national mark of recognition to honor individuals or ensembles that have made a significant contribution to the work and livelihoods of contemporary composers.
ACF President and CEO John Nuechterlein will present two of the awards later this month. The award to Robert Spano will be given on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Atlanta Symphony Hall during a concert featuring the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Zohar. The award to Nicole Paiement will be given on Friday, April 30, 2016 at Z Space in San Francisco during a performance of The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies. (The awards to Gilbert Kalish and Alex Ross will be given at dates and venues yet to be determined.)
Past recipients of the “Champion of New Music” award include the American Composers Orchestra, flutist Claire Chase, conductor Michael Morgan (all 2015); conductor Marin Alsop, retired ASCAP Vice President of Concert Music Frances Richard, percussionist Steven Schick (all 2014); the JACK Quartet (2012); eighth blackbird (2011); Bill Ryan and the Valley State University New Music Ensemble (2010); Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence (both 2009);, Bruce Carlson and The Schubert Club (2007), Dale Warland and the Dale Warland Singers (2006); and Cindy Gehrig and the Jerome Foundation (2005).
(from the press release)