The Frost School of Music with Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition for student composers

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2019 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • High School Division

    Winner:
    Don't Get Blue, Get Angry by Aaron Nichols

    Bio:
    Aaron Nichols is a homeschooled sophomore in New York City. He has studied cello with Margalit Cantor at the Bloomingdale School of Music since he was seven years old. He started composing at the age of eight. He has studied theory and analysis with Yvonne Troxler at the Bloomingdale School of Music for several years. Since 2018 he has studied composition with Kevin James through the American Composers’ Orchestra’s program ACO Compose Yourself, which has provided professional readings for several compositions. He also sings in the Teen Choir at Trinity Wall Street in downtown Manhattan and has done sound design for a variety of theatrical productions. 


    Honorable Mention:
    Where Before was Gray by Madeline Clara Cheng

  • College Division

    Winner:
    The Sea of Ice by Minji Kim
     
    Bio:
    Minji Kim is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she is studying Music Composition with Kathryn Salfelder. Her musical inspiration comes from nature and various forms of art like paintings, poems, and photographs. She was a finalist of Alfred Schnittke, International Composers' Competition 2018 and her music was performed by Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra.
     
    Honorable Mentions:
    Meza Muziko by Benjamin Koller
    Morfeas by Kostas Zisimopoulos
    Stilleven by Matthew Schultheis
    Drunken Dance by Mathew Lam

2018 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • Division I: (High School)

    Leo MajorWinner: Black Earth by Leo Major


    Leo Major is a junior at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica. His passion for music began with piano lessons at the age of six. He started playing alto saxophone at the age of 12 and composing in sixth grade. Leo currently studies composition with Sean Friar, alto saxophone and flute with Katisse Buckingham and classical piano with Dr. Ming Tsu. At Crossroads, he studies Music Theory with Mary Ann Cummins and Kathy Sawada. Leo is currently a fellow in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Young Composer Program. His honors include being named a 2019 YoungArts Merit Award winner in composition, a 2018 Finalist in CINE’s Marvin Hamlisch Contest and the winner of the Miami Frost School’s Ensemble Ibis Competition. As an instrumentalist, Leo received a Spotlight Merit Award in Jazz Performance. He plays in groups at the Colburn School which have performed and received awards at the Monterey NextGen Jazz Festival as well as receiving a Downbeat award. At Crossroads, he plays saxophone in Evan Avery’s A-Band, which played the 2018 Panama Jazz Festival as well as placing 3rd at the Monterey NextGen Festival. Leo has attended several summer programs and festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival, the Sunset Chamber Festival Workshop, and the Stanford Jazz Institute.

     

    Honorable Mention:

    Gear Grind by Ari Schwartz 

  • Division II: (College)

    Daniel WhitworthWinner: Ripples in Infinity by Daniel Whitworth

    Daniel Whitworth (b. 1996) is an award-winning composer and saxophonist dedicated to expanding the relevancy and accessibility of contemporary music. He is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree from Lawrence Conservatory of Music, where he studies primarily with composers Asha Srinivasan and Joanne Metcalf, and saxophonists Steven Jordheim, and Sumner Truax.


    Daniel’s music strives to engage with audiences on a meaningful level. Having written about topics ranging from mental health, immigration, poetry, and war, he is committed to pushing social change through art. Daniel is the recipient of a number of awards, most recently winning first prize in the 2018 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers Composition Contest. He has also received instruction and guidance from other composers such as Marcos Balter, Stacy Garrop, Andrew Seager Cole, and Evan Williams.


    As a saxophonist, Daniel is interested in presenting repertoire as part of a larger picture. To give the depth and purpose of his performances, Daniel frequently collaborates with dancers, visual artists, and actors. As a soloist, Daniel has performed extensively throughout the Midwest and was recently awarded second prize in the Lakeshore Young Artist Competition. He later performed Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone with the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble. In 2016, Daniel was admitted into the American Saxophone Academy at the Eastman School of Music where he studied with prominent saxophonists such as Tim McAllister, Otis Murphy, and Kenneth Tse. In that same year, he traveled to London where he studied extensively with saxophonist and composer John Harle.


    Daniel is currently working on programming a recital of music containing themes of American injustice, featuring both his own compositions as well as contemporary works for the saxophone. He is also working on commissioned works for several ensembles while in the process of applying to graduate programs.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Kuda Kepang by Cheng Jin Koh
    (loco)motion by Kevin Day

  • Frost School of Music division I

    Winner: Dark Sakura by Armando Torrealba

    Armando Torrealba was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela where he began playing the viola at the age of six. In 2008, his family moved to Miramar, Florida to escape political persecution in Venezuela. He continued playing the viola and eventually added trombone as his secondary instrument at the age of eleven. He composed his first work at sixteen, a short suite for chamber orchestra. He participated in the Berklee Highschool Composition Intensive as well as the Eastern Music Festival as a violist. Since then, several of his works for full orchestra have been performed and he continues to compose for smaller chamber ensembles.

     

  • Frost School of Music division II

    Winner: Within Without by Logan Rutledge

    Logan Rutledge is a composer of contemporary classical music that hails from Gainesville, Florida. Rutledge holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he studied Composition with Marc Mellits.


    Rutledge’s compositions have been played and performed by members of the H2 Sax Quartet, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, L+M Duo, Lakeshore Rush Ensemble, Akropolis Reed Quintet, and the Beo String Quartet, and Kaleidoscope Mus Art. In the winter of 2017, Rutledge won a Merit Award from the Tribeca New Music Composition Competition. In the spring of 2017, Rutledge received a performance of “Out of My League” for two Soprano Saxophones by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago, Illinois as a feature on the Emerging Artists Series. In the summer of 2017, Rutledge was a Composition Fellow at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, work-shopping a new commission for Oboe Quartet and studying under Donald Crockett. In September of 2018, Rutledge’s Stretch Marks was selected to be performed as part of the Kaleidoscope Mus Art Odyssey Series, and in November of 2018, Rutledge was selected as the winner of the graduate division of the University of Miami in-house Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition.

    In the spring, summer, and fall of 2018, the Akropolis Reed Quintet toured with Rutledge’s Point Blank, a piece discussing the tragedy that surrounds gun-related deaths and the blatant racism underlying the Trayvon Martin murder. Rutledge’s most recent commission was from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Percussion Ensemble and Sax Quartet Phonez’ entitled “Occasional Truths” to be premiered in the Fall. A current commission in progress is for Ryan Reynolds and the Miami University in Ohio’s Bassoon Quartet. Rutledge is pursuing their Master’s of Music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music currently studying with Charles Norman Mason.

     

    Second Place:

    Four Sketches by Eric Delgado

    Honorable Mentions:

    Paroxysms by Daniel Karcher
    Tianshu by Greg Evans

2017 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • College Division

    Paul NovakWinner: “blimunda songs” for flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano by Paul Novak

    Paul Novak is currently pursuing his undergraduate studies in composition at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he has studied with Anthony Brandt and Karim Al-Zand. His orchestral and chamber works have been performed by ensembles including the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of USA, Worcester Chamber Music Society, and Face the Music. Novak has been selected as the recipient of numerous national awards, most recently from the Texas Young Composer’s Competition, Tribeca New Music, Webster University Competition, Young Composer’s Challenge, YoungArts Foundation, MATA Jr. Festival, and APU/J.W. Pepper Competition. In 2016, he was selected as one of two Composer Apprentices to the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, where he studied with Sean Shepherd and has also participated in summer programs at Atlantic Music Festival, fresh inc festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute (where he was selected as the Honors Recipient), Oberlin Conservatory, and Boston Conservatory. Notable upcoming concerts include performances of his orchestral work on buoyancy by the Austin Symphony during their 2017-18 season. He strives to write music that is lyrical but fragmented, exploring the subtleties of instrumental color while investigating spectral harmony. Also an accomplished flutist and advocate for contemporary music, Novak was the founder and director of the Reno-based Artemisia Chamber Ensemble, a collective of the area’s top high school players that specializes in contemporary music.

     

    Second Place 

     “Downloads" for Pierrot Ensemble by Jack Frerer

     

    Third Place

    "Denim Bay" for Pierrot Ensemble by Jesse Edwards 

     

    Honorable Mentions

    • Gunner Basinger
    • Stephen Karukas
    • Daniel Whitworth
    • Olga Janković
    • SiHyun Uhm

  • High School Division

    Ben BeckmanWinner: “Three Views” for Piano Quartet by Benjamin S. Beckman

    Composer, pianist, and hornist Benjamin Beckman, age 17, is a high school junior at the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California. Ben has attended Interlochen Arts Camp for seven years, studying piano, horn, and composition. Ben has studied piano most notably under William Chapman-Nyaho and Sergio Ruiz and has played in masterclasses for Winston Choi, Robert Weirich, and Dennis Alexander.  He has also studied horn notably with Bruce Henniss and Brad Gemeinhardt and currently studies with Annie Bosler. He has studied composition with Christopher Wong, Carrie Magin, Sarah Gibson, and Andrew Norman. Ben took second place Interlochen's Intermediate division concerto competition performing Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto. He won Interlochen's Horn Institute solo competition performing the Gliere concerto, and this past summer played as a principal with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, Ben has had his works frequently performed by his school symphony. He was a finalist in the 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Competition with his piece ‘Prayer’, recorded by the members of the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet program. Ben is a Merit YoungArts Winner of 2017. He is a member of the LA Phil’s Associate Composer Program Class of 2017, and was part of the LA Phil's Composer Fellowship Program (Class of 2018) he is working on a commission for the orchestra, to be performed on a children's program in March. Ben is a frequent member of honor bands around Los Angeles, such as those of CAIS and SCSBOA. When not playing or writing music, Ben enjoys running cross country and spending time with friends and family.

     

    Second Place

    “To Dream About an Alternate Reality” for String Quartet by Hanley Chan

     

    Third Place

    “Soul of the Lost Sakura” for Flute, Cello, Marimba, and Piano by Akira Nair