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

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2021-2022 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • College Division

    First Place

    Dissolve by Ziyi Tao
    ZIYI TAO is fascinated by languages and the process of making sense of things, he strives to become more than a composer. Currently working on elementary French, Ziyi has Spanish and
    Turkish on the list next. Ziyi has been self-learning German for the past three years, now he is reading Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit, which he hopes to finish and understand at a satisfying level within the next five. Under the mentorship of Robert Beaser, Ziyi has also been inspired by many other composers, including Beat Furrer, Jon Deak, Molly Herron, Max Grafe, and Reiko F ting. Ziyi is fortunate to have worked with, and have had his works performed by numerous prominent artists and ensembles, including pianist Peter Dugan, the Isosceles Trio, Julius Quartet, Hypercube Ensemble, the Juilliard Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Ziyi has received numerous
    scholarships and awards, including the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists Award 2021, being named Winner of the NAfME Student Composers Competition 2021, the 44th DownBeatStudent Music Award, and one of the five Finalists in the Open Composers Competition named after Andrey Petrov.


    Second Place

    Orientalism Reflections by Sami Seif
    SAMI SEIF is a Lebanese composer and music theorist. His music is inspired by the aesthetics, philosophies, paradigms, and poetry of his Middle-Eastern heritage. His work has been described as "very tasteful and flavorful" with "beautiful, sensitive writing!" (Webster University Young Composers Competition). His latest musical concerns center around the phenomenology of time and of differing degrees of focus. Seif's music has been performed by such renowned artists as Mary Kay Fink and Stanley Konopka of The Cleveland Orchestra and has been recognized internationally by a number of institutions such as ASCAP, SOCAN, the RED NOTE New Music Festival, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, the Stamford Music and Arts Academy, the Foundation for Modern Music, the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, the Cleveland Composer's Guild, the Arizona Flute Society, Webster University, Abundant Silence, and Warren County Summer Music School, among others. Additionally, he was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra calls for scores from a pool of more than 2200 applicants from more than 90 countries. In 2020, he was selected again from a larger pool of almost 8000 applicants. Seif studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music composition with Keith Fitch, pian with Gerardo Teissonnire, and music theory with Alan Reese. At CIM, he earned the Donald Erb prize in composition and the Beth Pearce Nelson award in music theory.


    Third Place

    Virtual landscape 001 by Livia Malossi Bottignole
    Born in Cesena (IT) in 1996, LIVIA MALOSSI BOTTIGNOLE is currently attending the
    Master's Degree Composition Studies with Paolo Aralla, in Bologna (IT).

    Recently, her compositions have been played at Festival Nuova Consonanza in Rome (by Orchestra Filarmonica Vittorio Calamani, dir. Pasquale Corrado), Festival Gaudeamus in Utrecht (NL) (by Orkest de Ereprijs, dir. Tjeerd Barkmeijer) and as a member of In.Nova Fert collective, at 64 Festival Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea - Biennale di Venezia 2020 (FontanaMix Ensemble dir. Francesco La Licata).

    She also won the Fromm Foundation Composition Fellows to join the 2022 Composers Conference at Brandeis University in Boston, USA. Among her awards are first prize at Maestro Vision Awards 2022 International Music Competition in Beijing (CHI); the first prize at 30th International Competition "Citt di Barletta" IT); a first absolute prize in section A and the first prize in section B at "17th Vitti international Composition Competition" (IT); a second prize at "21st Century Talents Composition Competition" in Ottawa (CAN), Section "College Students and Professional Musician 18+, Advanced Composition;" a second prize at European Composer Competition by The Franz Schubert Music Conservatory in Vienna (AT); a second prize at "1st Tiziano Rossetti International Music Competition" in Lugano (CH); a Distinguished Mention at Please Yourself; ACO Composition Competition (UK); a second prize at the Second International Music Competition of Academia Musica in Vienna (AT); a Special ;Mention at Amsonia International Composition Contest 2021 in New York (USA) and she ;has been selected for the 27th Youth Composer Meeting by Orkest de Ereprijs (NL). On this occasion, she won the RSKT 2021 commission for a new orchestral piece, "Broken Neon Arabesque" for large ensemble and soprano, that has been premiered during the Andriessen Festival 2022, at Musis & Stadstheater in Arnhem (NL). Moreover, her piece "HEKS" has been played again by Orkest de Ereprijs at the Gaudeamus Musik Week, for Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht (NL).

    Livia is one of the founders of In.Nova Fert Collective, a young composers association. interested in "comunitary" music writing. Among others, In.Nova Fert received by FontanaMIX Ensemble the commission for "Sette canzoni per Bruno," a documentary concert about Bruno Maderna that has been premiered at the 64 International Festival of Contemporary Music - Biennale di Venezia 2020.


    Honorable mentions

    Time's Up by Ethan Resnik 
    Elegía by Marius Díaz 
    In Memory of Voices by Bracha Bdil 
    Parallel Worlds by Soňa Vetchá 
    Distance by Diallo Banks 
    4 Pictures of Sky Taken on Bangsaen Beach (III, IV) by Yikun Qi 
    Aboriginal’s Pneuma by Yuchen Bian 

  • High School Division

    First Place

    Pressure by ZIxuan Chen

    Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Chinese composer and pianist ZIXUAN CHEN is now attending Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, California. He started to learn the piano at 5 with Haijing Zhang and is currently studying piano with Chetan Tierra and composition with Yihsien
    Chen and John Rot. He has won several piano competitions, including first place in the MTAC San Diego Concerto Competition, first place in Costa Rica Piano Festival International Competition, first alternate in MTAC solo concerto competition Southern regional, second place in the Steinway Virtual Piano Competition Southern California Regionals, and first place in Odin International Piano Competition. As a composer, his Sonatina won first place in the MTAC Composers Today State Contest and his piano trio Ink Splashing placed second in the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers. He is a member of the MTAC Composer Guild and a finalist of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. His work, Dispersion, was premiered at the Atlantic Music Festival and was performed again by Chamber Project Saint Louis. He is planning to attend the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University next year.


    Second Place

    Migraine for String Quartet by Jack Kaiser

    JACK KAISER (b. 2004) is a composer and violist based in Chicago, Illinois. Currently attending Interlochen Arts Academy as a composition major, he has studied under Dr. Cynthia Van Maanen for the past year. In February, he received third prize in the Chicago College of Performing Arts Young Composer Competition.




    Third Place

    Wind Quintet Op 67 by Henry From

    HENRY FROM won First Prize in the under-17 category of the 2018 Montreal Symphony Orchestra Manulife Competition and was named by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as one of the Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 for 2019. Henry has performed on National Public Radio's From the Top as well as KING FM's Northwest Focus Live. Henry's piano trio, Trio Savyon, has performed in Boston, Warsaw, Calgary, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and several cities in Israel.

    Henry has studied composition with Edward Top for 5 years and his compositions have been premiered by ensembles such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Turning Point Ensemble, and the Standing Wave ensemble. Henry was named winner of the 2020 Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition, he received two 2021 SOCAN Young Composer Awards, and he was a prize-winner at the 68th Annual BMI Composer Awards. Henry took part in the 2021 Seattle Symphony Merriman-Ross Young Composers Workshop. Henry began his music studies with violin at age 3 and piano at age 5. He currently studies piano with Amanda Chan at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Henry has studied on full scholarship at several international music festivals, including Morningside Music Bridge, Orford Musique, Art of the Piano, and most recently the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland.

2020 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • College Division

    First Place

    Slow futures by Carmen Fizzarotti
    CARMEN FIZZAROTTI graduated in Piano and in Chamber Music with full marks and honors with a research thesis on Ligeti’s Trio for violin, horn, and piano at Conservatorio Piccinni in Bari. She studies Composition at Conservatorio Verdi in Milan with Alessandro Solbiati.

    In 2018 in her hometown Bari (South of Italy) she founded the Six Memos Ensemble, which focused on the performance of Modern and Contemporary music.

    She held the position of Assistant of the coordinator Alessandro Solbiati for the specialization course in Composition named “Master di II Livello in Composizione” at Conservatorio “G. Verdi” in Milano with the guest composers Ivan Fedele, José Manuel Lopez Lopez, Michael Jarrell, Toshio Hosokawa, Beat Furrer (academic year 2018/2019).

    Her music is published by UCLA Music Library and Edizioni Sconfinarte, it was broadcast on RAI Radio3 Suite, it was performed at Florida International University - Miami, Universidad Complutense - Madrid, Museo del Novecento - Milan, Festival delle Nazioni - Città di Castello, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Musik - Wien, Philharmonic Conservatory - Patras, Dar Es Salaam Neymere Conference Hall - Tanzania, Villa della Tesoriera - Turin, Teatro Petruzzelli in “Bif&st 2017 Bari International Film Festival”, Time Zones Festival, 55° Festival Pontino.

    Second Place

    4 Versos de Álvares de Azevedo by Renan Regis
    RENAN REGIS (Curitiba, Brasil, 1996) is a Composition and Conducting student at EMBAP ( Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná, School of Music and Fine Arts of Paraná), being interested and involved with contemporary music since 2018, is also a member of CIM ( Círculo de Invenção Musical, Musical Invention Circle), an independent composers ensemble, having with them premiered pieces in events like SiMN ( Simpósio Internacional de Música Nova, International Symposium of New Music). Studied, as well, classical guitar at Villa-Lobos Conservatory, in Curitiba, Brasil, being mostly interested in the vast XXth century Brazilian repertoire for the

    Third Place:

    Antiqua Fragmentorum by Emir Can Pehlivan
    EMIR CAN PEHLIVAN, born in 1998 in Çarşamba, Samsun in Turkey, started to play the violin at his early age, later studied Fine Arts Gymnasium in his neighborhood as a violin student. There are coincidental factors rather than decisions taken at an early age in Emir's choice to study
    composition. The most influential of these coincidences is the interest and collective work shown to him by Mehmet Ali Uzunselvi, Emre Dündar, and Mithatcan Öcal; members of the Istanbul Composers Collective, whom he somehow met after coming to Istanbul for university education. Today, he continues to compose with these people intensely, and as a result of the criticism and comments they make to each other, he carries his music to a further level every day.

    It was through stipends and prizes including the first prize of Sun River Competition (2019), the second prize of Sureyya Opera House Composition Competition (2020) Bilgi New Music Festival (2019), Cappadocia International Music Festival (2018), Sesin Yolculuğu (2017 and 2018) and others.

    He is continuing his composition activities mainly in Europe and lives as a freelance composer, musician, and improviser in Istanbul.


    Honorable Mentions:

    The White Walls by Ardavan Vossoughi
    ARDAVAN VOSSOUGHI, was born in Iran, Tehran in 1986. From 2016 to 2018, he attended the "Composition" professional course in Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy by Salvatore Sciarrino and in 2019 he received the “Merit Certificate” for this course. He studied contemporary music composition with Giovanni Bonato in the Conservatory "Cesare Pollini" of Padua, Italy. He is now attending the course of ”alta formazione di Composizione” in Accademia Santa Cecilia by Ivan Fedele in Rome Since October 2019. Many of his compositions have been performed by different orchestras, ensembles, and soloists in Iran and Italy from which some are also recorded.

    Chroma by Joan Tan Jing Wen
    Born and raised in Singapore, JOAN TAN JING WEN is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, under the tutelage of Associate Professor Peter Ivan Edwards. The inspiration for her works comes from delving into experiences, both of hers and of others. She believes that everyone has a story, and this manifests itself in the interactions between them and their environments. Besides
    composing, Joan is fascinated by multidisciplinary artworks and sound installations. She also
    hopes to travel widely one day, to experience life in societies beyond her own.

    Cities& by Anton Lindström
    ANTON RUNE LINDSTRÖM (b. 1999) from Göteborg, is a Swedish musician and composer. His work often features and explores the boundaries between composition and improvisation. Anton’s primary musical output consists of instrumental chamber music with the goal to balance intimacy, and different means of performer interaction while at the same time keeping a sense of speed and lightheartedness. As a performer, he is a strong advocate for the modular synthesizer as a live instrument.

    East Ninth Street from Three Pieces After Abstract Expressionists by Emma Tucker
    EMMA TUCKER is a composer and oboist earning a Bachelor of Music in both composition and oboe performance at Chapman University’s Hall Musco Conservatory of Music. Emma has studied with oboists Dr. Ted Sugata and Lelie Resnick, as well as composition with Drs. Jeffrey Holmes and Sean Heim. Her music aims to capture the essence of the human experience and the interactions with both the natural and man-made environment. She aims to incorporate a wide variety of styles into her creative palette. She hopes to mature her concert music repertoire and musical voice as a composer in the contemporary landscape.

    Quintet by Marta K. Kowalczuk
    MARTA KOWALCZUK (b. 1998) is a Polish composer living in Germany. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in composition under Prof. Michael Obst at Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar. Marta actively participates in musical life in Germany and abroad. She works with renowned orchestras, ensembles, and musicians such as Multimediales Improvisationsensemble Thüringen, Staatskapelle Weimar, I SOLISTI - Belgian wind ensemble Antwerp, MDR-Ensemble, Radius Ensemble.

    Marta Kowalczuk has been awarded numerous prizes - including the International Composers Competition 2017 iMelody (Plano, USA), 4th National Composers Competition Piotr Perkowski in Toruń (2018, Poland).

  • High School Division

    First Place: 

    Mass Extinction by Sointu Aalto

    SOINTU AALTO Aalto (b.2004 in Helsinki, now based in Treaty 6) is a cellist and composer. Winner of University of Miami’s Frost School of Music’s 2020 Ensemble Ibis International Composition Competition, Arcady Ensemble’s 2019 emerging composer competition, Continuum New Music’s 2021 Teen Composer Award, CFMTA’s national 2020 student composer competition, and ACNMP’s national 2020 and 2021 composition competitions, she is a high school student at Victoria School of the Arts, who enjoys learning about everything academic, and is especially interested in climate science and climate justice. As an artist, she is particularly interested in the connections between music, mathematics, social justice, and philosophy. She has had the opportunity to learn something about the composition from Heather Hindman, John Burge, Linda Purves, Mark Hanneson, Andrey Talpash, Jesse Plessis, David McIntyre, Christina Volpini, Charles Stolte, and Allan Gilliland. These people have described her music as "daunting," "disturbing," “daring”, “truthful and gripping, and simultaneously polished and raw”. Sointu studies cello with Josephine van Lier. She likes to perform music to people, in the orchestra, chamber ensemble, and solo and recently won an honorable mention in Boulder Bach’s World Bach Competition, high school instrumental category. In her free time, Sointu likes to think.

    Second Place:

    String Quartet Nr. 1 by Jack Kaiser

    JACK KAISER (b. 2004) is a composer and violist based in Chicago, Illinois. Currently attending Interlochen Arts Academy as a composition major, he has studied under Dr. Cynthia Van Maanen for the past year. At Interlochen, Jack works closely with student musicians in the performance of his works. He has also worked with student writers, actors, and members of Interlochen’s Film and New Media Department to supply music for their projects. Before Interlochen, Jack attended the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory at the Merit School of Music for viola and composition. His works Le Fleuve and Agony have been performed at DePaul University and Roosevelt University in Chicago by members of the Ensemble Dal Niente, a Chicago chamber group. Jack has participated in masterclasses and taken lessons from composers Kareem Roustom and Carola Bauckholt. While living in Chicago, Jack attended the Lycée Français de Chicago, a French immersion school in the city, where he studied French, German, Spanish, and Latin.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Ani ma’amin by Jacob Shaw


    Apollo by Somesh Yatham

    SOMESH YATHAM, a certified Texas Young Master and All-State percussionist had his work
    performed/commissioned by the Walsh Percussion Ensemble, Tetractys, Panoramic Voices, and
    Austin Symphony Orchestra. He’s also received recognition from PTA Reflections, Classic Pure
    Vienna, and the Hypotenuse Trio. He is a member of Golden Hornet (student representative on
    the board of directors) and Fear No Music’s composition programs as well as the Draylen Mason
    Fellowship. Furthermore, his music has been featured by Ars Nova Publishing, Armstrong
    Community Music School, and Apricity Magazine. He currently aspires to work in composition
    regarding media such as film and video games.

    To Sleep… by Quinn Ouyang

    QUINN OUYANG (b. 2003; he/him) is a high school senior in Fremont, California. Since 8th grade, he’s primarily been writing for wind ensembles and chamber groups despite never receiving formal instruction in composition or music theory. In addition to playing the alto saxophone and leading his school’s marching band as a field show drum major, he spends much of his time streaming cooking to his friends and studying mathematics. He also lives with his parents and has an older college-graduate sister. You may often find him wearing a beanie.

    Fields of Rippling Gold by David Lang Lu

    7 Caricatures by Austin Ching

    Born in Leeds, United Kingdom in 2006 and based in Singapore, AUSTIN CHING is a post-modernist fashion designer, composer, and conceptual artist. His artistic career began at the age of 5 starting with the Piano, and he began creating in 2019 and has to date obtained multiple awards for his work, including a 1st Place for the JSFest Jean Sibelius Composition Competition in 2020. He draws inspiration from the likes of Rick Owens, Virgil Abloh, G. Ligeti, and B. Ferneyhough.

2019 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition Winners

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  • High School Division

    Don't Get Blue, Get Angry by Aaron Nichols

    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

    The Sea of Ice by Minji Kim
    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