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Women Composers

Five American women composers have been commissioned by the American Pianists Association to write works for solo piano. The five new works are Lisa Bielawa's Vireo Canons and Chorale, Margaret Brouwer's Prelude and Toccata (working title), Gabriela Lena Frank's Karnavalito No 1, Missy Mazzoli's Heartbreaker and Sarah Kirkland Snider's The Currents.

The five new compositions will be heard for the first time in a new music recital at the association's 2012-2013 Classical Fellowship Awards on 15 April 2013 in Indianapolis, played by the five finalists. The awards mark the climax of a year-long competition for a prize worth more than US$100,000.

The American Pianists Association's president, CEO and artistic director is Joel Harrison, who explains the part taken by new music in this competition:

'The competition process incorporates the various ways in which pianists participate in the musical culture - playing chamber music, solo recitals, concertos, accompanying singers, as well as working with composers and performing new works. It's one thing to play a Beethoven Sonata where you can listen to decades of recordings. But when you're assigned the premiere of a new work, you are the resource, the yardstick. It's a special challenge for the pianists to come up with a compelling, imaginative performance, so it enables us to see another side of the pianist. For this particular occasion, we're fortunate to have a very generous grant from The Sorel Charitable Organization. In our discussions with the leadership at Sorel - whose mission is to support female musicians - we decided to have a round of commissions for women composers. They're all Americans, and to some extent, I leaned in the direction of the younger generation. Other than the charge to write pieces for solo piano of five to seven minutes in length, I gave the composers no restrictions and no limitations on compositional style.'


Posted: 9 February 2013 by Keith Bramich

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