Missy Mazzoli Named Winner of Annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers





Lebenbom Award Continues in Spirit of Recognizing

New Orchestral Works by Women


            DETROIT, (June 2, 2011) –Missy Mazzoli, has been awarded the fifth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO).  Mazzoli, who was chosen from applicants worldwide, will compose a new work that will be given its premiere in the 2012-13 season. In addition to concerts presenting her work, Mazzoli will receive a $10,000 prize and a one-month residency at the Ucross Foundation, an artist’s retreat in northern Wyoming.

            “I was thrilled and shocked to receive the news that I had won the Elaine Lebenbom Award. I love Detroit and for years have been looking for an excuse to do a project there.  I am very excited to be a part of the Detroit Symphony family at this exciting time,” said Missy Mazzoli.

 “Missy Mazzoli is one of the most exciting young composers working today. She writes highly inventive, sonically ravishing music that also makes a real emotional connection with the listener. I can’t think of a more deserving winner for this year’s Lebenbom prize and really look forward to her collaboration with the DSO” said Ian Ding, Assistant Principal Percussionist for the DSO and a jury member in the selection of the Lebenbom Award. Other jury members were composers Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers and DSO musicians Randy Hawes and Shannon Orme.

Mazzoli has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Bard College Conservatory and the Whitney Museum of Art.  She is an active pianist performing with Victorie, and “all-star, all-female quintet” she founded that only performs her compositions. Their album, Cathedral City, has been named one of the year’s best classical albums by NPR, The New York Times and Time Out NY. Missy has taught composition in the Music Department of Yale University and is currently the Executive Director of the MATA Festival in New York City, an organization dedicated to promoting the work of young composers.

Last year’s winner, Du Yun, will debut her work titled, Kraken, under the direction of DSO Music Director, Leonard Slatkin, in the upcoming season on May 11, 2012.

The DSO is now accepting entries for its sixth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Competition for Female Composers.  The international competition, launched in 2006, is the only annual symphony orchestra sponsored award granted annually to a living female composer, of any age or nationality.  Each year, one winner receives a $10,000 prize and the opportunity to have her original work premiered in the DSO’s Classical Subscription Series.  The award is made possible by an anonymous donor.  The submission deadline for the 2011 competition is October 1, 2011 and the winning composer will be notified no later than December 15, 2011. The recipient of the award will perform their work during the 2012-13 season. Applications may be downloaded at www.dso.org/lebenbom . For questions, please contact Erik Rönmark at eronmark@dso.org.

            To be considered for the award, participants must submit a resume; a completed application form; sample scores of up to three completed works, including one scored for full symphony; and supporting audio and/or video representation of at least one, preferably the symphonic work.  Submitted entries will be judged by a committee formed by the DSO.

            The first winner of the Lebenbom Competition was Stacy Garrop, a composer and Associate Professor of Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago.  Garrop was chosen from 192 applicants from 17 countries.  Her work, Becoming Medusa, received its world premiere at Orchestra Hall under the direction of the DSO’s Principal Guest Conductor Peter Oundjian on May 29 during the DSO’s final classical subscription concert of the 2007-08 season.            

The second Lebenbom Award-winner, Margaret Brouwer, is an American Composer who also served as the head of the composition department at the Cleveland school of music from 1996 until 2008. Her composition, Rhapsody for Orchestra, received its world premiere on Jan. 9 during the 2008-09 classical subscription season under the direction of DSO Music Director, Leonard Slatkin. 

            The third winner, Cindy McTee, is the recipient of numerous awards for her music and has been commissioned to create works by the Detroit, Houston, Amarillo and Dallas orchestras as well as Bands of America, the American Guild of Organists, the Barlow Endowment and the College Band Directors National Association.  Her music has been performed by leading orchestras, bands, and chamber ensembles in Japan, South America, Europe, Australia, and the United States in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House.  In 2010, she retired as the Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas, where she had taught since 1984.  Her Double Play received its world premiere on June 3, 2010 under the direction of DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin.

The fourth winner, Du Yun, received her Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University in 2000, her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1995 and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan in 1992.  Born in Shanghai, China and currently residing in New York City, Du Yun is an alumna of the Shanghai Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory and Harvard University.  Since 2006, she has served on the composition faculty at the State University of New York Purchase and is a founding member of the critically acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E.).  Equally adept at writing for concert halls, art shows, experimental theatres and dance, her compositions can be heard on record labels Wugui (Beijing), Shanghai Classical Music and ATMA Classique.

The Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award was inspired by composer, teacher, poet, artist and lecturer Elaine Lebenbom, a resident of Bloomfield Hills, MI who died in 2002.  The DSO has premiered three of Lebenbom’s works.  Kaleidoscope Turning received its world premiere under the direction of DSO Music Director Emeritus Neeme Järvi in 1997.  Reflections on a Rainbow and Gamatria were debuted in 2004 and 2007, respectively, both after the composer’s death.

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists.  Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season.  The DSO offers a year-round performance schedule that includes classical, pops, jazz, young people’s concerts and festivals.  The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music.

The DSO’s diversity programs include the pioneering Classical Roots concerts, the Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Competition for Female Composers, the annual Concert of Colors music festival and the African-American Fellowship program established in 1990.  For more information on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s programs, initiatives and concerts, please visit www.dso.org.


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