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2008 Winners

POLYPHONOS 2008

Winners announced for the 2007-2008 competition 

The Esoterics is pleased to announce the winners of choral composition competition, POLYPHONOS for 2008. This year, 61 composers from ages 19 to 75, from such far-flung locales as Poland, Brazil, and Scotland submitted scores to this competition. Each composer was completely anonymous to the panel of three judges.

Each winner will receive US$1,000 and a commission for a 5-minute new work that will be premiered in The Esoterics’ fifteen anniversary concert entitled QUINDECIMA in mid-April 2008. The winners will also receive travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year. The Esoterics extends its sincerest thanks to all of you who applied to this competition.

The decisions were difficult, but The Esoterics have decided upon these awards:

POLYPHONOS 2008 NATIONAL (U.S.) COMPOSER:

Nathan J. Stumpff – Freedom, Maine

Nathan J. Stumpff (born 1978) is a musician, builder and part-time homesteader from Freedom, Maine. Nathan recently completed the degree of Master of Music as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Fellowship recipient at Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Nils Vigeland and Julia Wolfe. As a Fulbright Scholar, he taught and worked with composer Mist Þorkelsdóttir at the Listaháskóli Islands (Iceland Academy of the Arts) in Reykjavík, Iceland. Mr. Stumpff completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Brown University, where his principal teachers were Gerald Shapiro and Elaine Bearer.

Recent commissions include those by The Esoterics choir from Seattle, WA, and The Young Eight String Octet. As 1st Prize winner in the 2006 Washington International Prize for Composers, Nathan’s string quartet The Righteous and the Wicked was premiered by the Peabody Quartet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Other recent honors include 1st prize in the 2006 Cappella Gloriana Competition for Composers for his a cappella choral work Four Rumi Songs, and residency with the California E.A.R. Unit in Arcosanti, AZ, where his work Volkswagen Hobo for vocalist and sextet was premiered, with the composer as guest vocalist. Nathan’s work Subtleties Lost: prelude and fugue for orchestra was selected for the 2002 Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute and Reading Sessions.

An active performer and conductor, Nathan has recently been guest artist with the Manhattan School of Music Percussion ensemble under Steven Schick, and with the new music ensemble TACTUS, playing the hammered dulcimer in a performance of George Crumb’s Quest. Recent conducting engagements include numerous premieres by New York composers, including appearances at the 2007 DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY.

More can be found about Nathan on his webpage: lostloonmusic.com.

POLYPHONOS 2008 INTERNATIONAL COMPOSER:

Leonard J. Enns – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Leonard Enns holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting (1975) and a PhD in Music Theory (1982) from Northwestern University, where he was a student of and assistant to Margaret Hillis, with undergraduate degrees from Canadian Mennonite Bible College and Wilfrid Laurier University. Conducting, Music Theory, and Composition are his main teaching areas, and he has directed the College Chapel Choir at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario since 1977. The Chapel Choir participates regularly in College worship, tours extensively, and has recorded five CD’s: “When in our music God is glorified” (1995),”How can I keep from singing” (1997), “Touched by Grace” (2000), “Mysterium” (2002) and “Then & Now” (2005). Enns is also the founding director of the DaCapo Chamber Choir, established in 1998. The choir was a finalist in the 2004 CBC Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs, and released its first CD, Still, in the spring of 2004.

Enns is active as a composer with an extensive list of compositions. His choral works are performed regularly by school, church and community choirs, as well as by professional chamber choirs such as the Elora Festival Singers and the Winnipeg Singers. Recent performances of his music included his choral symphony, “The Silver Cord”, in February 2004 by the KW Philharmonic Choir and the KW Symphony. His “Te Deum Brevis” was premiered by the Winnipeg Singers in Kyota, Japan in the summer of 2005, as part of the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music.

Please visit grebel.uwaterloo.ca/contact/enns.shtml to find out more.

POLYPHONOS 2008 YOUNG COMPOSER:

Scott Perkins – Rochester, New York

Connecticut native Scott Perkins (b. 1980) is active as a composer, performer, theorist, conductor, and teacher of music. He holds degrees from Boston University and the Eastman School of Music in composition and music theory.

Scott’s works have been performed throughout North America and Europe, and have won major prizes, including a BMI Student Composer Award. An avid enthusiast of early and contemporary vocal music, Scott has enjoyed working with a long list of composers and giving the first performances of works as both a tenor and a conductor. He has appeared in recital and as a concert soloist in the United States, England, Mexico, Scotland, and Norway.

As a researcher, Scott is particularly interested in compositional process in the music of Benjamin Britten and issues in the pedagogy of music theory. In 2006, on a grant from Eastman, he conducted sketch studies at the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh, England, for a second consecutive summer.

Scott is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with a double-concentration in Composition and Theory at Eastman, where he studies with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. He teaches undergraduates at Eastman, is engaged regularly as a soloist and a conductor, performs weekly as a member of the Christ Church Schola Cantorum, of which he is also assistant director, and is president of Ossia, Eastman’s student-run new music ensemble.

More information can be found on his website: www.scottperkins.org.