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2009 Winners

POLYPHONOS 2009

Winners of the 2008-2009 competition

Nilo Alcala, Young Composer (Lucena City, The Philippines)

Nilo Alcala (b.1978) from Lucena City, Philippines is currently a graduate student in composition at Syracuse University Setnor School of Music (New York State) and recipient of the Billy Joel Fellowship. Among his teachers are Nicholas Scherzinger, Gregory Mertl, Andrew Waggoner, and Daniel Godfrey. An active chorister, he was member and composer-in-residence of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Asia’s most awarded and traveled choir. The group premiered his works in concert tours in the United States, and several countries in Asia and Europe, including the following prestigious international competitions: 35th Florilege Vocal de Tours (Tours, France) and the 2007 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Arezzo, Italy). Alcala’s concert tours with the Philippine Madrigal Singers include Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain (May-August 2004); Korea (December, 2004); Thailand (March 2005); USA (November-December 2005) Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France (May-June 2006), and Japan (December 2007). Among the most promising young composers in his country, Alcala’s works have been performed by a number of Asian choirs in festivals, concert tours, or competitions held in China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Austria, and Slovakia. In October 2004, Alcala was 2nd prize winner of the Asian Composers League (ACL) Young Composers Competition held in Jerusalem, Israel. He was also the Philippine delegate to and featured composer in the 1st I’mPULSE International Music Camp organized by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) in February 2005. Alcala received a B.S. in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (1999) prior to his admission to the BM Composition program of the University of the Philippines’ Diliman College of Music where he studied with Jonas Baes, Christine Muyco, Ramon Pagayon Santos, and Josefino Chino Toledo. He graduated Magna cum laude (2007) and received the Gawad Tsanselor Natatanging Mag-aaral Award (Chanselor’s Award for Outstanding Student).

Shawn Allison, National Composer (Chicago, IL)

Shawn Brogan Allison (b. 1976) (ASCAP) has been commissioned by a variety of groups, including the American Composers Forum, Cantus, the Cornell Chorale, the Ithaca College Men’s Chorus, and the St. Olaf Band. Funded by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Cornell Arts Council, his most recent major project, The Dawning, is a collection of pieces for choir, wind ensemble, and organ, and received its premiere in Cornell University’s Sage Chapel in April of 2006. Setting texts by Pablo Neruda, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, and Lao Tse, the work is both a celebration of the natural world and a threnody against its methodical destruction at the hands of its inhabitants. As a result of winning the 2004 American Composers Forum Jerome Commissioning Contest, he will be teaming up with librettist David Pisa to write a chamber opera dealing with the intersection between lying, storytelling, and quests for authenticity in the 21st Century, which will be premiered by the Nautilus Music Theater in Minneapolis, MN in the winter of 2009. Upcoming performances include a premiere by Eighth Blackbird and a reading session with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Other upcoming projects include: a piece about moths for the NY-based Cadillac Moon Ensemble as part of a residency with that group; an extension of song cycle El Mar y las Campanas for soprano Sonja Rodriguez Bermejo; and a work for Symphonic Band. Shawn has been involved in the administration of many new music groups. He recently served on the steering committee of the Chicago Composers Forum and currently serves as New Music Advisor for the Sapphire Chamber Consort in Minneapolis. He was a founding member of the Ithaca, NY-based new music group Tabula Rasa. As a saxophonist, Shawn has performed with the MAVerick Ensemble, Ensemble X, the CCCP (Cornell Contemporary Chamber Players), Tabula Rasa, and the University of Chicago’s New Music Ensemble. As a member of the New Heritage Saxophone Quartet, he was a semi-finalist at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and performed in a variety of national venues, including the 2003 World Saxophone Congress. Shawn has given world- and US-premiere performances of many works, including pieces by David Lang and Jacob ter Veldhuis. He has performed as a soloist with the Cornell Wind Ensemble and the St. Olaf Band, and was a saxophone instructor at Cornell University and Ithaca College. Shawn holds degrees in saxophone performance and composition from St. Olaf College (B.M.) and Ithaca College (M.M.). A Javits Fellow, he is currently working on his PhD in composition at the University of Chicago. His primary composition teachers have been Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Dana Wilson, Timothy Mahr, and Peter Hamlin.

Eduardo Malachevsky, International Composer (Bariloche, Argentina)

Born in 1960, in Santa Fe, Argentina, Eduardo Andrés Malachevsky is a composer and choral conductor with a unique and fascinating career. After studying flute, conducting, and composition, his musical and artistic future seemed promising. However, at the age of 24 he chose to become a Cistercian (Trappist) monk and entered an austere Abbey in the Pampas of Argentina. He lived a contemplative, monastic life for fourteen years, developing an intense appreciation for choral music. He left the order in 1998 to develop and pursue his creative and conducting talent. As a choral conductor he has conducted choirs in the U.S., Argentina and France with great success. Back in his country after six years in Paris, he launched a new choral ensemble in 2008 in the Patagonian city of San Carlos de Bariloche, the “Coro de Camara Patagonia,” which is primarily dedicated to performing contemporary choral music. As a choral composer, Mr. Malachevsky’s works have accumulated numerous awards and have been performed as part of both national and international composition competitions. With great finesse in his choral writing, his music can be deeply appealing, touching, as well as humorous, burlesque and ironic, exploring all the subtle facets of the human voice. His music has been sung by choirs such as Berliner Domkantorei (Berlin Cathedral Choir, Germany); Goeyvaersts Consort (Belgium); Sangita Choir (Universal Sacred Music Foundation, USA); and Cantemus Mixed Choir (Hungary).