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2009 Winners

POLYPHONOS 2009

Winners announced for the 2008-2009 competition 

The Esoterics is pleased to announce the winners its 2009 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. Now in its third year, the competition inspired 128 entries from all over the world. A panel of three judges reviewed all the anonymous scores to settle upon the winners of three separate awards: one national (U.S.) composer, one international composer, and one young composer under the age of 30.

Each awardee will receive a US$1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that The Esoterics will premiere during their 2009 concert season. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

The Esoterics extends its sincerest thanks to all who applied to this competition. The pool of applicants was particularly strong this year, and the judges struggled to settle upon just the awards.

National (U.S.) composer: Shawn Brogan Allison – Chicago, Illinois
International composer: Eduardo Andrés Malachevsky – San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Young composer: Nilo Alcala – Lucena City, Philippines

More information about each composer is below.

POLYPHONOS 2009 NATIONAL (U.S.) COMPOSER:

Shawn Brogan Allison – Chicago, Illinois

Shawn Brogan Allison (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 Brogan AllisonShawn 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.

POLYPHONOS 2009 INTERNATIONAL COMPOSER:

Eduardo Andrés Malachevsky – San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Born in Santa Fe (1960) 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). His most recent prizes and awards include:

  • CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE DI COMPOSIZIONE GUIDO D’AREZZO, Italy 2009
  • PREMIO de la TRIBUNA NACIONAL DE COMPOSITORES, TRINAC 2008, Argentina
  • PREMIO DE COMPOSICION JUAN BAUTISTA COMES, Spain 2006
  • CONCURSO DE COMPOSICIÓN POLIFÓNICA TOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA, Spain 2003 & 2006
  • CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE DI COMPOSIZIONE CORALE ‘SEGHIZZI’, Italy 2003 & 2005
  • CONCURSO DE COMPOSICION CORAL CIUDAD DE LA LAGUNA, Spain 2005
  • KOMPOSITIONSWETTBEWERB DES BERLINER DOMES, Germany 2005
  • FOUNDATION FOR UNIVERSAL SACRED MUSIC AWARD COMMISSION, USA 2004
  • PREMIOS A LA COMPOSICIÓN Y EXPRESIÓN CORAL, Spain 2003 & 2004
  • HARELBEKE TOWN OF MUSIC, INTERNATIONAL CHORAL COMPOSITION CONTEST, Belgium 2001-2002

Please visit www.malachevsky.com.ar to find out more.

POLYPHONOS 2009 YOUNG COMPOSER:

Nilo Alcala – Lucena City, 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).

More information can be found on his website: www.freewebs.com/nilo_alcala2.