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2011 Winners


Winners announced for the 2010-2011 competition 

The Esoterics is pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. 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 at AMBITIOSA in October of the 2011 season. This year, the composers will be focusing on the theme: “contemplating the beauty of the world that surrounds us.” 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. Once again, the judges were challenged to arrive at a decision. We hope that those of you who were not selected will enter again this year.

National (U.S.) composer: Christina Whitten Thomas – Los Angeles, California
International composer: Jordan Nobles – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Young composer: Joshua Fishbein – San Francisco, California

More information about each composer is below.


Christina Whitten Thomas – Los Angeles, California

Having grown up in New England, Christina Whitten Thomas’s music is greatly influenced by the natural beauty and serenity of the Northeast. She also draws from the excitement of city life and the vibrant arts community of her current home in Los Angeles, California.

Reflective of her life experiences, her compositions are an intricate fusion of the traditional and innovative, of the contemplative and dynamic.

More information can be found at the composer’s web site:


Jordan Nobles – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Jordan writes music that envelops the listener in sound. Known for his commitment to spatial music, he often takes performers and audiences away from traditional concert experiences. Whether surrounding audiences with ten flutes, filling museums with live musicians on multiple floors, or inviting players to move across the stage during performances, Jordan adds an extra, and often emotional, level of conversation to musical thought.

His multiple awards and commissions have led to more than seventy-five new works. From solo instrumentalists to symphony orchestras, chamber choirs to percussion quartets, musicians from around the world have embraced his music. Recently his music has been released on Germany’s SPEKTRAL label, won First Prize in the Vancouver Bach Choir’s National Competition for Large Choirs, and been premiered in Toronto, New York, Belgium, Edmonton, Vancouver, Fredericton, Calgary, Windsor, Halifax and Lima, Peru.

More information can be found at the composer’s web site:


Joshua Fishbein – San Francisco, California

An accomplished singer and pianist, Joshua Fishbein (b. 1984) is a natural fit as a composer, choral conductor, and teacher of music. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Fishbein studied piano performance and music theory at The Peabody Preparatory (1998 – 2002), where he won three awards of achievement in theory. Fishbein’s Hebrew choral music was recognized with its inclusion in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Student Composer Project (2005) and Shalshelet’s Second International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music (2006). Also, his orchestral arrangements of Hebrew choral music can be heard on Cantor Emanuel Perlman’s CD recording, Face to Face (2007). Completing undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Music Composition at Carnegie Mellon University (class of ’06), Fishbein won the Harry G. Archer Prize in orchestral composition for his senior project, Shoreside Melody (2006). Fishbein completed his Master’s degree in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (class of ’09), where he won first prize in the San Francisco Conservatory Artsong Competition (2009). Fishbein’s primary composition teachers include Nancy Galbraith and David Conte. He has also studied in masterclasses, workshops, summer programs, and privately with John Adams, Roger Bourland, Robert Beaser, Libby Larsen, Philip Lasser, David Lefkowitz, Lawrence Moss, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, and Chen Yi.

More information can be found at the composer’s web site: