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2012 Winners


Winners of the 2011-2012 competition

Rita Ueda, International Composer (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Rita Ueda (b. 1963) is a Canadian composer, sound designer and music teacher in Vancouver. Her recent works include Escape from the Evil Alien Surfblasters for piano ensemble, Tokei no Oto Nimo (In the Sound of a Clock) a choir piece for Musica Intima, and Still Shaking from the Latte, a piano solo piece for Misuzu Kitazumi Burns. Her as the snowflake returns to the sky for string orchestra was awarded 2nd prize in the 2010-2011 International Gustav Mahler Composition Competition. As a sound designer, Rita has worked as director of sound for numerous films and DVD titles such as Happy New YearThe Encyclopedia of British Columbia, and Masks: Faces of the Pacific. Rita was born in Hakodote, Japan, to a family of musicians, poets, artists and engineers. She moved to Vancouver with her family in 1971. Rita studied composition and sound design at Simon Fraser University and the California Institute of the Arts. Her teachers include Rudolf Komoros, Rodney Sharman, Wadada Leo Smith, Morton Subotnick, David Rosenboom and Barry Traux. She has also taken short term studies with Lou Harrison, James Tenny and Earle Brown. She now teaches piano and theory in her studio in Vancouver.

Zachary Wadsworth, Young Composer (Calgary, Alberta)

Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) is a composer of contemporary art music for a variety of forces, from art song and chamber orchestra to opera and orchestral works. His recent song cylcle, Pictures of the Floating World, was premiered at the Lincoln Center and his opera, Venus and Adonis, has been taken on by five different companies since its composition in 2004. His works have also been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today; published by E.C. Schirmer, PRB Productions, and Alliance Music Publications; and performed by the Washington National Opera Chorus, and the Yale Schola Cantorum. His music has been awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards, and first prize in the ASCAP Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition. Recordings of his choral works O Saving Victim and Beati Quorum Remissae are available on the Gothic record label. Zachary is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, and he is currently pursuing a DMA in music composition at Cornell University. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he currently lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Philip Wharton, National Composer (New York, NY)

Combining art, music, poetry and dance is Philip Wharton’s (b. 1969) specialty. His 2007 chamber symphony,Passing Season, used titles from his grandfather Orville M. Running’s woodcut prints. His narrated symphonic poem on the book, The Giant Jam Sandwich, captured the author’s verse and the illustrator’s design so well that author Janet Burroway sent Philip another poem. The resulting work for voice and piano trio on her story, The Perfect Pig, was premiered in September 2008 to an audience further delighted by seeing a dancer using constumes—tickling both eyes and ears. This past season saw the premieres of his first symphony (commissioned by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra for their 80th anniversary season), The Truck on the Track (on the book by Janet Burroway & John Vernon Lord), and Birdsongs for voice and piano (on texts by Carol Gilbertson). Other seasons saw performances by the Santa Fe Opera (Two Saintes Caught in the Same Act as part of their apprentice scenes program), the Grammy-nominated Borealis Wind Quintet (who commissioned his Quintet) and the South Dakota Symphony.