Three musicians seated playing stringed instuments

2009 Competition Winner – David Crowell

New York City-based composer and instrumentalist David Crowell’s score “The Open Road” was selected by the JACK Quartet as the 2009 winner from more than 150 entries representing 14 countries, 32 states and the District of Columbia. Crowell’s composition was performed by members of JACK on January 30, 2010 in Montgomery during ClefWorks’ five-day festival, Do you know JACK? Crowell joined the quartet on stage to discuss the score’s nuances and introduced the composition to the audience.

David is active in diverse genres of composed and improvised music. While a woodwinds player with the Philip Glass Ensemble, he has performed such classic works as “Music in 12 Parts” and the concert version of “Einstein on the Beach”. His chamber works have been performed in a variety of venues in the United States and Mexico, including MASS MoCA, University of North Texas, University of Kentucky and Brooklyn College. He was a featured composter at the 2009 MATA Festival, a New York City forum for presenting the new music of emerging young composers from around the world, and was named the 2009 1st prize Brian M. Israel Award recipient by the Society for New Music for his percussion piece titled “The Day After.” He was also a finalist for the 2008 and 2009 ASCAP Young Composer Awards in Concert Music.

Other 2009 Competition finalists were Patricia Alessandrini (New York), Matthew Barnson (New York), Trevor Christian Bjorkland (New York), Richard Carrick (New York), Nicholas Deyoe (California), Ulrich Kreppein (Germany), Daniel Pesca (Illinois), Valery Voronov (Germany) and Charlie Wilmoth (California).

2009 Competition Winner – David Crowell2017-06-07T18:51:11-05:00

2008 Competition Winner – Scott Robbins

The 2008 winner was Scott Robbins of Spartanburg, SC, whose “Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano” (1999/2008) was performed during the final ClefWorks’ Dream On concert in January of 2009. The work demonstrates a compelling harmonic language and engaging musical narrative with striking and expressive use of the string instruments. Robbins’ adjudicators were the members of the internationally famous Penderecki String Quartet, who chose his composition from among more than 120 entries by accomplished composers from all over the world.

Scott Robbins (Associate Dean, Professor of Composition and Musicology, Petrie School of Music at Converse College) began his musical training as a drummer and guitarist in rock bands. Robbins’ compositions are widely performed and professionally recognized, having received over 50 awards, including the Second International Sergei Prokofiev Composition Competition, Yale University’s Norfolk National Composition Prize, NACUSA Young Composers Award, ASCAP Foundation Grant to Young Composers, American Music Center Composer Assistance Award, Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and multiple awards from ASCAP and commissions from the SC Music Teachers Association. Among those who have performed, commissioned or commercially recorded Scott’s works are the Czech Radio Symphony, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Moyzes Quartet, Ensemble Radieuse, Gregg Smith Singers, and the Dale Warland Singers. The Clearing, a film for which Scott composed the soundtrack, received the CINE-Eagle award and has been broadcast on Bravo and HBO.

Honorable mention was given to two other works of remarkable technical excellence: “Caged Symphonies” (2008) by Vasco Mendonca of Lisboa, Portugal and “Four Flash Fear” (2007) by Nicolas Tzortzis of Paris, France. Other composers with works in the final round of judging were: Alexander Lu of San Francisco, California; Nolan Stoltz of Hartford, Connecticut; Marcus Karl Maroney of Houston, Texas; Andrew Martin Smith of Bowling Green, Ohio; Steven Snowden of Westminster, Colorado; Lansing McLoskey of Miami, Florida; and Edward Green of New York City.

2008 Competition Winner – Scott Robbins2017-06-07T18:51:38-05:00

2007 Premiere Competition Winner – Mike Barnett

Mike Barnett was the ClefWorks 2007 Composition Competition winner with his original score, Ask the Wind, which dèbuted during the ClefWorks Premiere Season by pianist Jihye Chang, violinist Benjamin Sung and cellist Hrant Parsamian. The impressive work has since been performed at Carnegie Hall by the Clavier Trio. From composer to heavy metal drummer to recording artist to educator and even orchestral violist, the eclectic and colorful career of Mike Barnett has transcended the boundaries of the traditional contemporary musician. In 1988 Mike formed the now legendary Pittsburgh-based metal ensemble, Phantom Crew. Over the next twelve years the band would go on to record seven albums, compose hundreds of songs and perform at countless venues throughout the eastern United States. Mike eventually pursued formal composition training and ultimately earned a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition, from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he studied with Daniel Perlongo and Erik Santos. In 2004, Mike earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied with Richard Toensing, Luis Gonzalez, John Drumheller, Michael Theodore and Andrew May. Mike works as a composer, studio drummer and private composition instructor. He is also the drummer for the renowned Hollywood heavy metal band, Throttle. His music has been performed around the world by such prominent musicians as David Korevaar, Alexa Still, Michael Thornton, Erika Eckert, Stanley Chepaitis and Dieter Wulfhorst and major ensembles including the Ives String Quartet, the Vinca String Quartet and the Kiev Philharmonic.

ClefWorks is grateful to Arie Lipsky, conductor of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, cellist of the New Arts Trio and music director of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra in Ohio, as well as Claude Baker, Professor of Composition at Indiana University and former composer-in-residence of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, for judging of the final round of the 2007 Composition Competition. Congratulations to David Witmer who received an honorable mention for his composition titled “Miniatures for Piano Trio.”

2007 Premiere Competition Winner – Mike Barnett2017-06-07T18:52:04-05:00