January 14, 2005


The winner of the 25th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Award was announced today by Marilyn Bergman, President of The ASCAP Foundation. The Nissim Prize has been awarded to Andrew Norman for Sacred Geometry, a 10-minute work for orchestra, selected from amongst nearly 300 submissions. Norman will receive a prize of $5,000.

Andrew NormanA recent graduate of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Norman completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies there, earning an MM in composition in 2004, and a BM summa cum laude two years prior to that. Currently teaching piano and composition at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, he has received commissions by the William Kappell Piano Foundation, the Modesto Symphony, the California State University Stanislaus Symphony, and the New York Youth Symphony. Sacred Geometry, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony was also selected for the Minnesota Orchestra Composers’ Institute Readings. Norman has received the 2004 Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, two ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, as well as top honors in the National Federation of Music Clubs Composition Contest, the Music Teachers National Association Composition Contest, and the University of Southern California Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. Norman has served as a composition master class fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, as a two-time composition fellow at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, and a composer-in-residence for the National Youth Orchestra Festival. His works have been performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, England, France and Japan. Norman maintains an active performing schedule, recently appearing with the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble at Walt Disney Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series, and also with the Ensemble Green, a Los Angeles-based new music group.

The Nissim Jury recognized five composers for Special Distinction: Timothy Andres of Washington, CT for Symphony No. 1, duration 40 minutes; Devin Arrington of Pittsburgh, PA for La Via Dolorosa, duration 10 minutes; Arnold Freed of New York, NY for Alleluia for Orchestra, duration 9 minutes; Michael Karp of New York, NY for Affirmation for Strings, duration 8 minutes; and Michael Wittgraf of Grand Forks, ND for A Marriage of Seasons, duration 10 minutes.

The Jury also recognized the following composers for Honorable Mention: Peter Kelsh of New York, NY for Serenade for Oboe and Orchestra, duration 24 minutes; and Zhou Tian of Philadelphia, PA for The Palace of Nine Perfections, duration 9 minutes.

The judges for this year’s Nissim Award were: Emily Freeman Brown, Director of Orchestral Studies and Music Director of Opera Theater at Bowling Green State University, and President of the Conductors Guild; Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Director and Conductor of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra; and Mark Laycock, Associate Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (NJ) and Artistic Director of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.

The Nissim Competition is funded by The ASCAP Foundation through a bequest of the late Dr. Rudolf Nissim, former head of ASCAP’s International Department. Nissim joined the ASCAP staff immediately after emigrating to the United States from Austria in 1940.

The Nissim competition is open to all ASCAP composer members with concert works requiring a conductor that have not been professionally performed. To encourage the professional premiere of the prize-winning work, ASCAP makes supplementary funds available.

For more than twenty-five years, The ASCAP Foundation has been dedicated to nurturing gifted composers, and preserving our musical legacy by serving the entire music community through a variety of educational, professional and humanitarian programs.

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