January 11, 2011

Eric Nathan Named 31st Annual Recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize

Kati Agocs and Elizabeth A. Kelly Receive Honorable Mention

Eric Nathan

Eric Nathan

New York, NY, January 11, 2011: In announcing the 2011 Nissim Award winner, Paul Williams, President of The ASCAP Foundation, congratulated Eric Nathan whose winning work for full orchestra, entitled Icarus Dreamt, was selected from amongst 260 entries. Williams said, “ASCAP honors the memory of Dr. Rudolf Nissim for his dedication to ASCAP’s Concert Composers by hosting this annual competition for which a panel of conductors awards a prize of $5,000 to the best score submitted.”

Dr. Rudolf Nissim, former head of ASCAP's International Department and a devoted friend of contemporary composers, established this annual prize through a bequest to The ASCAP Foundation. The Prize is presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally. A jury of conductors selects the winning score.

Nathan’s compositions have been performed and featured throughout the United States and abroad by ensembles, music festivals and organizations including Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Banff Centre, Composers Now Festival at Symphony Space, New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University, Toronto International Piano Competition, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, and featured on NPR’s radio show “From the Top” and Canadian CBC Radio 2. The Hudson Valley Music Club will present a Composer Portrait concert of his music in March 2011. Commissions include those from the Tanglewood Music Center, ASCAP/Society of Composers Inc., Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center at Wellesley College, Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association, and conductor Timothy Reynish for a new concert band work to be published by Maecenas Music (UK).

Nathan’s music has been recognized with a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2008, 2010), the Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, the William Schuman Prize in the BMI Student Composer Awards, the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center, First Prize in the 2008 ASCAP/SCI National Student Commission Competition, the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, the Brian M. Israel Prize from the New York Federation of Music Clubs, the New York Art Ensemble Young Composer Competition, a Dean's Prize from Indiana University, and the Abraham Beekman Cox and Beekman Cannon Friends of Music Prizes from Yale College.

Eric Nathan is a currently a doctoral student at Cornell University where he studies with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra and Kevin Ernste. He received his Masters of Music from Indiana University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Yale College. He also attended The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and has received fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival and the Wellesley Composers Conference. His principal teachers have included Kathryn Alexander, Claude Baker, John Halle, Jeffery Hass, Sven-David Sandström, Matthew Suttor, Ira Taxin and George Tsontakis.

Icarus Dreamt has been performed by the Aspen Concert Orchestra, Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the University of Maryland Repertoire Orchestra. It was read by the American Composers Orchestra in their 2009 Underwood New Music Readings. Quoting from the program notes, “The concept for Icarus Dreamt is from the inspiration of Arthur Ganson’s kinetic sculpture, Machine with 23 Scraps of Paper, Henri Matisse’s collage, Icarus, and the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Icarus Dreamt combines allusions to the fluttering scraps of paper in Ganson’s sculpture, lyrical gestures of Matisse’s collage, and the narrative trajectory of the Greek myth.” For more information: www.ericnathanmusic.com

The Jury also awarded Honorable Mentions to the following composers: Kati Agocs (Boston, MA) for Perpetual Summer, a 13-minute orchestral work, and Elizabeth A. Kelly (Los Altos Hills, CA) for ISO Amor, a 13-minute work for two sopranos, tenor and chamber orchestra.

The judges for this year’s Nissim Prize were: Ryan McAdams, Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony; Paul Phillips, Music Director and Conductor of The Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus, and Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University; and Diane Wittry ,Music Director of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (PA) and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (CT).

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org