Matthew Browne Receives ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize For "Cabinet Of Curiosities"

January 17, 2017

Saad Haddad, John Liberatore and Jonathan David Little Recognized with Special Distinction

BrowneNew York, NY, January 17, 2017: Paul Williams, President of The ASCAP Foundation, is pleased to announce that Matthew Browne has been named recipient of the 37th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The $5,000 Prize was awarded for Cabinet of Curiosities, a circa 23-minute work for saxophone quartet and orchestra.

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.

New York-based composer Matthew Browne strives to create music that meets Sergei Diaghilev’s famous challenge to Jean Cocteau: “Astonish me!” by incorporating such eclectic influences as the timbral imagination and playfulness of György Ligeti, the shocking and humorous eclecticism of Alfred Schnittke, and the relentless rhythmic energy of Igor Stravinsky.  His music has been praised for its “unbridled humor” (New Music Box) and described as “witty” (The Strad) and “beautifully crafted and considered” (What’s On London).

Matthew Browne has had the privilege of collaborating with such ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, the Albany Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, the New England Philharmonic, the Villiers Quartet, the Tesla Quartet, the PUBLIQuartet, SEVEN)SUNS and The Donald Sinta Quartet, to whom his award-winning work is dedicated.

Recent recognition for Browne’s music has included an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer award (2014) and BMI Student Composer award (2015). He has been a winner of the New England Philharmonic Call for Scores (2014) and the American Viola Society’s Maurice Gardner Competition (2014). He has also been selected for residencies at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s First Annual Composers Institute (2013) and most recently the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute (2016). Browne holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Previous teachers include Michael Daugherty, Kristin Kuster, Carter Pann, and Daniel Kellogg.

The jury also awarded Special Distinction to Saad Haddad of Northridge, California for Takht, a ca. 12’ work for full orchestra; to John Liberatore of South Bend, Indiana for this living air, a 16’ work for solo piano and percussion orchestra; and to Jonathan David Little of Surrey, United Kingdom for Terpsichore, a 15’ work for full orchestra.

The judges for this year’s Nissim Prize were: James Blachly, Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra (Johnstown, PA), the Experiential Orchestra and Geneva Light Opera (Geneva, NY) as well as co-Artistic Director of The Dream Unfinished (a social justice orchestra based in New York City); Gerard Schwarz, Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and Jack Benaroya Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony; Lidiya Yankovskaya, Artistic Director with Juventas New Music Ensemble (Boston, MA), Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, conductor with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, where she has previously served as Music Director with Harvard’s Lowell House Opera, and assistant conductor/chorus master with Opera Boston and Gotham Chamber Opera.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter @ascapfoundation, and on Facebook.


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Press Contact:

Cathy Nevins



Matthew Browne

Cabinet of Curiosities for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Written for and Dedicated to the Donald Sinta Quartet

Duration:  c. 23 minutes

Program Note (From the Composer’s Preface):


Cabinets of curiosities (known also as Kunstkammer), emerged first in the wealthy and royal homes of the sixteenth century. The cabinets held collections of various wondrous and thought-provoking objects with no obvious categorization or curation. Many of these collections included archaeological relics obtained by explorers during their voyages to the new world (Exotica), impressive and curious works of Art (Artificialia), technologically advanced mechanical automata (Scientifica), and obscure and exotic specimens from nature (Naturalia). These collections served primarily as a status symbol for the wealthy patrons that owned them, but were also viewed as a kind of proto-museum displaying, in one room, objects once unknown (and sometimes unbelievable) to European audiences at the time. To these visitors, the cabinet was a microcosm of the world.

            Prelude “The cure for boredom is curiosity. “There is no cure for curiosity.” - Ellen Parr.                                             

  1. The Art of Noises
  2. Farthest South
  3. Vinegar Syndrome



Flute 1-2

Oboe 1-2

English Horn

Clarinet in Bb 1-2

Bass Clarinet in Bb (Dbl. Clarinet in Bb 3)

Bassoon 1-2


Horn in F 1-4

Trumpet in C 1-3

Trombone 1-2

Trombone 3 (Bass)


Timpani (32”, 29”, 26”, 23”)


Percussion 1

Marimba (4.5 octave)


Crotales (Eb6-Ab7)

Concert Bass Drum (may be shared with Perc. 3)

Medium Cowbell (mounted)

Percussion 2

Two Bongos

Suspended Cymbal

Glass Wind Chimes

Brake Drum

Tam-tam (with bass bow)

Vibraslap (mounted)



Small Cowbell (mounted)

Percussion 3


Snare Drum

Concert Bass Drum (may be shared with Perc. 1)

Five Temple Blocks

Suspended Cymbal



Solo Soprano Saxophone in Bb

Solo Alto Saxophone in Eb

Solo Tenor Saxophone in Bb

Solo Baritone Saxophone in Eb


Violin I

Violin II