David Biedenbender Receives the ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize for "Cyclotron"

January 26, 2018

David Biedenbende
Huck Hodge Recognized with Special Distinction


NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2018 -- Paul Williams, President of The ASCAP Foundation, is pleased to announce that David Biedenbender has been named recipient of the 38th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The Prize was awarded for Cyclotron, a 10-minute work for winds and percussion. Selected from 140 entries judged anonymously by a panel of conductors, Biedenbender is awarded a prize of $5,000.

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.

The music of East-Lansing Michigan-based composer David Biedenbender has been described as “simply beautiful” [twincities.com] and is noted for its “rhythmic intensity” [NewMusicBox] and “stirring harmonies” [Boston Classical Review]. “Modern, venturesome, and inexorable... The excitement, intensity, and freshness that characterizes Biedenbender’s music hung in the [air] long after the last note was played” [Examiner.com]. Biedenbender has written music for the concert stage as well as for dance and multimedia collaborations, and his work is influenced by his experience in rock and jazz bands as an electric bassist; in wind, jazz and New Orleans-style brass bands as a euphonium, bass trombone and tuba player and by his study of Indian Carnatic Music.

Cyclotron was commissioned by the Michigan State University Wind Symphony and Kevin Sedatole, the Director of Bands, Professor of Music and Chair of the conducting area at Michigan State University, which is home to one of the world’s flagship nuclear science research facilities. The composition reflects Biedenbender’s interest in the particle accelerator of the same name, in which charged particles accelerate outwards from the center along a spiral path. Similarly, Cyclotron develops out of a small collection of motifs and gestures, which are layered and transformed over time. The music captures the strange and mysterious beauty of the sub-atomic world.

Biedenbender has collaborated with and been commissioned by numerous performers and ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra, Stenhammar String Quartet, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, U.S. Navy Band, Philharmonie Baden-Baden (Germany), VocalEssence and Eastman Wind Ensemble, among many others. He is currently Assistant Professor of Composition in the College of Music at Michigan State University. He holds degrees in composition from the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University, and has also studied at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Aspen Music Festival and in Mysore, India where he studied carnatic music. For more information, visit: davidbiedenbender.com.

The Jury also awarded Special Distinction to Huck Hodge of Seattle, Washington for At dawn I chant my own weird hymn, a 22-minute work for solo offstage trumpet, symphonic winds, 2 harps, 2 pianos, 4 percussion and 3 contrabasses. Hodge writes music that explores the liminality of perceptual illusion and the threshold between design and intuition. His output is diverse and comprises a wide range of symphonic, chamber, dance and multimedia works. Hodge has won an extensive array of national and international awards including the Rome Prize, the Gaudeamus Prize, the ISCM League of Composers Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Aaron Copland Fellowship, and has just been granted this year’s Charles Ives Living Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. For more information, visit: www.huckhodge.com

The judges for this year’s Nissim Prize were: David Bloom, Founding Co-Artistic Director and Conductor of Contemporaneous, a New York-based ensemble; Alan Pierson, Artistic Director and Co-founder of Alarm Will Sound, and Principal Conductor of Crash Ensemble (Dublin, Ireland) and Diane Wittry, Music Director of the Allentown Symphony (PA), Artistic Director and Conductor of the Ridgewood Symphony (NJ),  Artistic Director (USA) for the International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians through the Sarajevo Philharmonic (Bosnia) and Artistic Director for Pizazz Music and the Pizzaz Symphony Orchestra. 

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

# # #

Press Contact:

Cathy Nevins at ASCAP



David Biedenbender

Cyclotron for winds and percussion

Duration: 10 minutes

Premiere: March 16, 2017; Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Kevin Sedatole, conductor; 2017 College Band Directors Association National Conference; Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO

Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, E♭ Clarinet, 4 B♭ Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, B♭ Contrabass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 4 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium (div.), Tuba (div.), Double Bass, Timpani, 6 Percussion, Harp, Piano

Duration: 10:00

Purchasing: Murphy Music Press

View Score

Video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhecnaZzD3U