Cory Brodack Receives ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize For "Nodus Tollens"

January 23, 2020

Ryan Lindveit Recognized with Special Distinction

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2019 -- Paul Williams, President of The ASCAP Foundation, announces that Cory Brodack is the 2020 recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The 40th annual Prize was awarded for Nodus Tollens, a 13 minute work for orchestra. Selected by a panel of distinguished conductors, Brodack 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 three conductors selects the winning score.

Cory Brodack is a composer, orchestrator, arranger and copyist from St. Peters, Missouri. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in composition at Bowling Green State University with composer and Professor of Composition Mikel Kuehn. Prior to Bowling Green, Brodack earned his baccalaureate in music composition from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Brodack composes for both electronic and acoustic mediums, with an emphasis on timbre and the uncontrollable phenomena that arise in both human performance and electronic systems. His music is inspired by individual aspects of the human condition and the unique connection between performer, score and audience.

Brodack worked for the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (The Muny) on projects including the first staging of Jerome Robbins' Broadway since its original Broadway production in 1989, and a new orchestration of The Wiz for The Muny's historic centennial season. Recently, Nodus Tollens for orchestra was chosen as the winner of East Carolina University's New Music Initiative Orchestra Composition Competition. When not composing, Brodack is a horn performer and educator, as well as a tutor for music theory/aural skills and history. For more information, visit:

The jury also awarded Special Distinction to Ryan Lindveit of New York City for Close Up at a Distance, a 12-minute work for full orchestra.

The judges for the 2020 Nissim Prize were: Helen Cha-Pyo, Principal Conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Artistic Director of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts; Michael Repper, Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, the Northern Neck Orchestra (VA) and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Maryland; and Julius P. Williams, Music Director and Conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra and president of the Conductors Guild.

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, 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 at ASCAP


Cory Brodack

Nodus Tollens for orchestra

Duration: c. 13 minutes

Instrumentation: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in A, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets in C, 3 Trombones (III. Bass), Tuba, Timpani, Strings

Program Note: The composition of Nodus Tollens was motivated by a word in John Koenig's online work, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Our socioeconomic and political climate is deeply divisive and partisan today, and suffers immensely from criminal injustice and strife. One can simply go online or turn on a television and learn of countless stories of death, war, hunger, natural disaster and any amount of unending turmoil. The continued self-imposed ignorance and lack of desperately needed change will eventually lead to disastrous consequences. We are all in the same car barreling down the highway at breakneck speeds, and it will only take one small bump to end in a fiery demise. If we cannot grasp onto what is important and work towards a common good, we will bury ourselves in the graves we have already begun to dig. Nodus Tollens alternates between tense anger and frustration and introspective moments of clarity. It represents my confusion and struggle to find where my life's path is taking me. This struggle may also define others' moments of insecurity as they progress through their lives. The work begins with a solo cello playing over a slowly growing background of rumbling low strings, icy harmonics, and winds echoing the cello's ideas. The cello's beginning melodic fragments comprise every piece of the ever-shifting foreground and background of the piece. The rhythmic conversation of two against three is also used as a quasi-anchor, to which sections constantly return before new sections occur. Bits and fragments of ideas float intangibly past the listener, seemingly important at the moment, but appear after the fact to not be important at all. We may be meaningless creations of a dead world, but that does not take away from the importance of self-discovery, and documenting and cataloging our journey.