Awards, Honors, & Commissions

Composer T.J. Anderson, a resident of Chapel Hill, has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He and other members of the new “class” will be inducted at a ceremony in New York in May. For details, see
UNC’s news service has announced that Eric W. Hirsh, 21, of Carrboro, a UNC junior with a double major in music and physics, has received an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award for “Urbane Asylum,” written during the spring semester of his freshman year. The piece was recorded on the UNC Jazz Band’s 2003 CD “From One to Another.” He is one of two dozen award recipients, selected through a nationwide juried competition for composers ranging in age from 12 to 30. The prize, which includes a $1,000 cash award, was established in 2002 to encourage gifted American jazz composers to create new works. Details are at
At its February 20 concert at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, the Board of the Durham Symphony presented its 2004-5 Share the Music Award to Alan Neilson (individual) and the Herald-Sun (corporate). Earlier in the season the Louise Parrish Volunteer Award was presented to former DSO President Teresa Worley “as she and her family moved to San Diego. Worley’s energy and organizational skills helped the DSO transition from a deficit to a surplus in the 2003-4 season, when she was President of the Board.”
Mei-Ting Sun, 24, has taken first prize in the National Chopin Piano Competition and will represent the US in the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Sun will perform in Raleigh, on the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild’s Masters Series, on May 19.
The Miró Quartet has received the 2005 Cleveland Quartet Award, “a biennial honor conferred by Chamber Music America to identify, honor, and promote an exceptional young string quartet. Previous winners are the Brentano Quartet (1997), the Borromeo String Quartet (1999), the Miami String Quartet (2001), and the Pacifica Quartet (2003).” The Miró Quartet will return to NC in April 2006.
The North Carolina Arts Council has announced the selection of four NC composers, one of whose work will be premiered at the Kennedy Center. The commission is part of the National Symphony Orchestra’s recent American Residency in NC. The finalists are Forrest Covington, Jr., of Chapel Hill; and Jennifer Fitzgerald, Scott Lindroth, and Bo Newsome, of Durham. The NCAC’s press release indicates that the final selection will be made in May by a National Symphony Orchestra jury — overseen by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, and that the commission award is $5,000. Details are at
The UNCG School of Music has commissioned Libby Larsen to create an operatic adaptation of William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Picnic. The project, funded by a gift of $150,000 from Charles H. Babcock Jr. of Winston-Salem, will culminate with the premiere of the new opera in early 2008. The commission comes on the heels of two first-place awards captured in January by the UNCG Opera Theatre – for it productions of Little Women and Susannah, during the 2003-4 season. For more information on the Opera Theatre, visit
The Bel Canto Company has selected Welborn E. Young as its artistic Director and Conductor. The UNCG professor currently leads the Choral Society of Greensboro. Young’s appointment is effective 7/1 and is initially for the upcoming 2005-6 season. He replaces founding director David Pegg, who is retiring at the end of the current season.
The Winston-Salem Symphony has announced the appointment of Robert Moody, 37, as the orchestra’s new Music Director. Moody, a native of Greenville, SC, will retain his current posts as Associate Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Orchestra. Details are at Moody replaces Peter Perret, who served as the WSS’ Music Director for 25 years.
The Charlotte Observer has reported that LaRue Allen, Executive Director of the NC Dance Theatre, is leaving the company at the end of April to join the Martha Graham Dance Company and that David Singleton, currently Director of Operations, will replace Allen. The story is at [inactive 8/07].
Stu Burnham, our Wilmington-based critic, has been selected by the Music Critics Association of North America to represent CVNC at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, being held May 20-June 5 in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on the events, see [inactive 7/08]. Full reports will appear in these pages during and after the competition.
CVNCer and guitarist Roger Allen Cope will teach a masterclass at the 5th New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes College of Music on June 30. The class is part of a larger tribute to Bruce Holzman, one of America’s leading teachers. For details, see [inactive 7/05].
The NCS & Its People in the News
NCS Conductor Laureate Gerhardt Zimmermann celebrates his 25th anniversary with the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 2005-6. The Canton SO’s season opener on October 8 recreates Zimmermann’s first concert there, with André Watts. In an effort to shed what some think is its “stuffy image,” the CSO is publishing a fund-raising calendar called “More Than You Expect from an Orchestra” that, according to the AP, “features 18 women from the symphony, its staff, board members and supporters in a number of risque poses.” For more information on the CSO’s upcoming season, see [inactive 8/05]. Meanwhile Zimmermann, under consideration for the music directorship of the Louisiana Philharmonic, has been invited back for concerts in New Orleans in the 2005-6 season. Despite assurances of his “ongoing presence” here, announced when he retired as Music Director, Zimmermann is not scheduled for any performances with the NCS in the 2005-6 season.
Jeffrey Pollock, former Assistant Conductor of the NCS, has been appointed Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony. The story is at
[inactive 8/08].
Kenneth Raskin has completed his two-year tour as the NCS’ Assistant Conductor; his last assignment here would appear to be during Summerfest; a search for his replacement is underway. It’s therefore helpful to him and something of a feather in the NCS’ cap that he was among eight “rising young conductors” selected by the American Symphony Orchestra League for its annual “National Conductor Preview,” held March 22-23 in Jacksonville, FL.
And last but hardly least, the NCS has been raking in the cash of late – a much-discussed legislative slush fund recently made public included $200,000 for the NC Symphony Society, and the proposed budget for the pending fiscal year includes $543,268 for medical insurance for NCS employees, who are now on the state’s health plan.
New Organ in Greenville
Work continues on ECU’s new organ, a massive $1.4M C. B. Fisk instrument with 3,000 pipes. According to an ECU press release, the Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ “is designed to support Romantic musical ideals and match the Neogothic architecture of the St. Paul’s [Episcopal Church] worship space. The instrument features three manuals, computer memory cards so individual organists can set and retain their own stops, and a camera and monitor so accompanists can see the organist during worship and performance…. The organ will be one of the largest instruments of its kind on the East coast.” The project has been spearheaded by Janette Fishell, who will almost certainly perform the inaugural concert, scheduled for 11/4.
New CDs
The latest CD issued by Carolina Baroque is featured in the “new releases” tab of the Handel website, at
ECU pianist Henry Dosky continues his ongoing survey of the complete piano music of William Gillock with release of the fifth volume in the series, on Green Mill Recordings. See for details.
The Fry Street Quartet, currently at Utah State University but for a time the resident ensemble of the Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory, has recorded a double-CD set titled “Voices of Modernism and the String Quartet.” A Utah State press release reports that “The project combines music that spans [the] string quartet… repertoire — from 1700 to 2000 — [and the CDs] were recorded using a variety of new technologies, including IsoMike, a technique developed by Ray Kimber of Kimber Cable. Selections include Beethoven’s String Quartet in A, Op. 18/5, and String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132…, Stravinsky’s ‘Three Pieces for String Quartet’ (1914), Ned Rorem’s String Quartet [N]o 4 (1994), and J. Mark Scearce’s String Quartet No. 1 (Y2K) (2000).” Members of the ensemble are Jessica Guideri and Rebecca McFaul, violins, Russell Fallstad, viola, and Anne Francis, cello. The Hybrid SACD recording is available via
NCS Concertmaster Brian Reagin’s recent recording of George F. McKay’s Violin Concerto (with the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine) has been issued by Naxos. This release is led by American conductor, violinist, composer and arranger John McLaughlin Williams, a native of Greensboro who attended Grimsley High School; Williams’ concert and studio career have taken him all over the world.* Reagin is among a large field of violinists being considered for the position of concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. Among the other candidates is former NCS member Jeff Thayer.
The NCS and several of its musicians, and Duke University’s Ciompi Quartet, are featured in a new Albany CD of music by former NCS resident composer Nathaniel Stookey. The selections include the young composer’s first and second string quartets, the “Sonata for Sam,” performed by NCS Principal Cellist Bonnie Thron, and the Double Concerto, with violinists Reagin and Rebekah Binford and the strings of the NCS under the direction of William Henry Curry. In this case, at least, we have an American orchestra – or part of one – playing American music on a label based in America.
Significant Appearances Elsewhere
UNCG’s EastWind Ensemble performed in Weill Recital Hall, one of the smaller rooms in New York’s Carnegie Hall complex, on March 10. Members of the ensemble are Kelly Burke, clarinet), Ashley Barret, oboe, Michael Burns, bassoon, and Andrew Harley, piano. The program included the premiere of Mark Engebretson’s “Five Songs of Passion,” Burns’ “E Toro nga Hau: The Three Winds,” written for the EastWind’s 2001 tour of New Zealand and Australia, and music by Demitri Melkikh, discovered by Burke in a Moscow archive in 1991.
Carrboro pianist Greg McCallum debuted in Weill Recital Hall on March 17. His program will be repeated at the United Church of Chapel Hill on April 10 – see our Triangle calendar for details. McCallum will spend the next two summers in Paris, France, researching the evolution of French piano music and recording his fourth CD, which will include music of Franck, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, and Messiaen.
NCSA composer Lawrence Dillon’s “Amadeus ex machina” (2002) received its Russian premiere in St. Petersburg on March 20. The composer’s blog is available at [inactive 11/07].
The California-based Sonos Handbell Ensemble, directed by New Bern native James Meredith, recently gave the world premiere of Daniel David Feinsmith’s “IAWEH,” which “borrow[s] from the Buddhist tradition of singing bowls”; collaborating with Sonos in the performance was the Kronos Quartet. The story is in the second half of the SFGate article at [inactive 4/07].
Countertenor Jonas Laughlin, whose voice brightened several evenings at UNC during his years there as a student, was among the stars in Sanford Sylvan’s recent production of Glass’ Akhnaten, in Boston. The young singer has been engaged by Long Leaf Opera for Joel Feigin’s chamber opera Twelfth Night, planned for next season. A bio is at [inactive 12/05].
Summer Festivals and Series Tab Updates
We have posted listings for this summer’s Appalachian Summer Festival and the Brevard Music Festival in a new “Festivals” tab [inactive 11/05], listed with our calendars. 2005-6 season information for several presenters, including the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, Virginia Opera, and the NC Symphony, have been added to current series tabs.
Other Happenings in Cyberspace
The Classical Guitar Society of the Western Carolinas has updated its website, which now includes its outstanding newsletter, Guitar News, edited by guitarist and occasional CVNCer Roger A. Cope. Visit the site at [inactive 9/07].
CVNCer Marvin J. Ward, now living in Massachusetts, is writing reviews and music commentary for the Daily Hampshire Gazzette, online at [inactive 6/08]. Ward continues to review CDs and books for CVNC.
The Metropolitan Opera has launched a large site devoted to its archives that includes details of every performance in the house’s distinguished history. For the history and archives section, see
The New York Public Library has placed a huge digital archive online, at The new resource was overwhelmed by hits in its first weeks but a larger server has been added. The treasures include numerous musical items. Enjoy!
Also online…, readers will now find links to other sites like ours, elsewhere in the country – see our links section for a new page showing sites in California and Ohio. We invite readers who know about other similar platforms to share links with us – or invite the site managers to do so.
Charlotte Rep, for nearly 30 years one of our state’s most innovative and dynamic theatre companies, folded in February. The future of cutting-edge theatre in Charlotte remains up in the air, as of this writing. Details are available in the Charlotte Observer‘s archives.
Jazz in NC
Last but hardly least, jazz is the focus of the NC Arts Council and numerous presenters in April. The NCAC reminds us that John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Percy Heath, and Nina Simone were all Tar Heels and that Nnena Freelon, Branford Marsalis, Billy Taylor, and John V. Brown live and work here. An NCAC press release reveals that “Governor Mike Easley has proclaimed April 2005 as ‘Jazz Education and Appreciation Month,’ in recognition of the rich heritage of jazz music as an American art form, and in celebration of the many influential and inspiring jazz artists who call North Carolina home.” See our calendars for listings of jazz performances throughout the state, and see
for the NCAC’s complete press release and events calendar.*
Fundraising for the Arts*
Philanthropy Journal reports that the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg Co. has exceeded its annual goal and raised $10,884,948 during its six-week campaign. This is nearly 19 times the goal of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, and there’s no indication at UA’s website of the status of their drive. Raleigh isn’t Charlotte, and Wake isn’t Mecklenburg, but surely UA could raise perhaps a tenth of what the Arts & Science people seem routinely to manage….
News items compiled from various sources and annotated by John W. Lambert (posted 3/26/05; updated 3/29/05*)