Commissions and awards among graduate composers' recent accomplishments

a pair of glasses and a pen resting on a musical score

Graduate student composers achieved numerous impressive accomplishments this year, including a world premiere with the Cincinnatti Symphony Orchestra, a Fulbright Fellowship, and more. Continue reading below to learn about several of these accomplishments.

Hunter Brown headshot

Hunter Brown


— Piece for solo carillon and electronics, Joey Brink/Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
— Piece for open instrumentation, Ensemble Dal Niente

Significant Performances

— Premiere of new collaborative work at Line Upon Line Composer festival with Dominic Coles, 2021
— Several performances at High Desert Soundings and Indexical with Other Plastics, 2021
— Premiere of new work at Big Ears Festival with Ken Vandermark and Ensemble Dal Niente, 2022
— Premiere of new sextet with electronics with Hunter Brown, 2022

Darlene Castro Ortiz headshot

Darlene Castro Ortiz

Significant Performances

— Two performances on the Ear Taxi Festival (Carillon and Electronics, and Flute and Electronics), 2021


— Piece for Fonema Consort, 2022/23
— Piece for Masso Saxophone Quartet


— I Care If You Listen ListN Up feature, 2022
FluCoMa podcast feature, 2022

Baldwin Giang headshot

Baldwin Giang

— Fulbright Fellowship, 2022, Awarded Open/Research: Creative & Performing Arts Grant to Taiwan for 2022-23


— Verdent Vibes Call for Scores Winner, 2021, awarded for muzzle
— Gaudeamus Award, Nominee, 2021, selected as one of five finalists to compete for the Gaudeamus Award in Utrecht, September 2022
— Loadbang Commission Competition, First Prize Winner, 2022, awarded for songs after sufjan


— Music in Bloom Festival Ensemble, Fidelio Descending, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2021
— Metropolis Ensemble, this distance between us, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, New York, 2021
— Playground Ensemble, butterfly, posthumously, Mercury Café, Denver, CO, 2022
— Gaudeamus Muziekweek, my axe, my wayward son, Ensemble But What About, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2022

Festivals & Residencies

— Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, Call for Scores Winner, Northwestern University, 2022, awarded for you in me, me in you
— IRCAM ManiFeste: Conducted Ensemble Workshop, Composition Participant, Paris, 2022. Commissioned to write new work for Ensemble Intercontemporain, conducted by Jean Deroyer 
— New Jersey Symphony Edward T. Cone Institute, Composer Fellow, Princeton, NJ, 2022. to remember is always forgetting to be premiered by the New Jersey Symphony, conducted by David Robertson. 

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang headshot

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang

— Appointed RBC Affiliate Composer, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, 2022-24

Significant Performances

Sanctuary (2020), premiere performance by Esprit Orchestra, conducted by Alex Pauk, 2022 
Stray Birds (2021), premiere performance by the National Centre Orchestra of Canada's principal woodwind quintet, 2021 


— Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, 2021-22

Maria Kaoutzani headshot

Maria Kaoutzani

Significant Performances

Nine Mothers, written with members of Kinds of Kings, premiered by Eighth Blackbird and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Lagree, 2022
Count Me In premiered by ~Nois, Long Play Festival, New York, New York, 2022
— Piece recorded for album Kinds of ~Nois by ~Nois and Kinds of Kings

Gabriel Novak headshot

Gabriel Novak

— Visiting Assistant Professor, Cleveland Institute of Music, Music Theory Department, 2022-23

Significant Performances 

— languor | torpor for string quartet, world premiere by Quatuor Diotima, 2022 
— death is a drum beating forever, recorded by Plena Libre, 2021 
— spur for brass quintet, New York premiere by Calliope Brass Quintet, 2022 

Fellowships and Faculty Appointments 

— Graduate Fellow, Arts, Science + Culture Initiative, University of Chicago, 2021-22 
— Faculty, Young Composers Program, Cleveland Institute of Music, 2022 
— Faculty, Skyline High School Choir Summer Program, Interlochen Center for the Arts, 2022 

Paul Novak headshot

Paul Novak


— American Academy of Arts and Letters, Charles Ives Scholarship, 2022
— National Association of Composers of the USA Composer Competition, First Place, 2022
— Cortona Prize, Winner, 2022
— RED NOTE Composition Competition, Winner and Runner-Up, 2021
— Lake George Music Festival Composition Competition, Winner, 2021
— Loop38 Composer Collaborative, Selected Composer, 2022
— Ensemble CONCEPT/21 Call for Scores, Selected Work, 2022
— Quatuor Lontano Call for Scores, Winner, 2022
— Florida State University Festival of New Music Call for Scores, Selected Work, 2021
— ScoreFollower Call for Scores, Selected Work, 2021
— Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award Competition, Honorable Mention, 2021

Residencies & Festivals

— soundSCAPE Festival, 2022
— Avaloch Farm Music Institute, Residency with Blackbox Ensemble, 2021
— Copland House CULTIVATE Emerging Composer Institute, Fellow, 2021  
— I—Park Foundation Artists-in-Residence Program, 2021


​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ New work for Voice and piano, Lynx Project - Amplify Series, 2023
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ entwining for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, Music from Copland House, 2021 
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ reflected tides for soprano and ensemble, Blackbox Ensemble 2021 

Significant Performances

​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ dialogues in black and white (2019) and dances and prayers in isolation (2020) performed by Wesley Ducote at New World Center
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ as the light begins to drift (2019) for sinfonietta performed by faculty at Illinois State University
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ dialogues in color (2022) for string orchestra, piano, and percussion premiered at UChicago, conducted by Justin Weiss
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ almostdances (2022) for string quartet premiered by Quatuor Diotima
​​​​​​​—​​​​​​​ birds, the binding of (2022) for high vocal quartet premiered by Quince Ensemble
— prisms and mirrors (2021) for pierrot ensemble performed by Blackbox Ensemble; Cortona Collective; Boston New Music Initiative
— reflected tides (2021) premiered by Blackbox Ensemble at New Music Gathering; performed in New York in 2021
— a string quartet is like a flock of birds (2020) performed by Quatuor Lontano, Lake George Music Festival
— glimmersongs (2020) for pierrot ensemble performed by Polymorphia, FSU Festival of New Music
— marking punctuations (2018) for string quartet performed by Loop38
— entwining (2021) performed by Music from Copland House; Ensemble CONCEPT/21
— ​​​​​​​interlocutor (2021) performed by MingHuan Xu, Anthony DeVroye, Nick Photinos, and Winston Choi 

Andrew Stock, headshot

Andrew Stock


— Electronics piece with reader for "Beuys at 100," Goethe-Institut / Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry
— New work for piano trio, OvAnima Trio (Frankfurt/Lüneburg, DE)

Significant Performances

— Guest lecture and performance workshop, Stanford University, Department of Art and Art History, 2022
— Work for voice, ensemble, electronics, Fonema Consort, 2022

Kari Watson headshot

Kari Watson


— American Academy of Arts and Letters, Charles Ives Scholarship, 2022
— Broadcast Music Industry Student, Composer Award for Sandbox Percussion and Ekmeles project, 2022


— Trio for Axiom Brass, Brass Legacy commission, 2022
— NOVA New Music Series Commission from the Constellation Men’s Ensemble, 2022


— Virginia Center for Creative Arts, 2021

Justin Weiss headshot

Justin Weiss


— ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Finalist, 2021
— MGMC Call for Scores Winner, 2022


— Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival, Commission and Attendee, 2022