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Alumni in the News

Alumni receive awards in music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Louis Brandeis statue

Of the 18 recipients of this year's awards in music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, four are Brandeis alumni: John Aylward, MFA'06, PhD'08Laurie San Martin, PhD'02Peter Van Zandt Lane, MA'08, PhD'13; and Scott Wheeler, MA'83, PhD'84The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Read more about the Brandeisians selected to receive this year's honor:

John Aylward has been described by the Boston Globe as “a composer of wide intellectual curiosity” who summons “textures of efficient richness, delicate and deep all at once.” His music is inextricably linked to a second love of literature and poetry and the connections between ancient and modern literary traditions. Aylward’s work has been performed internationally by a range of ensembles and soloists, and his own ensemble, Ecce, has served as a laboratory for larger commissions to take shape.

As the Artistic Director of the Etchings Festival in Auvillar, France, Aylward has supported the creation of new music of all kinds. Awards and fellowships include those from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Goddard Lieberson Fellowship), the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, the Fulbright Foundation (Germany), the DAAD (residency in Berlin) the MacDowell Colony, Tanglewood, the Aspen Music School, and many others. Aylward lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches composition at Clark University.

Laurie San Martin writes music that creates a compelling narrative by exploring the intersection between texture and line. She writes concert music for chamber ensembles and orchestra but has also written for theater, dance, and video. Her music has been performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Most recently she has enjoyed writing for virtuoso soloists including violinists Hrafnhildur Atladottir and Gabriela Díaz, percussionists Chris Froh and Mayumi Hama, Haleh Abghari (soprano), Yi Ji-Young (Korean gayageum), and David Russell (cello).

Laurie has worked with numerous ensembles including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Berlin PianoPercussion, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, eighth blackbird, SF Chamber Orchestra, the Lydian Quartet, Magnetic South Ensemble, Washington Square Contemporary Chamber Players, and others. Recipient of the 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, she has also received awards from the Fromm Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, League of Composers-ISCM, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Awards.

As a composition fellow, she has attended the MacDowell Colony, the Montalvo Artist Residency, Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Norfolk Contemporary Chamber Music Festival, and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. Laurie holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Theory and Composition. She has taught at Clark University and is currently Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis.

Peter Van Zandt Lane is a composer of concert music and music for dance. His electroacoustic ballet, HackPolitik—a New York Times Critic’s Pick—was hailed as “angular, jarring, and sophisticated . . . Ballet needs live music, and this one offered it at the highest level” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Residency awards include Copland House, Composers Now, Yaddo, and MacDowell Colony.

Recent commissions include those from the Atlanta Chamber Players, American Chamber Winds for a concerto for trombonist Joseph Alessi, two Barlow Endowment commissions, and the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony. His music has been played by the Cleveland Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Lydian String Quartet, Mod[ular] Ensemble, Juventas Ensemble, Georgia Wind Quintet, and Transient Canvas. He is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Georgia.

Scott Wheeler’s four operas have been commissioned by Washington National Opera, the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Recent commissions include Light Enoughon texts of Lloyd Schwartz, Ben Gunn on texts of Paul Muldoon, and The Singing Turk, commissioned and premiered by Sharan Leventhal, and performed by violinists Gil Shaham and Jesse Mills.

Wheeler’s 2017-2018 conducting appearances include the Chamber Music Society of Saugatuck and the Lynn Conservatory. Recent CDs include Portraits and Tributes, featuring pianist Donald Berman, on Bridge Records, and Crazy Weather, with BMOP conducted by Gil Rose. He is a 2017 Fellow of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and is Senior Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College, where he teaches musical theatre.

Learn more in this press release from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Categories: Alumni in the News
Date: March 12, 2018