Andy Akiho wins 2012 Composers Competition
The Carlsbad Music Festival, in partnership with ArtPower! at UC San Diego and the Calder Quartet, is thrilled to announce the selection of Andy Akiho as the winner of the 2012 Carlsbad Music Festival Composers Competition. He was selected amongst 203 applicant composers from 22 different countries, with representation from Europe, Asia and Latin America, including Mexico, Columbia, Denmark, Greece, South Korea and Japan.
Described as “mold-breaking” and “vital” by The New York Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer and performer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. Akiho came to composition through the steel pan (an instrument which originated in Trinidad) and has since gone on to study composition at Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music and Princeton University where he is currently a doctoral fellow. Recent highlights include winning the Finale Eighth Blackbird Composers Competition in December 2011, a commission from the New York Philharmonic for a premiere on its December 2012 Contact! series concert, and the release of his debut CD "No One the Know One" on the Innova label in the spring of 2011. Akiho also frequently performs his own music on the steel pan as he will on May 8, 2012 on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella concert at Disney Hall.
As the winner of the Composers Competition, Andy Akiho wins a $3,000 co-commission from the Festival and ArtPower! at UC San Diego to write a major new piece for the Calder Quartet. It will be premiered at the 2012 Festival on September 23 and performed again at The Loft at UCSD as part of ArtPower!’s 2012-2013 season. Andy was selected by a panel consisting of the four members of the Calder Quartet and Festival Director Matt McBane. Composers Ryan Brown and William Gardiner were selected as the two finalists.
Andy Akiho says:
I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to collaborate with the Calder Quartet! I want to challenge myself to write an innovative acoustic piece that will continue to evolve with each performance. I realize that anything is possible with this spectacular group!
Eric Byers, Calder Quartet cellist says:
We are all very excited that Andy will be writing a new quartet for the festival this year. His energy and eclectic approach instantly won us over!
Martin Wollesen, ArtPower! Artistic Director says:
ArtPower! is committed to the creative development of the arts through commissioning new work with artists who matter. We are thrilled to co-commissioning a new work for the Calder Quarter by Andy Akiho.
Matt McBane, Carlsbad Music Festival Director says:
Andy's music has an infectious rhythmic energy and keen ear for instrumental color that is closely tied to who Andy is as a percussionist whether he is performing or not. I am very excited to see what Andy comes up with when writing for string quartet alone without percussion for the first time.
About the Competition and performances of past commissions:
The Carlsbad Music Festival Composers Competition has been held each year since 2005 to commission a new work for the Festival's Founding Ensemble-in-Residence, the Calder Quartet, from a composer under 35. It is a central part of both the Festival’s and the Quartet’s mission to promote the music of today’s most exciting and interesting young composers. Including the Competition winners, to date the Festival has commissioned 13 works for the Quartet. This is the fourth year ArtPower! at UC San Diego has collaborated in co-commissioning the Competition winner.
In selecting composers to commission each year, the panel look for composers whose work they can champion on a variety stages beyond Carlsbad and UCSD. Just this past week, past Competition commissions had high-profile performances: on March 20 the Calder played Daniel Wohl's (CMF '09) Glitch at the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall in New York in a concert broadcast nationally on NPR, and on March 23 and 24 the Calder played Kate Moore's (CMF '10) Violins and Skeletons in The Netherlands in The Hague and Amsterdam. In addition, the Festival and Quartet are committed to recording the commissions and in the fall won a 2011 American Music Center Recording Grant to do so. Live recordings of past works' premieres are currently archived at the Festival website.