Eric Chasalow awarded Koussevitzky commission for new composition

Eric Chasalow looks down contemplatively as he holds a stringed instrument. He stands in front of a multicolored background.
Photo/Mike Lovett

Eric Chasalow

Eric Chasalow, Irving Fine Professor of Music, has been awarded a prestigious commission from the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress for a major new original composition.

The commissioning prize, named for the famed early 20th-century Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor, provides recipients with $10,000 to support the creation of a new work. Chasalow’s composition will be a 20-minute-long song cycle for a large chamber ensemble, electronics and soprano. This is his second Koussevitzky commission, the maximum number allowed by the Foundation. His first Koussevitzky, in 2004, supported a flute concerto, composed for a nationwide consortium of ensembles.

Chasalow, who has received numerous awards for his compositions, has taught at Brandeis since 1990 and directs the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. His work has been commissioned by soloists and orchestras from around the world, and the Library of Congress established a collection of his papers in 2009.

Chasalow’s new work has been co-commissioned, and will be premiered by, Sound Icon, a Boston-based sinfonietta directed by conductor Jeffrey Mean. Sound Icon is dedicated to performing the most significant progessive works of the last several decades.

"I am deeply honored to be one of only seven composers commissioned by Koussevitzky this year and thrilled to be collaborating with Sound Icon, one of the most adventurous and capable ensembles anywhere," Chasalow said.

Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949, was a leading champion of contemporary music. Throughout his distinguished career, he played a vital role in the creation of new works by commissioning composers such as Béla Bartók, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky. He established the Koussevitzky Foundation in 1942 and passed operations to the Library of Congress in 1949 to continue his lifelong commitment to composers and new music. Original manuscripts of works commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation comprise an integral part of the Library’s unparalleled music collections.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences

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