Composer Mikel Kuehn wins Copland, Ettelson awards

BOWLING GREEN, O.—As the recipient of an Aaron Copland Award, Bowling Green State University music composition faculty member Dr. Mikel Kuehn will be able to focus on his work while soaking up inspiration during a residency at the famous composer’s longtime home in New York.

Each year, eight to 10 emerging or midcareer American composers are invited to stay at Copland House for between three weeks and two months. Kuehn will be in residence in May 2010.

A unique, creative center for American music, the house and the program are an official project of the White House "Save America's Treasures" program. Copland House is the only composer's home in the United States devoted to nurturing American composers and their work through a broad range of musical, educational, scholarly and public programs and activities.

During their residency, the composers’ needs—such as meals, housekeeping and local transportation—are taken care of so they can concentrate fully on their works in progress.

The primary criterion for selection is the artistic quality of the works submitted. Based on these standards, the jury, consisting of eminent composers such as Steven Stucky and Alvin Singleton, chose Kuehn to be one of the 10 composers presented the prestigious award in 2009, among 110 applicants from 26 states.

Recipients also become eligible for post-residency opportunities, including the Sylvia Goldstein Award and the Hoff/Barthelson/Copland House commissions.

Kuehn, who is also director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at BGSU, has frequently been recognized for musical excellence. His list of recent accomplishments includes being selected twice to represent the United States abroad, by the International Society for Contemporary Music and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, in both the acoustic and electro-acoustic mediums. Last month he received the Lee Ettelson Composer’s Award for his flute duet “TAG.” Kuehn’s winning work will be performed tomorrow (Oct. 20) in San Francisco as part of the Composer, Inc.’s concert season.

The Ettelson award, given to honor the best in current American music, is presented to composers of new chamber works and provides them a prominent forum for their work. The award also includes a $1,000 cash prize.

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Image caption: Mikel Kuehn

(Posted October 26, 2009 )

Updated: 12/02/2017 01:10AM