Academy honors three from School of Music
Two School of Music faculty members and a graduate student instructor (GSI) recently were honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with 2004 music awards.
Susan Botti, assistant professor of composition, received a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, a $15,000 award given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts.
Kristin Kuster, adjunct lecturer of composition, theory and performing arts technology, received a $15,000 Charles Ives Fellowship, given to composers in mid-career.
GSI Jeff Myers was awarded a $7,500 Charles Ives Scholarship, given to composition students of great promise.
"It's a very big honor," Botti says. "It means a lot that my senior colleagues thought enough of my work to nominate me. It is very competitive, and a real distinction to receive it."
Botti is in the midst of a two-year appointment as the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. Her original work, "Impetuosity," had its world premiere with the orchestra March 11-14, and she will premiere a larger work with the orchestra next spring.
The experience has been a homecoming for the Cleveland native. "It has been amazing," she says. "I can't express what an experience it has been. It is one of the best orchestras in the world."
A composer-in-residence for the Vox Early Music Ensemble in Ann Arbor, Kuster recently completed a work entitled "The Narrows." She also is developing other projects, including a saxophone quartet, string quartet and a work for chamber orchestra.
Kuster says the fellowship will enable her to continue long-range academic and artistic aspirations.
"I am honored and thrilled to be the recipient of a 2004 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters," Kuster says. "The award is prestigious because it is chosen by a panel of distinguished and accomplished musicians in the field of composition."
Myers is in his first year pursuing a doctorate of music in composition.
"I am very honored and elated," Myers says. "These awards are quite big for a composer at this stage in my career because the money is good and the award requires a nomination, so the potential competitors are all very accomplished."
Myers recently finished a piano concertino under the tutelage of Bright Sheng, Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Music Composition. Myers says he is excited about the premiere of his orchestra piece "Regeneration," which will be performed by the New York Youth Symphony May 30 at Carnegie Hall.
"Rarely does a doctoral student have an orchestral premiere in New York City, and it is my first, so I am looking forward to it with great excitement," says Myers, who teaches composition for non-majors in the School of Music.