[ Alumni Announcement ]

Norfolk Composition Alumni Awarded Prizes By American Academy of Arts and Letters

March 13, 2017

On March 1st, the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced sixteen recipients of this year’s awards in music. The 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.

Composer Andrew Norman (Norfolk ’08) is the recipient of a 2017 Arts and Letters Awards in Music which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. Established in 1941, the Arts and Letters Awards are now $10,000 each and are given annually. Composers receive an additional $10,000 toward the recording of a work. Composers Katherine Balch (Norfolk ’13) and Hilary Purrington (Norfolk ’13) have each been awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship of $7500, given to composition students of great promise. 

Cited in the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors,” works been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los ngeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC,  Seattle, and Melbourne Symphonies, the Orpheus, Saint Paul, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchester, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France among many others. Andrew was recently named Musical America’s 2017 Composer of the Year and he is the recipient of the 2004 Jacob Druckman Prize, the 2005 ASCAP Nissim and Leo Kaplan Prizes, the 2006 Rome Prize, the 2009 Berlin Prize and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. He joined the roster of Young Concert Artists as Composer in Residence in 2008. He currently holds that post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Andrew’sThe Companion Guide to Rome was named a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and his large-scale orchestral work Play was named one of NPR’s top 50 albums of 2015, nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category, and recently won the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

Works by Katherine Balch have been commissioned and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, American Composer’s Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Antico Moderno and the New York Virtuoso Singers, in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, National Sawdust, and Centquatre (Paris, France). She was recently appointed Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony. Upcoming projects for the 2016-17 season include new works for the Tokyo Symphony and Albany Symphony Orchestra, a residency with the MANCA festival in Nice, France, and collaborations with NYC-based Bearthoven trio and Colorado-based violinist Michiko Theurer.  Recent recognitions include several ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, Fontainebleau’s Prix du Composition, first prize in America Modern Ensemble’s 8th annual Composition Competition, Grand Prize in ISB’s composition competition, Yale’s Alumni Association Prize and Woods Chandler Memorial Prize. Passionate about education at all levels, she is a  faculty member of the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire and Bard College-Conservatory preparatory in the Hudson Valley.

Hilary Purrington has received recognition from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association (MMEA), Houston Grand Opera’s Home and Place, the American Modern Ensemble, and Voices of Change/Dallas Symphony Orchestra, among others.  In the summer of 2012, Purrington received funding through a Wagoner Foreign Study Grant to study Music Composition and German Language at the Freie Universität Berlin.  Her music has been commissioned and performed by many distinguished ensembles, including the American Modern Ensemble, Voices of Change, the NOVUS Trombone Quartet, and the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble. Recent projects include commissions from the Chicago Harp Quartet and the Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC. She is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts at the Yale School of Music.