Cantate Chamber Singers announces the winner of its
11th Young Composers’ Contest:
Cantate Chamber Singers — Gisèle Becker, Music Director — is pleased to announce the winner of its 11th Biennial Young Composers’ Contest. Composer Cooper Baldwin of Burbank, California, submitted the winning composition: “The Rest Is Silence,” a setting of a new poem by Roberto Ifill for mixed chorus and piano.
The winner of Cantate’s Young Composers’ Contest receives a cash award of $1,000. In addition, the composition will receive its world premiere on January 20, 2018, as part of Cantate’s critically acclaimed concert series. Baldwin’s piece will be featured in the concert “A Joyful Noise…The Rest Is Silence,” which contrasts festive works by Benjamin Britten, William Mathias and John Rutter with more contemplative selections by William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Richard Rodney Bennett and Edward Elgar.
Cooper Baldwin (b. 1994) is an American composer, arranger and performer currently residing in Burbank, California. During back-to-back internships with the DreamWorks Animation Music Department, Cooper assisted with multiple productions, including the animated feature film “Trolls” and the animated television series “VeggieTales in the House” and “The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show.” In the spring of 2017, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition cum laude from Oklahoma City University, where he studied with Edward Knight, Jamie Whitmarsh and Lendell Black.
Baldwin’s music is inspired by an eclectic array of genres, including the classical canon, current pop hits, cinematic masterworks and Golden Age musical theater. His original compositions have been featured on stage and on film; most recently in productions of As You Like It, The Crucible, and in the short film “Gone Away.” In 2016, he was named composer-in-residence with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra and collaborated on the world premiere of his work “There Will Come Soft Rains” as part of its 2016-2017 concert series.
Cantate’s biennial Young Composers’ Contest seeks to encourage emerging composing talent from around North America. Begun in 1994, the Young Composers’ Competition is integral to Cantate’s mission and strong commitment to innovative programming, which includes the frequent commissioning and performance of new choral works.
The three distinguished judges in this year’s contest were Dr. Andrew Simpson, Professor of Music at Catholic University; Dr. N. Lincoln Hanks, Professor of Music–Composition, at Pepperdine University; and Dr. Suzanne Sorkin, Chair of Music, Theater and Film at St. Joseph’s University. Judges worked independently to evaluate a record 21 entries, identified by pseudonyms.
Cantate Chamber Singers attracts many of the Washington, D.C., area’s finest choral musicians, selected annually by audition. The group performs a broad range of great Western choral literature spanning the past five centuries and is recognized for championing neglected masterpieces and premiering newly commissioned works. Its virtuoso performances, often featuring acclaimed guest artists, are offered in smaller venues to create the greatest possible intimacy between performers and audience.
Cantate Chamber Singers will announce guidelines for its 12th biennial Young Composers’ Contest during the fall of 2018. The deadline for submissions will be June 30, 2019.
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