2018 ISB / David Walter Composition Competition Results

Jeremy Baguyos, chair of the judges' panel for the 2018 ISB/David Walter Composition Competition, along with fellow judges Paul Cannon and Cody Takacs, announce the winners of the 2018 competition. There were four divisions: unaccompanied solo bass; chamber ensemble for one double bass with up to four additional instruments; bass ensemble for two to eight double basses; and double bass & electronic media.

The biennial competition, which honors the memory of double bass educator and performer David Walter, is open to all composers. The ISB renamed the competition as a tribute to his legacy in 2004.

All entries, submitted anonymously, are works in any style that have not entered the standard double bass repertoire. The grand prize of $1,000 for each division was made possible through the generous support of The Ned and Frances Black Fund, and also includes a performance at the 2019 ISB Convention, to be held June 3rd-8th at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

The winners of the 2018 ISB/David Walter Composition Competition are:

Unaccompanied Solo Bass

Caroline Louise Miller

Grand Prize: Hydra Nightingale (for solo double bass) by Caroline Louise Miller, San Diego, California, USA

Caroline Louise Miller's music explores affect, biomusic, labor, tactility and glitch. Her latest works have intersected with themes of horror and abjection, rising work hours (yet stagnant wages) in late capitalism, and hybridizing popular and electronic art music. Her works appear internationally, and she is the recipient of a 2018 Chamber Music America commission to create a new work for SPLICE ensemble. In 2013, Caroline spent two weeks as an artist-in-residence aboard a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel, working intensively with scientists and taking field recordings on the ship as it sailed from Taiwan to Micronesia. From 2012 to 2017, she organized and curated annual freeform concerts at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Caroline is a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at the University of California San Diego. www.carolinelouisemiller.com

Chamber Ensemble

Tony Solitro

Grand Prize: Shadow Confrontations (for string quintet) by Tony Solitro, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Tony Solitro composes concert and stage music that is fraught with tension and amusingly intricate. Politics, history, literature, drama, and visual art inspire his compositions. Endlessly fascinated by vocal timbre and virtuosic singing, Tony's musical style is inherently theatrical and operatic. The winner of the Cheryl A. Spector Prize from the Third Millennium Ensemble, Tony's string quintet Shadow Confrontations was composed for bassist Joseph Conyers (Assistant Principal Bass, Philadelphia Orchestra) and recorded with the Daedalus Quartet. He was awarded fellowships and artist residencies at Yaddo, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, VCCA, and the Brevard Music Center. He earned his Ph.D. as a recipient of the George Crumb Music Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.M. from the Longy School of Music on a Nadia and Lili Boulanger Scholarship. To hear recordings, see videos, and explore his composition catalogue, visit www.tonysolitro.com.

Honorable Mention: Contratango (for string quintet) by Gabriel Senanes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bass Ensemble

Robert Gibson

Grand Prize: Soundings (for bass quartet) by Robert Gibson, Olney, Maryland, USA

Robert Gibson's compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe, China and South America. His music has also been presented on National Public Radio and by noted performers and ensembles, including David Walter, Lucas Drew, Bertram Turetzky, Esther Lamneck, Marilyn Nonken, Santiago Rodriguez, the Stern/Andrist Duo, the Contemporary Music Forum, the 21st Century Consort, Composers, Inc. of San Francisco, and the Aeolus String Quartet. He studied double bass with Jane Little (Atlanta Symphony) and Lucas Drew (University of Miami), and his experience as a bassist includes orchestral, chamber music, new music and jazz performance. Gibson's latest recording, Flux and Fire, was released by Innova Records in 2018 and includes his double bass quartet Soundings. He is professor and former director (2005-16) of the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park. For more information, please visit www.robertgibsonmusic.com.

Double Bass and Electronic Media

Luis Augusto Da Fonseca

Grand Prize: Hometown by Luis Augusto Da Fonseca, Madrid, Spain

Luis Augusto Da Fonseca was born in Recife, Brazil and was interested in composition, alongside his double bass career, since his first musical studies. He moved to Spain to play as co-principal bass in the Royal Theater in Madrid, where he studied composition with Sergio Luque and Alberto Bernal at the CSKG Center. These studies were in the electronic field, but learning computer-assisted composition as well as algorithmic composition brought him to another way of composing. He finds himself developing new ways of generating music algorithmically and mixing it with traditional structures and aesthetics. Luis Augusto was awarded first prize in the 4th International Competition of Choral Composition "Ennio Morricone" 2017 in Florence, Italy for his piece Hommage a Rothko for a capella choir. Luis Augusto is a doctoral student in algorithmic composition at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, studying with José Luis Carles and Sergio Luque. His music has been played in Spain, Brazil, Germany, Australia, the United States, Venezuela, Lithuania, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. http://composer.luisfonseca.es

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Click here to view a list of past winners.