2022 ISB / David Walter Composition Competition Results

Jeremy Baguyos, ISB/David Walter ISB Composition Competition Chair, along with fellow judges Patricia Weitzel, Assistant Double Bass Professor at Penn State/faculty at Sphinx Performance Academy at Juilliard and Wintergreen Music Festival, and John Dahlstrand, Assistant Principal Double Bass in the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in Nantes, France and founding member of Duo Millenia, announce the winners of the 2022 competition. There were 109 entries in 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, performing artist and composer 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 yet entered the standard double bass repertoire. The grand prize of $1,000 for each division was made possible through the generous support of the Robert Black Foundation, and also includes a performance at the 2023 ISB Convention, to be held June 5-10 at the University of MIchigan in Ann Arbor.

Robert Black Foundation logo

The winners of the 2022 ISB / David Walter Composition Competition are:

Unaccompanied Solo Bass

  • Grand Prize: Tabula Rasa (solo double bass) by Max Winningham, USA
  • Honorable Mention: Awake (solo double bass) by Joel Braun, USA
Max Winningham

Max Winningham is a performer, composer, and improvisor born in Houston, Texas, who has studied the double bass since age 11. After graduating from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Max went on to receive his BMA in Double Bass Performance from Northwestern University. Though his primary training is classical, his pursuits include a wide variety of genres and sensibilities, including electronics, world music, and jazz. Max has performed and studied internationally in France, Canada, Switzerland, and Mexico, and in 2018 was awarded the International Rabbath Institute de Paris (IRIP) performance and teaching certificates, as well as one of the Artist-in-Residence positions at the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris. He is presently studying at Baylor University, working toward two separate master's degrees in music performance and composition.

Chamber Ensemble

  • Grand Prize: Kalimotxo (clarinet, harp, and double bass) by Robin Haigh, Ireland
  • Honorable Mention: Sonatina for Double Bass and Piano by Javier Martinez Campos, Spain
Robin Haigh

Irish/British composer Robin Haigh (b.1993) works internationally with leading orchestras and soloists, writing pieces of "scintillating unpredictability" (Tom Service, BBC Radio 3) that have been performed over 100 times. Haigh's work, which has been described as "timeless", "dream-like" (Musical Opinion Magazine), and "remarkably discombobulating" (Seen and Heard International) is regularly honored with national and international prizes. He has won an Ivor Novello Award (2020), a British Composer Award (2017), the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, the William Mathias Composition Prize, the Eric Coates Prize, the Dante Moro Competition, the BDRS Competition, and the Composer Slam European Championship.

Bass Ensemble

  • Grand Prize: Ecos de Viaje (bass sextet) by Rodrigo Mata Alvarez, Mexico
  • Honorable Mention: A Night in Istanbul (bass quartet) by Justin Writer, USA
Rodrigo Mata Alvarez

Bassist and composer Rodrigo Mata Alvarez graduated from the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. In 2021 he completed a master's degree in music performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Dan Styffe and Håkon Thelin. Rodrigo is a repeat winner, having won grand prize in the 2020 ISB/David Walter Composition Competition in the solo division. He was Composer-in-Residence of the Latin Orchestra of Europe in 2021. His works have been premiered in Norway, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Germany, Venezuela, Peru and the United States. He served as bass teacher for the Community Orchestras of Fomento Musical and continues as professor of double bass at the University of Guanajuato.

Double Bass and Electronic Media

No prize awarded

Click here to view a list of past winners.