Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition Winner

Michael-Thomas Foumai
The Contemporary Music Festival would like to congratulate composer Michael-Thomas Foumai for winning the 2014 Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra / Contemporary Music Festival composition contest. Mr. Foumai’s work Lady Dark will be performed by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on Thursday, October 23, as part of the ISU Contemporary Music Festival. We received many excellent entries for the composition contest this year, making it a difficult task to select a winner.  We would like to thank everyone who submitted compositions and wish everyone continued success in their composition careers.

Michael-Thomas Foumai has "proven himself as one of the most exciting new voices to emerge from the current generation of young American composers" (Aspen Music Festival). His music has been described as "vibrant...cinematic" (New York Times), “astonishing, climate-changing, lionhearted” (Rappahannock News), "full of color, drama and emotion" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and "exciting, energetic and full of vivid passages and picturesque moods" (Honolulu Advertiser). Michael has recently been named the Music Teachers National Association Composer of the Year and was selected by Maestro Lorin Maazel as winner of the Composer's Forum Competition at the Castleton Festival. He has been commissioned by the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Michigan Music Teachers Association and has served as composer-in-residence of the 2014 Alabama Orchestra Association.

Winner of the 2013 American Prize for Orchestral Composition, Michael was named the Composer of the Year by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and awarded the Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival. His music has been recognized with numerous awards including three BMI composer awards, Presser Foundation Award and prizes from American String Teachers Association, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Michigan Music Teachers Association, New Music USA, American Music Center and Meet the Composer (now New Music USA), College Orchestra Directors Association, Alabama Orchestra Association, ASCAP, Austin Peay State University, New Music at East Carolina University, the Red Note New Music Festival at Illinois State University and the Universities of Michigan, Oklahoma, Hawaii and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Michael's orchestral works have been performed by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, New England Philharmonic Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Daegu Contemporary Music Orchestra (Korea), the Orchestra Unleashed, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, University Orchestras of Michigan, Utah, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Hawaii, Illinois State, East Carolina, the Alabama All-State Festival Orchestra and the Hawaii Youth Symphony. His chamber works have been performed by Alarm Will Sound, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble DuoPlus, Definiens Project, Ebb and Flow Ensemble, members of Tanglewood's New Fromm Players, Derek Bermel (Clarinet) and Ignace Jang (Violin) among others.

Previous performances around the world have been presented at the Underwood New Music Readings, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Milwaukee Symphony Composer Institute, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Osaka College of Music (Japan), Shanghai New Music Week (China), Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival (Indonesia), Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong, Hawaii International Film Festival, Thailand International Composition Festival, MidWest Composers Symposium (Cincinnati), Daegu Contemporary Music Festival (Korea), Fresno New Music Festival, Aries Composers Festival (Colorado), June in Buffalo Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference, Mizzou New Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, Staunton Music Festival (Virginia), EarShot New Music Readings (Buffalo, NY) and the Calarts Theatre (REDCAT) at Disney Hall.

Michael holds degrees in composition from the Universities of Hawaii (BM) and Michigan (MM,DMA). He has worked with Christopher Rouse, Augusta Read Thomas, Robert Beaser, Steven Stucky and his composition teachers have been Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Syd Hodkinson, Paul Schoenfeld, Erik Santos, Peter Askim, Byron K. Yasui, Donald Reid Womack, Takeo Kudo and Thomas Osborne.