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Orchestra Contest Winner

2019 Composition Contest Winner: TBA

2018 Composition Contest Winner: Roger Zare

Roger ZareRoger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” He teaches composition and music theory at Illinois State University and has written for a wide variety of ensembles, from solo instruments to choir to full orchestra. Often inspired by science, nature, mathematics, and mythology, his works have been performed across the United States and on five continents by such ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Omaha Chamber Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, the New York Youth Symphony, the Donald Sinta Quartet, and F-PLUS. An award-winning composer, Zare has received the ASCAP Nissim Prize, three BMI Student Composer Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and many other local and regional honors. He has been composer in residence at the Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, and the SONAR New Music Ensemble. A collaboration with CERN brought Zare to Switzerland to present his saxophone quartet, “LHC,” at the 2014 Montreux Jazz Festival in a program featuring the collision of music and physics, and he returned to work with CERN again in 2018 to present “LHC” again at the Sofia Science Festival and the Bulgarian National Academy of Music. In 2015, Zare received a Copland House Residency Award, and in 2016, Zare attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival as the Kaplan Fellow in composition. Most of Zare’s works are published by his own publishing company, Roger Zare Music, and his orchestral catalog is published by the Theodore Presser Company and the FJH Music Company. Zare holds a DMA (’12) from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from Peabody Conservatory (’09), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California (’07).

To learn more about Roger Zare, please visit his website at