Announcing the G. Schirmer Prize for Luna Composition Lab

Announcing the G. Schirmer Prize for Luna Composition Lab
Missy Mazzoli with prize-recipient Joanna McDonald at Kaufman Music Center in New York City.

G.Schirmer and Associated Music Publishers, part of Wise Music Group, is proud to announce the G. Schirmer Prize for Luna Composition Lab: a new, multi-year partnership offering recognition and mentorship for select composers participating in Luna Composition Lab. This award pays tribute to the invaluable work of the Luna Composition Lab founders, G. Schirmer composer Missy Mazzoli and 2019 Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Ellen Reid with Kaufman Music Center, and further advances our mutual vision of fostering young composers' growth and advancement in the field, with an emphasis on supporting under-represented populations.

The G. Schirmer Prize is an annual prize with a commitment for the next five years, offering a financial award and mentoring support to one Luna Composition Lab composer each year. The award includes access to publishing industry professionals and a cash prize, as well as educational mentoring and networking opportunities.

"We are delighted to have an opportunity to support the Luna Composition Lab, a program in collaboration with Kaufman Music Center. Through the leadership of its distinguished, trail-blazing founders, Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid, Luna Lab is successfully fostering a dynamic, vibrant community of female-identifying, gender non-conforming and non-binary composers. We are proud to honor their unique vision."
— G. Schirmer Promotion Director Rachel Sokolow

"We are thrilled to partner with G. Schirmer. The G. Schirmer Prize will make available great possibilities for the awardee and will help their careers take shape. Congrats Joanna and Jane!"
— Luna Composition Lab founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid

The 2019 G. Schirmer Prize Recipient
We are delighted to award the G. Schirmer prize for Luna Composition Lab to composer Joanna McDonald for her work, Peace, scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, and piano.

Watch the world premiere of Joanna McDonald's 'Peace'
Watch the world premiere of Joanna McDonald's Peace

Joanna McDonald (age 18) is a composer, guitarist, and pianist living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who loves her local music community. She first started writing lyrics at age six and by age twelve was writing full songs with melodies and chord progressions. She has won several awards at the University of Tulsa's annual Béla Rózsa composition competition since entering her first piece at age 15, a solo guitar piece. McDonald has presented her music at The University of Oklahoma's collegiate Composer's Workshop and has attended composition seminars like the Curtis Summerfest and The University of Tulsa Composition Seminar. She was also a Luna Composition Lab fellow during its 2018-2019 session. Her piece written during Luna Lab was premiered in NYC by Juilliard Preparatory School students and will be performed and recorded by the International Contemporary Ensemble in September of 2019. McDonald currently studies composition with Noam Faingold and David Broome through the composition classes at the Barthelmes Conservatory program at The bART Center for Music in Tulsa and plans to major in Composition in the fall of 2020. She is the recipient of Luna Lab's Sydney Striker Fellowship.

Composer note: Peace
"I was sitting in my car one peaceful morning, waiting to attend my piano lesson and I felt a gentle breeze blow through the car window as I heard my piano teacher's wind chimes ring on her front porch. A melody immediately started to develop inside my head and I quickly wrote it down before I left for my piano lesson. For about a year afterwards the melody kept returning to my mind, though I never took the time to further it. Upon my acceptance to the Luna Composition Lab, I was asked to write a piece for flute, oboe, clarinet, and piano. I felt like this was a perfect opportunity to utilize the melody! With guidance from my composition mentor for this program, Dr. Kristin Kuster, I decided to start my piece with mellow, high-pitched, atmospherical sounds on the wind instruments to represent the way I felt that peaceful morning I heard the melody. As the piece moves along, it starts to change texture and rhythms, morphing into a sound world drastically different from the beginning. I knew that in finding a place of physical or mental repose a struggle would ensue between relaxation and peace, and tension and stress. I wanted to exemplify what that struggle often feels like for me through the use of the drastic sound world differences."
— Joanna McDonald

The 2019 G. Schirmer Prize: Honorable Mention
We are additionally pleased to announce an honorable mention to composer Jane Meenaghan for her work Somatic, scored for string quartet and electronics.

Watch the world premiere of Jane Meenaghan's 'Somatic'
Watch the world premiere of Jane Meenaghan's Somatic

Jane Meenaghan (age 18) is a Los Angeles-based composer and incoming freshman to the Columbia-Juilliard Program whose works frequently seek to synthesize, recontextualize, and juxtapose diverse musical aesthetics and techniques in hybrid soundscapes. She has studied composition for two years, primarily under the tutelage of Ian Krouse at UCLA, Andrew Norman through the LA Phil Composer Fellowship Program, and Gity Razaz as part of the Luna Composition Lab. She has written works for ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, Houston Symphony, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, AMF Orchestra, AMF Vocal Institute, Tanglewood Young Artists’ Orchestra, Lyris Quartet, and the Fromme Players, and has received top honors from competitions including ASCAP Morton Gould (Bergen Scholarship), Avalon International, NFMC Junior Composers, NextNotes, and National YoungArts.

Read her composer's note for Somatic here.

Luna Lab Call for Scores
Want to be a Luna Composition Lab fellow or know someone who would be interested in this program? Kaufman Music Center's 2019-2020 Luna Composition Lab Call for Scores program is open and accepting applications through September 23, 2019. Apply now and spread the word!

About Luna Composition Lab
Luna Composition Lab, founded in 2016 by Ellen Reid and Missy Mazzoli with Kaufman Music Center, provides year-round mentorship, performances, and networking opportunities to female, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers ages 13-19. In its first year the program garnered attention from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Musical America, The Huffington Post, and Spectrum News NY1, fostered the creation of three ambitious new works by our fellows, and culminated in a sold-out concert of their works at Brooklyn venue Roulette. Encouraged by this successful launch, Luna Lab has expanded to include five young composers and five mentors, and has expanded its scope to include promising young female composers from all over the country. Thanks to their participation in our program, Luna Lab alumni have recently been commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Opera Omaha, and have been offered admission to some of the country's most prestigious and competitive conservatories and universities. At the end of each season, Luna Lab composers travel from all over the country to participate in five days of activities, rehearsals, and concerts in New York City.

About G. Schirmer
Part of Wise Music Group international network of publishing houses, G. Schirmer, Inc. is the oldest continuously active North American classical music publisher. Through its network of publishing houses, including Chester Music, Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Alphonse Leduc, and Novello, the Group represents works by many of the most important creators from the 20th and 21st centuries, including Abrahamsen, Aucoin, Barber, Catán, Corigliano, Dennehy, Dorman, Einaudi, Ellington, Fenton, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ives, Lieberson, Lutoslawski, Menotti, Mazzoli, Muhly, Musgrave, Saariaho, Salonen, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sheng, Tan Dun, and Tavener. The company continues to be a driving force in classical music.

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