Iron Composer
September 26, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio


1st Prize, $1,000+
2nd Prize, $350
3rd Prize, $300
4th Prize, $250
5th Prize, $200

* The purse consists of a $500 cash prize and a $500 commission for a new work to be performed by Blue Water Chamber Orchestra on their 2014-2015 season.

A Sound Map of Dowtown Cleveland is the Secret Ingredient for 2014. The instrumentation is low string trio: Scott Dixon (bass), Heidi Albert (cello), Laura Shuster (viola).

Our performer judge is Scott Dixon. Our composer judge is Andrew Rindfleish (Cleveland State University), and Carlton Woods (Blue Water Chamber Orchestra) is the third judge.

Make a tax-deductible donation to support Iron Composer!

Vote for the Audience Favorite by texting the composer’s 5-digit code to 650 600 9016. Use the ballot to score along at home!

Admission to all events is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Finalists Forum
Thursday, September 25, 2014

5:30-7:00 p.m. – Kulas Hall (Room K115), Baldwin Wallace Conservatory

The finalists will discuss their music and careers. This is a great opportunity to meet the composers and learn more about their styles!

Competition and Concert
Friday, September 26, 2014

9 a.m. - Opening Ceremony, Chamber Hall

The instrumentation and the secret musical ingredient are revealed!

8 p.m. – Concert, Great Lakes Science Center

All five composers have their music performed live in concert and on the radio. Prizes are awarded and the title of Iron Composer is bestowed!


Baldwin Wallace College
96 Front Street
Berea, OH

Free street parking.

Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114

Directions & Parking

Can’t make it to Cleveland? Listen to the Iron Composer competition broadcast live on Cleveland’s classical music station WCLV and available through their website,


Jason Buchanan (San Mateo, CA) is a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music and was selected as Artist in Residence, Bergen (Norway) by USF Verftet and the City Council of Bergen. He is the founder of Melos Music and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg (Germany). []
Michelle McQuade Dewhirst (Green Bay, WI) serves as Associate Professor of Music at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is an active horn player and a founder of a very small consortium, an ensemble devoted to music that lasts one minute or less or that consist of one hundred or fewer notes. Her music has been performed by St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Pacifica String Quartet, and eighth blackbird. []
Charles Mason (Coral Gables, FL) is a professor of composition and chair of the composition department at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. He has been awarded the Rome Prize, the National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Award, the American Composer Orchestra’s “Playing It Unsafe” award, and the Delius Prize. His work has been commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, Ritz Chamber Players, DUO 46, and the Miami String Quartet. His music is featured on releases by Innova Recordings, Quindecim Recordings, and Capstone Recordings. []
Polina Nazaykinskaya (New Haven, CT) is a violinist and composer from Togliatti, Russia. She is currently a doctoral student at City University of New York. Her music has been performed by the Russian National Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Olaf Philharmonia, and Boston Metro Opera.
Gene Pritsker (New York, NY) is the founder and leader of Sound Liberation; an eclectic hip hop-chamber-jazz-rock-etc. ensemble who have released cd’s on Col-legno, Composers Concordance and Innova Records. His music has been performed by Adelaide Symphony, Brooklyn, Shanghai and Berlin Philharmonic, as well as Anne Akiko Meyers, and Simone Dinnerstein. His film credits include orchestration for Cloud Atlas. []

NEW IN 2014

Iron Composer will be presented as part of Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festival. The main campus of the festival is on the Lake Erie waterfront near the Great Lakes Science Center. Baldwin Wallace Conservatory will continue to host Iron Composer’s Opening Ceremony and Writing Period, while the evening concert and radio broadcast will be held downtown at the Great Lakes Science Center.

You can support Iron Composer by purchasing a copy of Thanks for the Lobster & other Regina Music Box Favorites. Every song and album sold directly benefits Iron Composer! For liner notes, photos, and more information about the album, click here.

The album is on sale now at iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, & Nokia.