Iron Composer 2015


Instrumentation: Recorder, celeste, and sound icon
Secret Ingredient: Board games
Performers: Nicole Keller (celeste), Kathryn Montoya (recorders), Joe Drew (sound icon)
Judges: Stephen Hartke (composer), Kathryn Montoya (performer judge), Dee Perry
Top Prizes: Tawnie Olson, Iron Composer ($1,000)
Dorothy Hindman, Audience Favorite Award

The secret ingredient at Iron Composer 2015 were board games. The composers were provided with a selection of 10 board games from the private collection of Christian Gindlesperger. They each had to choose a game to use as the basis for their composition.

The instrumentation centered on the sound icon, which is a grand piano tipped on its side and bowed with horsehair and monofilaments. An ebow was also made available to the composers. The sound icon was paired with recorder and celeste. The composers were able to use three different types of recorders: sopranino, alto, and bass.

FINALISTS

Over 200 composers from around the world applied to compete in Iron Composer 2015. The following five were selected as finalists:

Kirsten Broberg is an associate professor of composition at the University of North Texas. Her work has been performed by the Kronos Quartet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and ICE. Her work has been supported by awards from the Fromm Music Foundation and American Composers Forum. Kirsten is also a seasoned entrepreneur, having founded and directed Ensemble Dal Niente (2004–2010) and Ensemble 61. [www.kirstenbroberg.com]
Dorothy Hindman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. She has collaborated with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, bassist Robert Black, the Goliard Ensemble, the Gregg Smith Singers, and the Freon Ensemble. She hosts a weekly radio show on WVUM 90.5 FM, and she recently spoke at a conference in Sicily about the religious implications in spectral music. [www.dorothyhindman.org]
Ryan Keebaugh is an assistant professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University. His music has been performed by the Ethos Collective, Sesquisharp Productions, the Great Noise Ensemble. He has earned residencies and awards from Wildacres Artist Colony, Factory 449 Theatre Collective, ASCAP, and the Virginia Music Educators Association. [www.ryankeebaugh.com]
Rica Narimoto is a lecturer at Aichi University of the Arts, Kanazawa University and Kinjo Gakuin University, and a researcher in Nagoya City University School of Design and Architecture. She has won the Kuwabara and the Irino Prize. Her works have been featured at Gaudeamus Music Week, the Alexandrina Contemporary Music Biennale, and at the International Festival of Modern Art’s 2D2N. [www.rica-narimoto.jimdo.com]
Tawnie Olson has won awards from the SOCAN foundation and the Guelph Chamber Choir/Musica Viva. Her work has been performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Land’s End Ensemble, the Trinity Church Choir in NY, and the Toronto Chamber Choir. Her works have been recorded by various artists, including the Canadian Chamber Choir, bassoonist Rachael Elliott, and oboist Catherine Lee. [www.tawnieolson.com]

JUDGES

Stephen Hartke is the chair of composition at Oberlin College Conservatory. His prizes include the Rome Prize from the American Academy, two Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission Grants, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Glimmerglass Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Harvard Musical Association. He won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2013. [www.stephenhartke.com]
Kathryn Montoya is an assistant professor of recorder and Baroque oboe at the Oberlin Conservatory. Montoya has performed with many ensembles, including the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Ensemble Arion, the Cleveland Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Chicago Opera Theatre, Aradia Ensemble, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Apollo’s Fire, Montreal, Washington Bach Consort, and Wiener Akadamie. She is a recipient of the prestigious Performers Certificate at IU and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany.
Dee Perry has been a part of the Cleveland broadcasting scene since 1976. Dee’s hobbies and interests include photography , motivational speaking, singing, and acting. She has appeared in several productions at PlayhouseSquare theaters, as well as Tri-C, CSU, Karamu, and Ensemble Theater. 90.3 WCPN has been Dee Perry’s radio home since 1989, and she has performed in several different capacities for this public radio station. She is currently the host and producer of 90.3’s hour-long daily magazine talk show, The Sound of Applause, which focuses on visual and performing arts, cultural trends, and current events. Dee also serves as host and producer for Applause, WVIZ/PBS’ half-hour weekly television series which is also devoted to arts and culture.

PERFORMANCES

Performance order was determined by the alphabetical order of the selected games.

Kirsten Broberg, “Iconography of Nature” (based on Concept)

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Rica Narimoto, “The Stones” (based on Go)

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Dorothy Hindman, “Lost Treasure” (based on Lost Treasure)

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Ryan Keebaugh, “Ardent Shimmer” (based on Mystery Mansion)

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Tawnie Olson, “Subbuteo 1947” (based on Subbuteo)

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RESULTS

1st Prize – Tawnie Olson, $1,000
2nd Prize – Dorothy Hindman, $350
3rd Prize – Rica Narimoto, $300
4th Prize – Ryan Keebaugh, $250
5th Prize – Kirsten Broberg, $200

Audience Favorite Award: Dorothy Hindman

Use of Secret Ingredient (45 points)Originality (45 points)Technical Command (30 points)Overall Presentation (30 points)TOTAL
Kirsten Broberg33312327114
Rica Narimoto37352226120
Dorothy Hindman41392625131
Ryan Keebaugh34332325115
Tawnie Olson40392627132

INTRODUCTIONS

Kirsten Broberg Introduction

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Rica Narimoto Introduction

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Dorothy Hindman Introduction

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Ryan Keebaugh Introduction

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Tawnie Olson Introduction

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COMMENTARY

Welcome from Joe Drew, Director of Iron Composer

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Introduction of the 2015 Finalists

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Introduction of the Judges & the Instrumentation

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Explanation of the Secret Ingredient: Board Games

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Judges’ Remarks on Broberg

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Judges’ Remarks on Narimoto

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Judges’ Remarks on Hindman

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Judges’ Remarks on Keebaugh

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Judges’ Remarks on Olson

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Prize Announcements & Farewell

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