Iron Composer 2013 Results!

September 10th, 2013

Analog Arts is very happy to announce that Jakub Polaczyk is the new Iron Composer! In one of the closest finishes in Iron Composer history, Jakub managed to edge out two other finalists who were tied just 4 points below his total of 120 (out of 150 points).

Can Bilir and David Wolfson both registered totals of 116, but with a higher overall score in the “Use of Secret Ingredient” and “Originality” categories, Can won the tiebreaker to take 2nd prize. David took home the 3rd prize. Jennifer Jolley was only 2 points back to take 4th prize, and Christoffer Schunk came in at 109 to earn the 5th prize.

There was only an 11-point difference between 1st and 5th place!

The Audience Favorite Award was presented for the first time since 2008, and Jennifer Jolley won the trophy with a total of 45 votes via text message from the audience.

Composer
Use of Secret Ingredient
Originality
Technical Command

Overall Presentation

Total

Can Bilir31382423116
Jennifer Jolley33292428114
Jakub Polaczyk34402422120
Christoffer Schunk27342325109
David Wolfson24353027116

“Thanks for the Lobster” Now on Sale!

September 7th, 2013

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 and helps us insure that it returns in 2014! For liner notes, photos, and more information about the album, click here.

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

Thanks for the Lobster is a collection of music box recordings featuring instruments and discs that were built by the Regina company more than 100 years ago. Regina music boxes use flat discs instead of cylinders, and they were renowned for their sumptuous tone. The songs reflect the popular music from the late 19th century, ranging from hymns and marches to opera and musical comedy numbers, not to mention novelty songs like the title track. The arrangements have their own peculiar quirks as well, with an extraordinary amount of filigree on the melodies in order to show off the musical range of the music boxes.

Originally assigned as the secret ingredient in Iron Composer 2011, Analog Arts liked the sound of these Regina music boxes so much that they decided to record an album of them. Every song and album sold will directly benefit the Iron Composer competition.

Josh Levine will be the composer judge for Iron Composer 2013

July 12th, 2013

Iron Composer is always judged by a 3-person panel consisting of a composer, one of the performers, and a non-musician. The composer judge for this year’s competition will be Josh Levine, who currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at Oberlin.

His music has been commissioned and performed internationally by prominent new music soloists and ensembles, including Magnus Andersson, Aiyun Huang, Marcus Weiss, Jürg Wyttenbach, the Arnold-Huang-Rosenkranz trio, Calliope Duo, Ensemble Contrechamps, Les Solistes de l’Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the Ensemble Intercontemporain under David Robertson.

Josh is also an accomplished guitarist, and we are thrilled to have him join us for this year’s competition. Read more about Josh and listen to his music at his website: www.joshlevine-composer.com.

Meet the Iron Composer 2013 Finalists!

July 8th, 2013

Analog Arts has selected Can Bilir (Ankara), Jennifer Jolley (Delaware), Jakub Polaczyk (Lexington), Christoffer Schunk (Newhall), and David Wolfson (New York) to compete as finalists in this year’s Iron Composer. They have all accepted our invitation to join us in Cleveland on September 6 for the contest.

We encourage you to click through to their websites, read more about them, and listen to their music. This is a fantastic group of composers with very diverse styles and backgrounds. We are looking forward to cooking up a great challenge for them:

Can Bilir (Ankara) is a composer and guitarist currently enrolled in doctoral studies at Bilkent University in Turkey. He was recently selected as a composer for the European Broadcasting festival “MusMa V”. Read more about Can at www.canbilir.wordpress.com
Jennifer Jolley (Cincinnati) teaches composition, music theory, and electronic music at Ohio Wesleyan University. Jennifer is the co-founder and artistic director of North American New Opera Workshop (N.A.N.O.Works), a new chamber opera company devoted to developing and staging short contemporary operas by emerging North American composers. Read more about Jennifer at www.jenniferjolley.com.
Jakub Polaczyk (Lexington), a native of Krakow, studied orchestration there with Krzysztof Penderecki. Most recently, he received an Artists Diploma from Carnegie Mellon where he performed as a pianist in the contemporary ensemble. Read more about Jakub at www.jakub.polaczyk.com.
Christoffer Schunk (Newhall) is an active multi-instrumentalist and composer based in southern California. His compositions have been premiered by New Century Players, Santa Clarita Master Chorale, Ensemble for Contemporary Music, and UC Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. Read more about Christoffer at www.christofferschunk.com.
David Wolfson (New York) is a composer, music director, arranger, pianist and copyist. He has had an active career in theatrical music, stretching from his days as assistant musical director at the Cleveland Play House to his work with broad variety of dance and theater projects in New York City. Read more about David at www.davidwolfsonmusic.net.

Iron Composer received a record number of applications this year. Entries poured in from all over the world, and there were more qualified composers to choose from than at anytime in the history of the competition. Choosing just five composers to compete in Cleveland was very difficult, and we are grateful to everyone who entered.

Iron Composer 2012 Finalists

July 17th, 2012

David Carter (Evanston) holds degrees from Yale University (B.A. English Literature, 1996) and the University of Southern California Law School (J.D., 1999), and worked as an attorney for four years before turning to music full-time in 2004. David is a doctoral student in music composition at Northwestern University.


Anne Goldberg (New York) is the founder and artistic director of the Synthesis Aesthetics Project, a collaborative between musicians, dancers, multimedia and spoken word artists. In addition to Synthesis, Ms. Goldberg co-founded the new music ensemble Tempus Continuum Ensemble, and is a member of the Reform@ trio, premiering and performing both her own music and that of other 20th and 21st Century composers.


Julie Hill (New York) enjoyed a short career as an actress and a singer of popular genres, before finding concert music. During this time, she toured the country as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and returned to New York to perform her original music at numerous venues in the East Village, Lower East Side, and Brooklyn.


Caroline Mallonée (Buffalo) holds a Ph.D. from Duke University, a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. A Fulbright award recipient, she spent a year in The Netherlands studying with Dutch composer Louis Andriessen.


Mark Popeney (Los Angeles) holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, an Masters from UCLA, and a Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley. He teaches music theory, composition, and music production at USC and secondary schools around Los Angeles. Mark is an avid singer and guitarist, and has performed with and led numerous ensembles in many styles.


For full bios and links to other resources, visit the Iron Composer 2012 page.

Now accepting Iron Composer entries

April 15th, 2012

Iron Composer will be held this year on Friday, September 7 on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College. The purse has been increased, and all invited composers will receive a minimum of $200 in prize money.

So, submit your entry today!

Entry Requirements
* There is no entry fee.
* The contest is open to composers of all ages.
* Submit a score and a bio to entry@ironcomposer.org
* Include your name, address, phone number and email.
* Entry deadline is June 23, 2012

Iron Composer 2011 Results & Recordings

October 3rd, 2011

Scores:

ComposerUse of Secret IngredientOriginalityTechnical CommandOverall PresentationTotal
Melody Eotvos33332626118
David Kirkland Garner40332418115
Matthew Heap32352618111
Mari Takano29302520104
Zvonimir Nagy39313022122

Recordings:

01. Introduction to the competition (17:21)

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02. Introduction for Melody Eötvös’ piece (1:39)

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03. Melody Eötvös, “Austin vs. Regina” (3:24)

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04. Comments on Melody Eötvös’ piece (2:22)

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05. Introduction for Matthew Heap’s piece (0:49)

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06. Matthew Heap, “Interior Resonances” (8:15)

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07. Comments on Matthew Heap’s piece (2:15)

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08. Introduction for David Kirkland Garner’s piece (1:46)

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09. David Kirkland Garner’s “Nearer Thy God to Me” (6:25)

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10. Comments on David Kirkland Garner’s piece (3:34)

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11. Introduction for Mari Takano’s piece (3:34)

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12. Mari Takano, “We Will Meet Again” (3:40)

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13. Comments on Mari Takano’s piece (2:57)

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14. Introduction for Zvonimir Nagy’s piece (2:22)

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15. Zvonimir Nagy, “Vox Reginae Organalis” (6:39)

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16. Comments on Zvonimir Nagy’s piece (4:30)

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17. Interview with Joe Drew (8:56)

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18. Announcement of the Results (4:46)

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The Winners

September 16th, 2011

1st prize ($500): Zvonimir Nagy
2nd prize ($300): Melody Eötvös
3rd prize ($200): David Kirkland Garner

(A full wrap-up post will be forthcoming when we have the recordings)

The 3rd Judge!!

September 16th, 2011

Jonathan Moyer will be playing the organ on tonight’s concert, and he will serve as the performer judge. (Rudolf Kamper will perform the music box parts.)

Jonathan William Moyer maintains a dynamic career as organist, pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. He is the music director and organist of the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, OH, where he directs a semiprofessional choir, handbells, children’s music program, and concert series. Critics have described his playing as “ever-expressive, stylish, and riveting.” He has performed throughout the northeastern United States, Europe, and Japan, including such venues as Washington National Cathedral, Princeton University Chapel, St. Thomas Episcopal Church (NYC), the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove (NJ), numerous British cathedrals, as well as the Dvorak Spring Festival in Prague and Vienna. He has performed with such ensembles as the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University Chorale, and the Cantate Chamber Singers of Washington, DC. He has performed piano and chamber music recitals at the La Gesse Music Festival in Toulouse, France and Weill Recital Hall in New York City. He is a member of the critically acclaimed early music vocal ensemble Quire Cleveland.

Throughout 2008 he performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in four recitals at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, MD, celebrating the centenary of the composer’s birth and the renovation of the cathedral’s organ. The Baltimore Sun, said of his second recital, “Moyer revealed the composer’s musical genius as vividly as his spiritual richness, taking full advantage of the cathedral’s Shantz organ. …Passages of rapt reflection were shaped with a keen sense of import.”

In 2008, he received the second prize in the Sixth International Musashino Organ Competition in Tokyo, Japan, and in 2005 he was one of four finalists in the St. Albans International Organ Competition. He has served as sub-dean for the Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and served on the steering committee for the 2007 AGO Region III Convention in Baltimore. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Cleveland Chapter, AGO.

Dr. Moyer has served as an opera coach/accompanist for the Peabody Opera Department, Baltimore Opera Company, Opera Vivente (Baltimore), the Baltimore School for the Arts, and the Washington, DC Wagner Society. He appears frequently as accompanist for art song and opera recitals.

Dr. Moyer is currently pursuing an artist diploma at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of James David Christie. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ as a student of Donald Sutherland from the Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore, MD), where he received both a Graduate Performance Diploma in organ and a Master’s degree in piano as a student of Ann Schein. While at Peabody he studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins and served as graduate assistant choral conductor to Edward Polochick. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano from Bob Jones University where he studied with Laurence Morton. He has attended organ festivals throughout Europe and has coached with such organists as Susan Landale, Marie-Claire Alain, Olivier Latry, Guy Bovet, Michael Radulescu, and Gillian Weir.

He resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio, along with his wife, Kaori Hongo, and two sons, Christopher and Samuel.

The 2011 Iron Composer Challenge

September 16th, 2011

The composers were assigned to write for organ and antique music boxes.

The main organ in Gamble Auditorium was built in 1914 by the Austin Organ company, which is the only major manufacturer from the Grand Period of American organ building still in existence today. The organ was rebuilt in 1979. It is a 4-manual organ, with 74 ranks. Each manual has 61 notes, and there are 32 note pedals.

The Regina Music Box company was established in 1892 in Rahway, New Jersey. Gustave Brachhausen, who had worked for the Polyphon music box company in Germany, established Regina Music Boxes in America, recognizing an untapped market. By 1921, the company had ceased production, with sales only ever totaling a little over 100,000 boxes.

The composers were given 11 discs to choose from:

“If I But Knew”
“Two Sweethearts Song”
“Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo”
“Priscilla Colonial Intermezzo”
“Miller in the Black Forest”
“Selection from Lucia de Lammermoor”
“Nearer My God to Thee”
“You’re As Welcome as the Flower in May”
“The Charlatan March”
“Smokey Mokes”
“Abide With Me”