Composer David Dzubay Wins 2015 Sackler Composition Prize

David Dzubay, 2015 Sackler Award Winner (Alain Barker Photo)
David Dzubay, 2015 Sackler Award Winner (Alain Barker Photo)
David Dzubay, 2015 Sackler Award Winner. (Neva Micheva Photo)
David Dzubay. (Neva Micheva Photo)

Composer David Dzubay has been named the recipient of the 11th Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize presented by the University of Connecticut, a $25,000 award to compose a new work for a specific area of musical arts that will be performed by UConn students and faculty and recorded.

Dzubay, who is chair of the composition department and director of the New Music Ensemble at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, will be composing a concerto for flute and violin with wind ensemble, with the working title “Rapprochement.” The work will debut with performances in March 2017 in Storrs and at UConn’s Stamford campus.

The competition, organized by the School of Fine Arts, is an international award that supports and promotes composers and the performance of their new musical works. Every second year, entrants are asked to compose a piece for a specific area of the musical arts, chosen by the head and other faculty of the music department.

The prize was established through a gift from Raymond and Beverly Sackler, major philanthropists and generous donors to UConn.

“The Sackler Composition prize is a unique award and one of the largest prizes given for the composition of new musical works. It is so important that we continue to encourage the composition and performance of new music,” says Anne D’Alleva, dean of the UConn School of Fine Arts. “The performance experience made possible by this competition is a wonderful learning opportunity for our students. It not only expands their musical horizons but gives them an added professional credential when they are seeking opportunities after college.”

David Dzubay, 2015 Sackler Award Winner (Alain Barker Photo)
David Dzubay, 2015 Sackler Composition Prize winner. (Alain Barker Photo)

Dzubay says the new work will be one of his longest compositions, containing three movements with multiple sections that allows a focus for both soloists and ensemble combinations.

“I’ve got a good start on this work,” he says, noting the specific requirements of the Sackler Prize. “I approach works from a variety of angles. I do a lot of improvising on the piano to generate chords, melodic ideas, and progressions, and these angles start to affect each other.”

Dzubay has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture, and the Fromm and Barlow foundations, among others. His music has been performed by orchestras, ensembles, and soloists in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia, and is published by Pro Nova Music and recorded on the Sony, Bridge, Centaur, Innova, Naxos, Crystal, Klavier, Gia, and First Edition labels. Recent honors include Guggenheim, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, Copland House, and Djerassi fellowships, a 2011 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2010 Heckscher Prize.

For more information, visit the School of Fine Arts website.

Past Sackler Prize Composition Winners:

2013 Steven Sametz
Chorus and Orchestra

2012 Kevin Walczyk
Concerto for Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble

2009 J. Mark Scearce
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

2008 Nathan Currier
Piano Concerto

2007 Sheila Silver

2006 Rufus Reid
Jazz Ensemble

2005 Stacy Garrop
Chamber Ensemble

2004 Orianna Webb
Chamber Orchestra

2003 Karim Al-Zand
Chamber Orchestra

2002 Gabriela Frank
Chamber Ensemble