Thursday, December 17, 2009

Symphony names resident composer

The Richmond Symphony has appointed composer D.J. Sparr to a residency in which he will write works for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as working with students and participants in the symphony's interactive composition class.

Sparr, who grew up playing guitar, has worked in contemporary art-music, jazz and American vernacular musics. He is an alumnus of the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. His works have received a number of awards, including the $10,000 prize grand in the BMG/Williams College Young Composers Competition for his "Wrought Hocket."

“I want students to know that they’re part of the future of music,” Erin Freeman, the Richmond Symphony's associate conductor and director of its education initiatives, said in a statement announcing Sparr's appointment. “It’s important for young musicians to play both masterworks and new works," Freeman said. "Our collaboration with D.J. will allow students to explore contemporary compositions.”

Sparr's residency runs through June 2011.