Friday, November 16, 2007

Richmonder wins art-song prize

Richmond-bred composer Zachary Wadsworth has taken first place in the ASCAP-Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition for Young Composers.

Wadsworth will receive $3,500 and a commission to write a song cycle for voice and piano to be published by E.C. Schirmer and performed in three three major American cities.

The 24-year-old composer is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Yale University; he is now in doctoral studies at Cornell University. He has received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Morton Gould Young Composers Awards from ASCAP and other prizes. His chamber opera "Venus and Adonis" was premiered last summer.

The ASCAP-Lehmann competition, whose second round was this year, was organized to encourage composers under 30 to write art-music for the voice. It is named for Lotte Lehmann, a famed opera and Lieder singer of the early and mid-20th century.

Second-place winner in the competition was Allen McCullough, 29, of Landsdowne, PA. Third place went to Ryan Gee, 29, of Austin. Isaac Shankler, 28, of Los Angeles, won the Damien Top Prize. All will receive cash prizes and commissions to write vocal works.