LSM Newswire

Friday, December 4, 2009

Emerging Composer Competition Winner’s Work to Be Premiered at Winnipeg’s New Music Festival



November 30, 2009 (CALGARY, AB) – The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) will debut a new work by Darren Miller, the young Saskatchewan composer who won the 2010 Emerging Composer Competition of the Canadian Music Centre, Prairie Region. Miller’s work will be premiered at the Winnipeg New Music Festival on February 10, 2010. Winning the competition also earned him a composition residency at the Banff Centre.

The winning composition by Miller, for amma, was chosen from orchestral works submitted by emerging Canadian composers, all of whom have Prairie connections. Each entry was judged by a jury, which included the WSO’s composer-in-residence – and former Emerging Composer Competition winner – Vincent Ho.

For amma, composed after the recent passing of Miller’s grandmother, Alda, was dedicated to her memory. “In 2001, my amma (grandmother in Icelandic) paid for the first year of my musical studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and she continued to encourage all of the compositional activities that resulted from these studies,” Miller says. “She was a lifelong resident of Gimli and Winnipeg, making the premiere of this work in Winnipeg, so soon after her passing, an extremely moving experience for me.”

Miller, a current PhD student at the State University of New York, received his Bachelor degree at the University of Saskatchewan and his Master’s from The University of Victoria. He has also pursued studies in Germany and at the Banff Centre, where he directed the 2009 International Young Composers Forum. A diverse number of groups – from Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal to Turning Point Ensemble to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – have performed his works. In addition to composition, Miller also dabbles in conducting and computer music performance. For more information on Miller, visit his website at www.darrenmiller.ca.

The Emerging Composer Competition prize, established by an anonymous donor and administered by the Canadian Music Centre, Prairie Region, aims to help young composers establish themselves in this extremely challenging and competitive field. The opportunity to have a work performed by a professional symphony orchestra is not one presented to many composers, and is a great honour. Previous winners include Abigail Richardson, Jocelyn Morlock and Vincent Ho, all of whom have gone on to very successful composing careers.

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