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Rappaport Prize for Music Composition

The Rappaport Prize for Music Composition is a grant awarded to the Atlantic Classical Orchestra from the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation in 2013. The mission of the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation is to promote emerging and promising leaders in public policy, science and the arts. Consistent with that mission, the principal goal of The Rappaport Prize for Music Composition is to promote and recognize some of America’s emerging and most promising composers.

Rappaport Prize Winners for The Commission Project:

Classical Music Palm Beach
Classical Music Palm Beach

2017 The Oneiroi in New York: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Conrad Tao

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Tao a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Tao was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Tao’s career as composer has garnered eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI. In the 2013-14 season, while serving as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence, Tao premiered his orchestral composition, The world is very different now. Commissioned in observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the work was described by the New York Times as “shapely and powerful.” Most recently, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia commissioned a new work for piano, orchestra, and electronics, An Adjustment, which received its premiere in September 2015 with Tao at the piano. The Philadelphia Inquirer declared the piece abundant in “compositional magic,” a “most imaginative [integration of] spiritual post-Romanticism and ‘90s club music.”

Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1994. He has studied piano with Emilio del Rosario in Chicago and Yoheved Kaplinsky in New York, and composition with Christopher Theofanidis.

The Infinite Dance: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Zhou Tian

Described as “absolutely beautiful” and “utterly satisfying” (Fanfare), Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian’s works have been commissioned and performed by major orchestras in the United States and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and by leading chamber ensembles and soloists such as pianist Yuja Wang, violist Roberto Díaz, guitarist Jason Vieaux, the Eroica Trio, the Arditti, Dover, and Biava string quartets, the Empire Brass, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, violinists Soovin Kim, Susie Park, and flutist Jeffrey Khaner. His music has been performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. He has served as composer-in-residence with the Green Bay Symphony and Chicago’s Music In the Loft Concert Series, and his works have been recorded on Cedille, Innova, and Pacific records. Zhou holds music degrees from Curtis Institute (B.M.), Juilliard School (M.M.), and University of Southern California (D.M.A.), is a first-prize winner of 2009 Washington Intl. Composers Competition and the ASCAP/Lotte Lehmann Art Song Competition, and held composition fellowships from Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival. His composition teachers have included Jennifer Higdon, Christopher Rouse, Richard Danielpour, Stephen Hartke, and Donald Crockett. He joined the music faculty at Colgate University in 2011. Visit
ZhouTianMusic.com for more.

Classical Music Palm Beach
Classical Music Palm Beach

2015 River of Doubt by Patrick Harlin

Seattle native Patrick Harlin writes music frequently inspired by the natural world. His work as a doctoral student at the University of Michigan spans both music composition and the field of soundscape ecology, research supported by the Graham Sustainability Institute that has taken him to remote regions worldwide including the Book Cliffs Utah and Amazon Rainforest. Patrick looks at the relationship between sound and the environment, with his upcoming dissertation Acoustic Ecology and the Preservation of Sonic Landscapes featuring sounds of these locations together with a new string quartet.

In 2013 Patrick was selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters as a Charles Ives scholarship recipient, named the inaugural winner of the Aspen Summer Music Festival/Hermitage residency, and selected as a Theodore Presser Award winner. Patrick was a resident composer in 2012 at the MIZZOU International Composers Festival, the resident composer at the Cordoba Music Festival in Argentina, and a fellow at the 2013 Aspen Summer Music Festival, and 2014 Cabrillo In the Works workshop. He is to date the only music student to receive a DOW Fellowship and the only doctoral student in the arts funded by a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.

Patrick currently studies with Michael Daugherty. Past teachers include Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Lesley Sommer, Bruce Hamilton and Roger Briggs. His music has been performed by Alarm Will Sound, The St. Louis Symphony, Evita Quartet, Calgary Philharmonic, and Cabrillo festival orchestra among others. His newest work (after River of Doubt) has been commissioned by the Caramoor Festival to be premiered by the Calidore String Quartet in July 2015.

Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra by Jeffrey Parola

Jeffrey Parola, is an American concert music composer of choral, vocal, chamber, and large ensemble works. His compositions reflect a constantly evolving style and eclectic range of influences. Jeffrey’s music has been presented by institutions such as the National Collegiate Choral Organization and the Oregon Bach Festival, by instrumental ensembles such as the What’s Next? Ensemble, the Detour New Music Ensemble, the American Creators Ensemble, the USC Scholarship Brass, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, and the SFCM New Music Ensemble, by choruses such as Choral Chameleon, the Ateneo Chamber Singers, and the San Francisco State Chamber Singers, and by conductors such as Vance George, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Andrew Mogrelia, Nicole Paiement, and Jonathan Velasco. Awards include the 2012 EAMA Prize, Jim Highsmith Orchestral Composition Prize, honorable mention for the 2009 EAMA Prize, and 1st place prize for the SFCM Art Song Composition Competition. Jeffrey recently completed his Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, commissioned by the Florida-based Atlantic Classical Orchestra (ACO), which will be premiered in March of 2014 by the ACO and clarinetist Paul Green, conducted by Stewart Robertson.

Jeffrey is currently a doctoral student and instructor at the University of Southern California, where he studies composition with Frank Ticheli and Donald Crockett and orchestration with Stephen Hartke, and he teaches undergraduate Aural Skills and Theory classes. He earned his master’s degree in 2005 from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Conte. Jeffrey earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 2002 after studying with Mark Carlson, David Lefkowitz, and Ian Krouse.

Also an active performer, Jeffrey is an organist, conductor, and vocalist. He is presently the organist at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hollywood, studies conducting with Larry Livingston at USC, and has sung professionally with several ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Schola Cantorum San Francisco.

Classical Music Palm Beach
Classical Music Palm Beach

2014 American Vignette: Suite for Chamber Orchestra by Garth Neustadter

Garth Neustadter is an Emmy Award-Winning composer and multi-instrumentalist. He has composed feature-length scores for Warner Bros., PBS, Turner Classic Movies, and China’s CCTV. His works have been heard in diverse venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater, and he has collaborated with directors including James Franco (“TAR,” starring Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, and Zach Braff). Most recently, his work has been selected to be performed in upcoming seasons by Grammy Award-winning violinist, Hilary Hahn. A graduate of the Yale School of Music and Lawrence University, Neustadter received early attention when he was selected as the First-Prize Winner of the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition. Most recently, he is a recipient of the prestigious Rappaport Prize for Music Composition.

2013 Sinfonietta by David Conte

Underwritten by Sam Zemsky in Loving Memory of Shirley Zemsky

One of the last students of legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger, David Conte is Chair of the Composition Department and Professor of Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and on the Composition Faculty of the European American Music Alliance in Paris.  He is the composer of over eighty published works, including six operas, a musical, works for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, chamber music, organ, piano, guitar, and harp. Conte co-wrote the film score for the documentary Ballets Russes, shown at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals in 2005, (now available on DVD) and composed the music for the PBS documentary, Orozco: Man of Fire in 2006, shown on the American Masters Series in the fall of 2007. He currently serves on the board of the American Composer’s Forum and as Composer in Residence with Cappella SF, a professional chorus in San Francisco.