Harrington wins Composers Competition 2010
On December 28th 2010, during the PAN Festival in Amsterdam, the winner of the Calefax Composers Competition was announced. An audience of 500 people witnessed the premiere of the winning composition: “Ranae” by Jeffrey Harrington. We were happy to be able to establish an internet connection with Harrington, so that he could be part of the realisation of the first prize: the premiere of his piece. The addition to the first prize, a professional recording of the piece, will be realized early 2011.
The jury, consisting of the members of Calefax and chairman Arnoud Noordegraaf (Calefax’ composer in residence for this season) also rewarded two compositions with an honorable mention. These are: “(part of) everything” by Dutch composer Ivo van Emmerik, and “Phenomena III” by Japanese composer Takahiro Sakuma. Congratulations!
Calefax is grateful for having received no less than 34 entries from 17 (!) countries for the competition. We hope to continue the competition next year. Please find below the jury report as read out during the PAN festival.
“My name is Arnoud Noordegraaf, I am the chairman of the jury of the annual Calefax Composers Competition. Together with the members of Calefax, I’ve been very pleased with the entries for the 2010 competition. This is the third year of the competition, and both the quantity and the quality are still rising. The international appeal of Calefax, and of the format reed quintet in general, seems to be underlined by the fact that we received compositions from no less than 17 different countries.
This year Calefax has promoted the competition with the question: “Who writes the best 'short story' for Reed Quintet?” The jury has noticed that some composers have taken this question quite literary, and made very narrative music. This also resulted in imaginative titles such as ‘Baby Giraffe’, ‘My friend’s broken car’ and a composition called ‘Anecdote about global crisis, married couple, 2 dwarfs and a swan’. Of course we have, above all, been judging the music as such. The invention, structure and the instrumentation of the compositions.
After intense discussions and rehearsals, we have come up with one winner and two honorable mentions. These three so-to-speak ‘finalists’ come from three countries: Japan, the United States and the Netherlands. I would like to name the honorable mentions first. That is, from Japan, a composition with a very attractive structure, fresh ideas, well instrumented. This is the composition by Takahiro Sakuma. The other honorable mention is for a piece of high poetic quality. This is a composer that used, within the limited time of the music, a surprising variety of instrumental combinations. I am talking about, and I think he is in the audience, Dutch composer Ivo van Emmerik.
The winner of the 2010 Calefax Composers Competition made very clear choices for his piece. It shows that a short story doesn’t need an immense amount of ingredients. The composition shows a nice balance between repetitive motives and both harmonic and dynamic changes. A certain obsessiveness paired with suspense in the higher instruments. The winner of the 2010 Calefax Composers Competition is Jeffrey Harrington.”