1st prize: Christoph Cech (A)
2nd prize: Florin Gorgos (RO)
3rd prizes: Gabriel Evens (USA), Adam Jones (USA), Dmytro Malyi (UKR)
Christoph Cech, Austrian composer and professor for jazz arrangement and composition at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz wins the international composition competition "Spheres of a Genius - Honoring Leonard Bernstein“.
Almost 100 applicants from numerous nations on different countries and continents applied. The extremely high quality of many submissions meant an intensive work and decision-making process for the jury members Marin Alsop, Christoph Becher, Bill Dobbins and Marcus Ratka. We congratulate you all the more on this outstanding success!
A jazz composition competition by JAM MUSIC LAB University (JMLU) in cooperation with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). The prize-winning work will be premiered on October 8th, 2021 in the Grand Hall of the Konzerthaus Vienna under the direction of chief conductor Marin Alsop. The concert will be recorded by ORF and broadcasted on the Ö1 program.
RSO and JMLU are continuing their first collaboration from 2017/18. The composition competition "Spheres of a Genius" was based on the 100th birthday of the jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.
This time "Spheres of a Genius" pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein.
As an artist, Bernstein built bridges in Vienna, and in great cities everywhere. His intelligence, charm, wit, and unimpeachable musical instincts brought people together – musicians and music lovers alike. He mediated between different musical worlds - borrowing freely from contemporary styles like jazz, blues and popular music - then shaped a “classical” sound that became his signature.
Because of his Jewish background, Bernstein held ambivalent views towards Vienna. He forged positive experiences with artists and orchestras, ever mindful of the city’s history with National Socialism.
The task of the composition competition relates to the role of Leonard Bernstein as a composer. The winning piece shall succeed in transferring the impulses given by Bernstein towards composed music beyond stylistic barriers into a demanding musical language of the 21st century and shall especially consider the ways in which Bernstein discussed jazz in the concert hall and included jazz elements in his own works.
As an artist, Bernstein built bridges in Vienna, and in great cities everywhere. His intelligence, charm, wit, and unimpeachable musical instincts brought people together – musicians and music lovers alike. He mediated between different musical worlds and shaped a “classical” sound that became his signature.
The composition competition relates to the role of Leonard Bernstein as a composer.
Competitors should aim to create music that reflects the spirit of Leonard Bernstein, his innovation, originality and expressiveness. Special consideration should be given Bernstein’s views on reaching across stylistic borders, expanding the language through the use of jazz elements.
The call directs composers to create work that is original, and not quoting from Bernstein. The winning composition must bare evidence of inspiration, rather than imitation."