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           The judges have announced the winners of the 2014 Brian M. Israel Prize for the Society for New Music and the New York Federation of Music Clubs. The winner of the Society’s $750 Israel prize is John Liberatore for his work “She rose, and let me in," a set of variations for piano. The Auburn native was one of the Society for New Music’s “Rising Stars” during his first year at Syracuse University as a piano major studying with Steve Heyman. Liberatore was one of the 18 winners for the ASCAP 2014 national young composer awards.

         John Liberatore's music has been performed at venues around the world, including the International Viola Congress, the Hindemith Centre, American Cultural Institute of Peru, Four Seasons Centre of Toronto, and Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. A new dramatic work, commissioned by the American Opera Initiative of the Washington National Opera, will premiere next November at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Other recent and upcoming engagements include performances with Dinosaur Annex, Third Coast Percussion, the Cleveland Contemporary Players, and the Finnish chamber ensemble Trio Ramifications.

         On a grant from the Presser Foundation, Liberatore spent the summer of 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, studying with Jo Kondo, an experience which made an indelible impression on his music. Other recognitions include a fellowship from the Tanglewood Music Center in 2011, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and invitations from the I-Park Artist's Enclave, the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, the MusicX Festival, and the Bowdoin Music Festival. He holds degrees from Eastman (MM, PhD) and Syracuse University (BMus). He currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford but makes his home in Olean in the Southern Tier of New York State.

          The New York Federation of Music Clubs Israel Prize was awarded to Michael Boyman for “Anger Management – Therapy for Piano Duo, 2013”.  Thecomposer and violistis also the recipient of the 2014 BMI Foundation William Schuman Award, tying with a previous NY Fed.  of Music Clubs Israel winner from Buffalo, Chris Rogerson.  An alumnus of the New York Youth Symphony, Mike served as principal violist of the orchestra from 2010 to 2012 and was a member of Making Score, the organization's composition program. He recently received his Master's Degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied privately with Richard Danielpour and served as a Fellow in the Center for Music Entrepreneurship.  Mike is also a graduate of New York University, where he studied political science and music composition, studying privately with Justin Dello Joio.

          Honorable Mentions were awarded to: Ross Scott Griffey, b. 1990, for his "All suddenly the wind comes soft," 2014 for piano, and JunYi Chow’s “A Night without Voices" for flute, clarinet, violin, 'cello, piano, and percussion. Houston native Ross Scott Griffey was an Honorable Mention in the Israel Prize last year and is a doctoral student at Juilliard, having graduated with honors from Rice. Mr. Griffey has won several other prizes, including first prize in the 2012 Voices of Change/Dallas Symphony Orchestra Texas Young Composers Project.

          JunYi Chow, b. 1987, is a native of Malaysia who now lives in Fresh Meadows, NY.  He began piano and theory at age 5, and in 2005 entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.  After graduation in 2011, Chow began a master’s degree program in the U.S. at Indiana University, completing it in May 2013 as a student of P.Q. Phan. Chow’s music has been performed in many places including Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, the United States, and Canada.

        There were 25 scores submitted this year from throughout New York State: Olean, New York City, Fresh Meadows, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, Ithaca, Kenmore, Fort Drum, and Manlius. 

         The judges were conductor/trombonist Heather Buchman, on the Hamilton College faculty, pianist Sar Shalom Strong, also on the Hamilton College faculty, and Zhou Tian, composer on the Colgate University faculty. Sam Pellman, Professor of Music & Director of the Studio for Digital Music on the Hamilton College faculty, administers the Israel Prize. Pellman & Brian Israel were classmates together at Cornell while earning their doctorates.