2011 ISCM-IAMIC Young Composer Award – Chiu-Yu Chou

The winner of the ISCM-IAMIC Young Composer Award 2011 is Chiu-Yu Chou (b. 1981, Taiwan) for her String Quartet nr. 1., performed by the ‘Song String Quartet’ on the 13th of April. The award is inaugurated by the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) is presented to a selected composer under 35 whose work is featured in the annual ISCM World New Music Days Festival, which this year took place from 10 to 15 April in Zagreb, Croatia. The announcement and prize presentation took place during a concert on the 15th of April. The award consists of a special commission of € 2000 from ISCM and IAMIC (the International Association of Music Information Centres) to write a new work for the Belgian Spectra Ensemble to be premiered at the next ISCM World Music Days Festival in 2012 in Belgium. The judges commented: “this work evokes different moods, and showed a strong mastership in string playing techniques”. The Award was judged by a distinguished panel of international delegates appointed by the ISCM. The panel consisted of Joshua Chan (Hong Kong), Joan Cerveró (Spain), Alper Maral (Turkey), Frank J. Oteri (USA), and Peter Swinnen (Belgium). This year’s festival included 20 eligible works, and the judges were present at each of the performances. They also had access to scores and recordings of the works for further study. The prize winning work will be promoted through both the networks of the ISCM and IAMIC.

Chiu-Yu Chou (Taiwan, 1981) began with piano lessons at the age of four. She then studied composition from the second year in senior high school with professor Tzy-Sheng Lee and studied for her BA and MA in composition from the Taipei National University of Arts (TNUA) between 1999 and 2006 under the direction of professors Deh-Ho Lai and Tsung-Hsien Yang. After undertaking the doctoral program at TNUA for two years, she is now a PhD student at the University of Manchester, where she is supervised by professor Philip Grange. Her studies are supported by an Overseas Research Student Fellowship from the UK and a Study Abroad Scholarship from Taiwan. Her music has been performed at many events, including Vaganza, Showcase Days, Asian Contemporary Music Festival, Dartington Summer Music Festival, and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra New Music Series.
“My String Quartet No. 1 was commissioned by the Asian Young Musicians’ Connection and was first performed by Canadian Borealis String Quartet on the 15th of May 2010 in Taiwan. In this work various strategies are explored with regard to combining the four instruments. These range from treating the ensemble as one instrument and gradually moving to complete satisfaction in movement I, through the use of two duos in movement II, to the single viola line acting as a continuous thread against the cello expressive melody in movement III.”

Information on the program: www.mbz.hr/eng/download