Composition Winners 2008
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Third Movement, Presto
Above, Erika Mitsue, violin, Thomas Reeves, piano.
performing the Sonata for Violin and Piano, third movement, Presto
"The sonata is in three movements in the traditional fast-slow-fast form. The first movement is light-hearted and in a moderate tempo. It makes use of large octave leaps in the violin and minor second clusters. The movement reaches a climax combining all of the ideas before ending in a quiet piano passage.
The second movement is slow and solemn. It contains two ideas. The first idea is an expressive passage in the low and middle registers of the violin. The second idea is a simple bass line. These ideas alternate throughout until the movement ends with a series of chords. However, the final chord is unexpected, leading directly without pause to the final movement.
The final movement, which you will be hearing, is a fast-paced, brisk scherzo. The violin starts with the main theme, which the piano then repeats. The violin and piano interact with each other playfully, often borrowing material from the previous movements. After a sudden pause, the slower trio section starts. During the trio, the piano plays an improvisational melody over an ostinato bass while the violin interjects with muted single notes. The music gradually accelerates until the first section is repeated with slight changes. The piece ends with an exciting coda using ideas from the second movement and suddenly changes key at the end."
Thomas Reeves (13) started piano at the age of 5, studying initially with Yuko Sekiya in Tokyo, then with Elizabeth Wolff and most recently with Ernest Barretta in New York. He started composing at the age of 7 by completing an unfinished melody by one of his favorite composers, Shostakovich. He studied composition first with Dr. Vivian Fung, then Dr. Manuel Sosa and most recently with Dr. Ira Taxin at the Juilliard School, where Thomas attends the pre-college division. Thomas has composed over 40 works for piano, chamber ensembles and orchestra.
His String Quartet No. 1 was premiered in a recital at Steinway Hall in New York in May, 2004, and was given its second public performance on National Public Radio in April, 2005, on the program “From The Top.” His Clarinet Quintet was performed in March 2007 by the Biava Quartet with Derek Bermel at a concert of the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music. Also in March, 2007, Thomas performed his Piano Concerto No 1 with the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In March 2008, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra performed Hexapodia, a six-movement work for orchestra, children’s choir, and violin choir, which they had commissioned from Thomas. Julien Benichou conducted the premiere as well as the concert tour performances with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Peabody Children’s Chorus and the Peabody Violin Choir.
Thomas was awarded an ASCAP Morton Gould Prize in 2005 for his Sakura Variations for piano and in 2007 for his Woodwind Trio. He won the NYSSMA composition prize in 2007 for his Elegy for solo viola . He won the Thousand Islands Chopin Society Composition Prize for his Sakura Variations. in 2006 and in 2007 for his Chorale Fantasy for piano. He was also received an honorable mention and prize from the Davidson Foundation in 2007 for his Piano Concerto no. 1. In 2008, his works have so far been awarded prizes by the Chicago Institute of Music, Ethos New Music, Pikes Peak Young Composers, Inc. and by ASCAP.
Thomas is currently an eighth grade pupil at The Dalton School in New York, where he lives with his mother, father and 9-year old brother. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, solving mathematical puzzles, reading, soccer, swimming and nature walks. Thomas is also a keen mathematician, receiving the highest student score in his grade in the Mathematics League in New York State in 2006. Compositions by Thomas are already up to Opus 42.
Special Merit Awards
Sonata for Violin and Piano
hear the first movement
"My violin sonata begins with descending broken chords in the piano followed by the main theme in the violin. After the introduction of the lyrical main them, the slow walking tempo of the beginning suddenly becomes a fast paced virtuosio, and the violin enters with an abrupt sub-theme. After the development, the recapitulation of the main theme comes in only this time it is in g minor rather than c minor. The violin enters with a cadenza upon the D 7 chord of the g minor recapitulation and finally the main theme returns in c minor summing up the first movement. The second movement is in a very slow, belated sort of style, ending in a triumphant climax. The third movement is something like a rondo except it has echoes and elements from the previous movements. The third movement begins in a truly neoclassical, happy Haydnesque spirit, and ends in a different era altogether! The ending is reminiscent of the first movement, dreamy, dramatic, romantic, bringing the piece full-circle."
Mahlon started piano at age 7, became a student of Oxana Yablonskaya, Juilliard piano faculty and recitalist, at age 14. Also began composition studies with Eleanor Cory at Mannes Pre-college. He has been improvising since he began piano. His grandfather and his two great uncles played French horn with Arturo Toscanini in the NBC Symphony, his mother has two degrees in violin performance from Juilliard, and his father, a physician, played horn in the New Haven Symphony during college. Mahlon has a great interest in history, literature, cinema, and political satire.
He was already won a number of awards: in 2007, ASCAP Young Composers Awards finalist; First Place Connecticut division; First Place Eastern Region and National Finalist, Nationalist Federation of Music Clubs Composition Competition; Winner, Connecticut International Young Artists Competition; Schubert Club of Fairfield County Young Artists Competition; and First Prize, Westhill High School Talent Show. In 2008 he has won First Place, Connecticut Division, National Federation of Music Clubs.
Mahlon attends Westhill High School 125, Stamford, CT, where he is in the 11th grade. He has a number of compositions, some of which may be heard at his web-site: http://www.last.fm/music/Mahlon+Berv/?autostart=1
Quintet for Violin, Oboe, Marimba, French Horn and Cello
hear the Quintet
"The Quintet was inspired by present global conflicts and tensions. Each instrument individually battles for dominance, struggling to become the leader. The thick heterophonic texture throughout the piece highlights this internal friction, as the instruments literally "chase" each other to the finish. Although there are instances where unification is attained, these moments are fleeting, and the instruments again return to conflict. However, the five cacophonic voices ultimately fuse, resulting in a dynamic and powerful resolution."
Danielle was born in 1991 in Boston, and began playing piano when she was three years old. She performs as a soloist and as part of a duet team with her twin sister, Arielle. The twins performed at Weill Recital Hall, NY, in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
She began her first formal lessons in composition when she was eleven and is a student of Alla Elana Cohen at the New England Conservatory of Music. Danielle has composed over 30 chamber works and five symphonies. She has received 23 national and international awards for her compositions. She was a finalist (2nd Prize) and winner of the Audience Favorite Prize in the 2008 Karen Sokolof Javitch Emerging Composer Competition (for Shirei Hal’Prachim, a song cycle) and the 2006 First Prize Winner of the national Original Jewish Music Competition (for Deborah’s Song: A Symphonic Poem). Her String Quartet No. 2 won a 2005 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and she has been a consecutive 5-time finalist in this international competition (2004-2008). This work was also selected for inclusion on a CD of Best Compositions 2001-2003 of the Pike’s Peak Young Composer Competition, where Danielle has been a prize winner for the past five years. Her compositions have been performed by the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony, at the 2003-8 Festivals for Contemporary Music, Brown Hall, Boston, MA, the 100th Birthday celebration of Jordan Hall, the 10th Annual Bridgewater State New Music Festival, the Pikes Peak Winners Concert in Colorado Springs and the Javitch Award Concert, Omaha, NE. Danielle has been a member of ASCAP since 2004.
Danielle is a 10th grade honors student at the Buckingham, Brown and Nichols School, Cambridge, MA. The creative process for Danielle transcends music; she is also a visual artist, with an exciting portfolio of photography and collage works. A gold-medallist figure skater, Danielle is a member of the three time World Champion Theater on Ice Team, Act One of Boston.
Woodwind Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and French Horn
hear the Quintet
"My Woodwind Quintet consists of a single atonal movement, containing both whimsical and somber elements. The first part is upbeat and playful, but later transforms into a heavy and gloomy state. In the final moments there is a fury of emotions as loud bass notes mark the closing. All the instruments play together for most of the piece in a wave-like motion, making use of atonal structures."
Arielle is a 16-year old composer and pianist. Arielle has studied composition with Alla Elana Cohen at the New England Conservatory of Music since she was 10 years of age. She has composed over 30 classical works, including chamber music, solo piano pieces, collaborative pieces for music and poetry and 3 symphonies. She has received 17 national and international awards for her compositions. A five-time finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Competition, Arielle was awarded Honorable Mention for her Sonata in G Major for Violin, Vibraphone and Bassoon. She is the First Prize winner of the international 2008 Karen Sokolof Javitch Emerging Composer Competition, First Prize winner of the 2006 National Jewish Music Competition, a 4-time finalist at the MTNA Young Composers Competition, and a 4-time finalist (Honorable Mention) at the Pikes Peak Young Composers Competitions. Her compositions have been presented at the Karen Sokolof Javitch Winners Concert, Omaha, NE, the Festivals for Contemporary Music, Brown Hall, Boston, and the 100th Anniversary of Jordan Hall Concerts, Boston. Her first symphony, Hannah’s Song, was performed by the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony. She performs as a solo pianist and as a duet team with her twin sister, Danielle, with whom she has performed at Weil Recital Hall, New York, in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Arielle has been a member of ASCAP since 2004.
Arielle is a 10th grade honors student at the Buckingham, Brown and Nichols School in Cambridge, MA. She is also a gold medallist figure skater, a member of the three-time World Champion Ice Theater Team, Act One of Boston, and a member of her high school choral group and cross-country varsity team. She loves reading historical novels, singing, learning foreign languages and international travel.
Sincere appreciation to Ernie Jackson, Mark Farley, and all the others who helped.