The 2019-2020 American Prize in Composition – Instrumental Chamber Music Division, was announced on June 9. The laureate is young Polish composer Jakub Polaczyk for OJIBBEWAY—American Images in Memory of George Castlin (2019). Scored for flute, accordion, and piano, the work was written for a trio of Italian performers, Andrea Biagini, Cesare Chiacciaretta, and Fausto Bongelli. The composer was inspired by paintings by George Catlin (1796-1872), who specialized in portraits of Native Americans.
According to Polaczyk, “I wanted to connect with the paintings of Catlin by using repetition, inspiration of pow-wow dances, rhythms, and circular motives, transformed into my musical language.” Commissioned by the Kraków International Composers’ Festival, the work was premiered at the Florianka Hall of Kraków Music Academy last year.
Jakub Polaczyk resides in New York City where he is currently teaching at the New York Conservatory of Music and serves as Music Director of the Chopin and Friends Festival since 2018.
View the award-winning score here: www.babelscores.com/catalogs/instrumental/3987-ojibbeway
Winners of The American Prize receive cash prizes, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on recorded performances. In addition to monetary rewards and written evaluations from judges, winners are profiled on www.theamericanprize.org and theamericanprize.blogspot.com, where links will lead to video and audio excerpts of artist performances. The 2020-21 deadline for applications to The American Prize contests is Monday, July 20, 2020. Details on the website.