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Music professor wins international composition prize

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LAWRENCE — Forrest Pierce, associate professor of music composition at the University of Kansas, was recently announced as winner of the $12,000 Barlow Prize given by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.

Pierce rose to the top of 266 international applications to clinch the top spot, receiving the opportunity to compose a major new work for a cappella choir. Pierce’s new composition will premiere in 2014 by a consortium of three choirs: the BBC Singers (London), Latvian Radio Choir (Latvia), and Volti (San Francisco).

Pierce has composed more than 50 works for voices, including more than 25 works for chorus over the past 10 years. His choral music has also earned him first prize in the Boston Choral Ensemble and Boston Chamber Singers international competitions.

Pierce’s works have been performed in sacred and concert settings around the world, on noteworthy concert series and by diverse ensembles such as Brave New Works, the Chamber Players of the Society of New Music/International Society for Contemporary Music, the Boston Modern Orchestra Concert chamber series, DuoSolo, the chamber orchestras of Portland and Kansas City, the Indianapolis and Walla Walla symphonies, the Concord Ensemble, the Seattle New Music Ensemble, the Oregon and Northwest Repertory Singers, the Boston Choral Ensemble, the Dublin and Canadian international organ competitions, Songfest, and by numerous distinguished soloists in North America and abroad.

Pierce is the past resident composer of the Seattle New Music Ensemble and the founding artistic director of Portland's Friends of Rain Contemporary Ensemble.

Pierce was educated at the University of Puget Sound, the University of Minnesota and Indiana University.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-9742 or visit online.

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