Melodia has announced the winner of our fourth Women Composer Commission Competition. In a recent review of the competition submissions, a panel of three musicians were struck by the range and high quality of the 52 applications from women composers scattered across the globe. Anglo-Armenian composer Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian rose to the top of the pool, offering a unique compositional voice and a rapidly increasing list of residencies, commissions, and awards. Cevanne was awarded a commissioned by Melodia to create an 8 – 12 minute piece, which we will premiere in November 2018. The commission fee of $2,000 is supported by a grant from the Sorel Organization.
Most recently, Cevanne received a prestigious British Composer Award in the contemporary jazz category for her work Muted Lines, which was premiered in January 2017 at the Emulsion Festival of new music and improvisation, MAC (Midlands Arts Center), Birmingham, U.K.
Cevanne’s most recent projects include two composer-in-residence projects in London. Of particular interest to the panel was Cevanne’s residency at the Handel & Hendrix Museum in London, a historic site comprising two adjacent homes in London that were previously occupied by Frederick Handel and Jimmy Hendrix – two musicians’ homes separated by a wall and 200 years!
Cevanne is currently developing ideas for her project with Melodia, stating “I like to explore how ensembles reflect society and community, and I think the women’s voice choir could provide a metaphor for the strength of the individual and the collective.” She is currently exploring texts and themes which may focus on traditional musics and historical figures.
Cevanne is the ninth composer to receive a commission from Melodia. Two of the previously commissioned composers, Christina Whitten Thomas and Sally Lamb McCune will also be featured during the 2018 season. Whitten Thomas’s commissioned work Mornings with You, a setting of poems by New York poet and author Pam McAllister, will be featured in our April 28 & 29 concerts, The Harmony of Morning. The composer, who lives in Los Angeles, CA, will attend the performance on April 28.
Our most recent commissioned composer, Hillary Purrington, has received several honors since composing her work Cassandra for Melodia, premiered in 2016. Most recently, Purrington won the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission from American Composers Orchestra.
Melodia’s commissioning program was introduced in 2005 as a way to support emerging women composers and expand the repertoire for women’s choirs. Details of all Melodia’s commissioned composers can be found here.