History - Performers - Videos - Composition Contest

Belvedere Festival June 21-24, 2017
sponsored by the Beethoven Club and Luna Nova Music
2017 Composition Contest Winners

Alex Burtzos


1st Prize
Alex Burtzos (Manhattan School of Music)
teach the torches to burn bright - violin, clarinet, piano

Alex Burtzos (b. 1985) is an American composer and conductor living in New York City.  His works, which bristle with "biting contemporary edge" [Berkshire Eagle], have been performed across the United States, Europe, and South America.  Recently, Alex has collaborated with JACK Quartet, loadbang, ETHEL, Chelsea Opera, ensemble mise-en, and many other prestigious ensembles.  Alex is the founder and president of ICEBERG New Music, an NYC composers' collective, and the conductor of ShoutHouse, a New York-based hip-hop/classical fusion orchestra. Alex is committed to pursuing artistic expression unconstrained by boundaries of school or style.  His "riveting" [NY Concert Review] work incorporates elements of the 20th Century avant-garde, rock, metal, and hip-hop alongside or against classical/preclassical structures and sounds, justifying these juxtapositions with a great depth of musical ideas and extra-musical knowledge.  Alex’s music takes as its basis and provides commentary on a diverse array of subject matter, from early colonial history to recent events, from Shakespeare’s tragedies to naughty text messages.   Alex holds a DMA from Manhattan School of Music, where his primary teachers were Reiko Fueting and Mark Stambaugh.  He is a faculty member at Stevens Institute of Technology and Ramopo College of New Jersey. alexburtzosmusic.com

Brendan McMullen

2nd Prize
Brendan McMullen (Rice University)
String Trimmer - alto flute and guitar

Seattle composer and clarinetist Brendan McMullen (b.1994) holds a BM degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where his primary teachers where Anthony Brandt, Karim Al-Zand, Richard Lavenda, and Shih-Hui Chen. Brendan is an alumnus of Roosevelt High School and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.  He studied for three years in the Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop of the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Composer in Residence Samuel Jones. He was a New Music Workshop Fellow at the 2013 Norfolk New Music Workshop with Martin Bresnick. In 2014, Brendan studied with Steven Stucky, George Tsontakis, and Sydney Hodkinson as a Composition Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has attended the HighSCORE Contemporary Music Festival in Pavia, Italy twice, and Music Composition at FUBiS in Berlin with Samuel Adler. Upon graduating Rice, Brendan was awarded the Farb Family Award for Outstanding Achievement. He has presented in master classes with John Adams, Gabrielle Lena Frank, Brett Dean, and John Corigliano. His music has been performed in the United States, Germany, Luxembourg, and Italy. www.brendanmcmullencomposer.com

Jack Frerer

3rd Prize
Jack Frerer (Juilliard School of Music)
Last In, First Out - clarinet trio

Jack Frerer (b. 1995) is an Australian composer of music for concert and film, as well as an instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker based in Manhattan, currently studying composition with Robert Beaser at The Juilliard School with the help of the Adrian Weller Scholarship and the Steuermann Memorial Prize. He will be be spending the last half of his undergraduate studying with John Corigliano. Jack has written pieces and arrangements for a variety of ensembles and performers, and has had works performed around Australia, Europe and the US. In 2016, his trio Last In, First Out was given both first prize and the audience prize in the Alba Rosa Viëtor Composition Competition in Utrecht, and was a winner of the Indiana State UniversityMusic Nowcompetition. In 2014 Jack won the inaugural MattWithersYoung Australian Music Composition Competitionopen to all Australian music majors under 30, became the youngest ever finalist in APRA and Tropfest'sTropscore,and was one of three composers selected to partake in the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic's Emerging Composers Workshop. www.jackfrerer.com

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