Contemporary classical ensemble Musiqa has received the Chamber Music Association/American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (CMA/ASCAP) Award for Adventurous Programming of contemporary music for 2013. The award, one of the most prestigious music awards in the nation, is given to just eight recipients annually.
Musiqa is being honored for its wide-ranging commissioning, performance, and educational activities in the past year. The jury cited as examples "Free of the Ground," part of Musiqa's Downtown Series, which included a world premiere ballet in collaboration with the Houston Ballet Academy; and a concert in its Loft Series, held in conjunction with Contemporary Art Museum of Houston's survey of the career of visual artist Donald Moffett, which included politically charged works such as Frederic Rzewski's "No More War." The jury also highlighted Musiqa's audience-engagement activities include talks by the composers, question-and-answer sessions, and a variety of new-music concerts for children.
"We are proud to receive this very prestigious honor," said Anthony Brandt, Musiqa's artistic board director. "It is very gratifying that our approach to programming, which involves introducing new works to new audiences and providing unique educational opportunities for students, has resulted in this significant award. We are thrilled and humbled to receive this recognition and grateful to the Houston community for supporting and encouraging our work."
Established jointly by Chamber Music America and ASCAP, the annual awards recognize U.S.-based professional ensembles and presenters for distinctive programming of music composed within the past 25 years. The recipients, chosen by an independent panel of judges, were evaluated on the basis of their programming and innovations in attracting audiences to performances of new music. See a list of recipients here.
"Today's composers are writing exciting and beautiful music for small ensembles," said Chamber Music America's CEO, Margaret M. Lioi. "Innovative presenters and artists in the chamber music community are introducing this music to audiences around the country, and this year we are pleased to recognize eight ensembles and presenters whose accomplishments in this area are particularly inspiring."
The CMA/ASCAP awards will be presented at the 35th Chamber Music America National Conference, January 20, 2013, at the Westin New York at Times Square.
Musiqa (www.musiqahouston.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Founded in 2002 and led by five composers, Musiqa aims to enrich and inspire the community through programs that integrate contemporary music with other modern art forms. Musiqa celebrates modern creative arts through interdisciplinary concerts that highlight modern music and its connections to literature, film, dance, art, and more. With its innovative collaborations and educational programming, Musiqa strives to make modern repertoire accessible and vital to audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds.