David Conte has won the 2016 NATS Art Song Composition Award for his composition of American Death Ballads.
One of the last students of legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger, David Conte (www.davidconte.net) is Chair of the Composition Department and Professor of Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and on the Composition Faculty of the European American Music Alliance in Paris. He is the composer of more than 80 published works, including six operas, a musical, works for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, chamber music, organ, piano, guitar and harp. Conte co-wrote the film score for the documentary Ballets Russes, shown at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals in 2005, (now available on DVD) and composed the music for the PBS documentary, Orozco: Man of Fire in 2006, shown on the American Masters Series in the fall of 2007. He currently serves on the board of the American Composer's Forum and as Composer in Residence with Cappella SF, a professional chorus in San Francisco.
Conte’s American Death Ballads will be presented in Chicago at the 2016 Art Song Composition Award Announcement & Recital on Sunday, July 10, during the 54th NATS National Conference.
The 2016 competition received the most applications in the award’s history, with nearly 90 total submissions.
Second place, honorable mentions and other finalists included:
2nd Place Winner: I’m Afraid it’s You, Scott Gendel (www.scottgendel.com).
Honorable Mention: Twelve Chairs, Jodi Goble (www.jodigoble.com).
- Jared Hedges: Nellie Bly at Blackwell’s Island;
- Philip Wharton: Fools;
- Pol Vanfleteren: Arthur’s Happiness;
- Bernard Hughes: Songs of Lost Love;
- Andrew Fowler: Songs of Travel;
- Gregory Zavracky: Slabs of the Sunburnt West;
- Nathan Jones: Six Qabbani Love Songs; and
- Clint Borzoni: Awake the Dawn.
Distinguished composer Daron Hagen was the finals judge for the 2016 NATS Art Song Composition Award.
The purpose of the NATS Art Song Composition Award (formerly the Vocal Composition Award]) program is to stimulate the creation of quality vocal literature through the cooperation of singer and composer. NATS offers a cash award, plus a performance of the winning composition at the upcoming NATS Conference to the composer of the winning song. Competition is open to any composer whose submitted work meets the prescribed requirements. For more information on the NATS Art Song Composition Award, click here.