ROBERT HELPS PRIZE, $10,000
About Jonathan Howard Katz
About Jonathan Howard Katz
Winner of the 2007 Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions and semi-finalist in the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Jonathan Howard Katz has performed in concert halls across the country. He was presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in their "Evenings with Schoenberg" series at the Goethe-Institut Boston in 2006 and gave the Bloomington, Indiana, premiere of the original version of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 44, in 2001. He has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, in Boston's Jordan Hall, and on the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania series. Since relocating to the Chicago area in the fall of 2006, he has given performances on the Arts at Large series (with the Fifth House Ensemble), on the Selfhelp Home's recital series, at PianoForte Chicago, and at Northwestern, DePaul, and North Park Universities.
Recipient of the Amelia A. Hoff Memorial Award at Northwestern University, Mr. Katz is a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree at NU's Bienen School of Music. His research will involve the collection and documentation of solo piano works by composers born since 1970 and promises to be a major contribution towards scholarship of contemporary music. A composer himself, his music has been performed at various festivals and other venues. Recent works include the song cycles Chalices from My Hands (2008) and Talking of Michelangelo (2009), and the first six of a projected twelve Trichord Preludes for piano.
Mr. Katz's musical versatility dates from his childhood, when he studied piano and clarinet concurrently, adding composition and conducting (and gradually phasing out the clarinet) as a teenager. This broad range of experience has informed both his interpretive choices and his selection of repertoire. In addition to solo and concerto work, Mr. Katz deeply enjoys collaborative music-making and has performed extensively in chamber and duo environments. As an educator, he has taught not only piano, but music theory and aural skills, and he currently serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern.
Mr. Katz's principal teacher at Northwestern has been Ursula Oppens. He received his Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, where he studied with Gabriel Chodos, and his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, with Edward Auer. Additionally, he has worked closely with Jerome Lowenthal, Bruce Brubaker, Emile Naoumoff, Elizabeth Buccheri, and others. Among the distinguished musicians for whom he has had the privilege of performing in master classes are pianists Richard Goode, Herbert Stessin, Victor Rosenbaum, and Leonard Hokanson, violinists Miriam Fried, Paul Biss and Mauricio Fuks, cellist Gary Hoffman, and conductor Lorin Maazel.
Guidelines for 2010 Competition:
Instrumentation: Voice (tenor) and Piano (with optional additional instrument)
Duration: 10-20 minutes.
Limitations: No prepared piano, however playing inside the piano is acceptable.
Prize: $10,000 will be awarded to the composer of the winning composition
The winning composition will be performed in
2010 Robert Helps Festival. The winner of the Robert Helps Prize shall arrange to be present at the performance.
Originality: The work must be an original unpublished composition. The copyrights of the text need to be secured
Deadline: Scores and application materials must be received on or before October 1, 2009. Results will be announced
on November 1, 2009.
Age restriction: Only applicants who will not have reached the age of 36 by February 14, 2010, will be considered.
How to apply: All materials must be anonymous and marked only with a pseudonym of the composer’s choice.
Materials that have not had all identifiable markings removed will not be accepted. The composer’s pseudonym
and the title of the composition must be marked on each score and recording.
1) Three copies of full score
2) Recordings will be
accepted, but are not required (send either
3) A copy of birth certificate or passport indicating that the applicant shall not have reached the age of 36 by February 14, 2010
4) Application fee of $50 U.S. (money order/bank check payable to “USF”)
5) The application form (print legibly)
Mail materials to this address:
Robert Helps Prize
Attn.: Scott Kluksdahl
College of Visual & Performing Arts
One of the three
submitted copies will be retained and placed in the Robert Helps Archives of
2010 Robert Helps Festival
Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010
Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010
Monday, Feb. 15, 2010
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010
The fifth annual Robert Helps Composition Competition and Festival will take place in February 2010, celebrating not only the life and legacy of the late pianist-composer, but also the contributions of leading composers, historians, theorists and musical thinkers on the American musical scene.
In addition to incorporating resident artists and scholars from the University of South Florida and the region, the festival has featured guests including Vivian Perlis, David Del Tredici, Augusta Read Thomas, Wes York, Richard Wernick, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, ensembles including the Florida Orchestra, Richard Zielinski Singers, Chai Found Music Workshop, and Helps Prize recipients Cheryl Frances Hoad, Kyong-Mee Choi and Jerry Hui.
The festival emphasizes Robert Helps’ passion for educating emerging generations of musicians, and focuses on interaction between students and master figures in modern American music performance and thought.
The Fourth International Competition and Festival for Emerging Composers Age 35 and Under
In commemoration of the distinguished legacy of the eminent pianist and composer Robert Helps, the University of South Florida is pleased to announce the fourth international composition competition and festival for composers age 18-35.
Robert Helps (1928-2001) belonged to the small coterie of American new music pianists who emerged in the late forties and early fifties. He was also a highly original composer, whose work might be characterized as the missing link between the Columbia-Princeton atonal school and the “New Romanticism” movement that made tonality fashionable for composers in the 20th century’s final decades. As a much sought-after teacher, Helps embodied the legacy of his teacher Abby Whiteside, whose theories of musculature and physical rhythm stood apart from the mainstream of piano teaching in her day. Likewise, the influence of Roger Sessions on Helps’ career was early and lasting, and Helps was arguably the world’s leading exponent of his mentor’s piano music. From 1980 until his death from cancer at 73 in November 2001, Helps lived, taught, and made music in Tampa, where he was Professor of Music at the University of South Florida.*
* *Jed Distler, Piano & Keyboard, Sept./Oct. 1996
Mission of the Robert Helps Prize:
The Robert Helps Composition Competition and Festival are designed to encourage the development and enhance the career opportunities of emerging young composers, honoring the oeuvre and aesthetic of the late Robert Helps, while providing an annual archival commemoration in celebration of the pianism and pedagogy of Helps, the master teacher, as well as offering the University of South Florida as a significant and valuable resource for composers and lovers of the music of our time.
The University of South Florida School of Music provides an appropriate forum for an international composition competition and festival commemorating and honoring the distinguished legacy of the late pianist-composer Robert Helps, one of the revered figures in American music and a beloved USF faculty member. Entering its sixth decade, the University of South Florida School of Music continues to be a beacon for leading composers, performers of new music, resident composers, theorists and artist-faculty, and listeners – all of whom participate in evolving, cutting-edge modernism. By establishing the Robert Helps Competition and Festival, the University of South Florida offers a valuable resource and provocative catalyst for thoughtful exchange in new music.
This university’s historic commitment to modern works has generated literally thousands of performances, commissions and premieres at the USF campus and throughout the Tampa metropolitan area by resident artist-faculty and composers, guest artists and students. This institution’s track record of presenting the most challenging European and American literature spanning all genre through the 20th century to the present is well known, and also extends to repertories of the diverse geographies of Cuba, the Caribbean, Latin America, Korea, China, post-1980 Soviet, modern Baltic, and beyond.
Composers, theorists, musicologists and performers have come to depend on this research institution’s innovative and creative work not only in performance, but also in theoretical research that focuses on modern thought and emerging shifts of approach in music. The University of South Florida is home to one of the most complete electronic studios in the country (SYCOM), and has recently been designated as the permanent home to the New York Bartok Archive and to the Robert Helps Archive in the USF Library Special Collections.
Scott Kluksdahl, chair
ROBERT HELPS COMPOSITION COMPETITION
2009 COMPETITION JURY
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
College of Visual & Performing Arts
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, FAH 110
Tampa, FL 33620-7350
For more information about supporting the Robert Helps Composition Competition visit http://helpsprize.arts.usf.edu