September 8, 2020

CIM Composition Students and Alumni Have Earned Awards, Recognition

Nate Heyder
Nathaniel Heyder was honored as an emerging composer at the 2020 Tribeca Music Festival. (Photo by Robert Muller)

Students and alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s composition program have been busy picking up awards from top organizations and competitions around the country since the beginning of the year.

Julián Fueyo (BM ’20, Fitch) – one of eight young classical composers named a winner of the 68th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards in May – also received one of the 2020 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, which encourage talented young creators of concert music ranging in age from 12 to 30. Works by Fueyo and 19 others were selected as winners among 400 composition submissions.

Both awards are among the most prestigious prizes awarded to young composers, and past recipients have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes in music, earn significant commissions and add major works to the repertoire.

CIM students and alumni swept the top three places at the 2020 Cleveland Composers Guild Collegiate Composition Contest, with Maxwell Lowery (BM ’20, Fitch/Irvine) winning first prize for his “Moonlight Seascape,” a composition for flute, viola and harp; Arseny Gusev (Fitch/Babayan) placed second for his solo piano work, “Three Toccatas;” and Daniel DiMarino (Fitch/O. Kaler) finishing third for his composition, “Sketches.”

Lowery also placed second in the 2020 American Viola Society Maurice Gardner Composition Competition.

Other CIM composition students and alumni who have won important awards and competitions this year:

  • Nathaniel Heyder (Fitch): Emerging Composer Honor, 2020 Division 2 Young Composer Competition, Tribeca New Music Festival (NY)
  • Chris Neiner (MM ’20, Fitch): finalist, 2020 ASCAP-Morton Gould Young Composers Awards
  • Sami Seif (Fitch/Teissonnière): second prize, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate Composition Contest; winner, 19-23 age group of the Warren County (PA) Summer Music School 2020 Promising Young Composers Competition; second prize, 17-21 age group of the Webster University CMS Young Composers Competition; finalist, 2019 Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Call for Scores

“Our current group of composers at CIM is one of the most honored in recent years, and I am so proud of their many achievements,” said Keith Fitch, head of CIM’s composition department and the Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition. “Not only do we have multiple prizewinners among them, but many of them are also receiving important performances by leading musicians both here and abroad. For me, the most special part of their success is that no two of them are alike – even at their relatively young age, each one of them is unique in his approach and voice. It's a very special time to be a composer at CIM.”