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January 19, 2017

Students Earn Top Prizes at Annual Composer Contest


CIM front entrance rob muller

Compositions inspired by a love of gemstones and a beloved pet garnered top place wins for CIM composition students. Sophomore Julián Fueyo and senior Qingye Wu won first and second prize, respectively, in the Cleveland Composers Guild Fourth Annual Collegiate Composition Contest held last month.  The composition students, both of whom study with department head Keith Fitch, will receive a cash prize and Fueyo’s piece will be performed at the award ceremony in March.

Fueyo’s winning piece, “Zafiro” for violin and piano, is the first piece he composed as a CIM student and holds a special significance in Fueyo’s development as a composer. “’Zafiro’ is a work that was born out of my love for gemstones,” Fueyo explains. “Possessing a small collection of obsidian and jade stones, I was deeply intrigued by the well-known sapphire stone, ‘Star of India.’ This unique type of sapphire is famous for the tiny fibers of rutile in a three-fold pattern that reflects incoming light into a star pattern. This effect, called asterism, served as the basic premise to the construction of this piece.”

Fueyo felt very thankful after he found out he had won. “I am particularly thankful to Dr. Keith Fitch whose teachings have been tremendously transformative and to Pablo Griggio (violin) and Maria Paola Parrini (piano), dear friends to whom the piece is dedicated and by whom it was premiered,” he says.

Wu’s piece, “Chouchou’s Suite,” is a solo bassoon piece with five movements. “I wrote it for my friend and colleague Vincent Disantis in 2015. The suite is inspired by my lovely cat ChouChou’s life,” Wu explains. When Wu heard she had won second place, she felt excited and honored. “It was very encouraging and I was happy that my piece was appreciated,” she says.

Last year at the third annual competition, then-CIM student Shawn Head and now sophomore Joseph Tolonen won second and third place, respectively. “I am so proud that CIM students have won four of the last six collegiate composer awards offered by the Cleveland Composers Guild,” says Fitch. “I am so grateful to the Composers Guild for supporting the work that these young composers are doing, and it is wonderful to see their hard work rewarded by the greater community of Cleveland composers.”

Bravo to our composition students!