For someone who is not a composition major, Lawrence University senior Garth Neustadter keeps drawing attention for his scoring talents.
Neustadter added to a growing list of honors by being named one of 37 national winners of the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.
Established in 1979, the program grants cash prizes to young concert music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition. This year’s competition attracted 730 submissions.
Neustadter submitted a 15-minute composition written for full orchestra and choir based on a Spanish text entitled “Oh llama de amor viva.”
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized with this award,” said Neustadter, a violin and voice performance major from Manitowoc. “In addition to the score, the judges were particularly impressed with the recording, which featured members of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir. That serves as a testament to the high level of music-making going on in the Lawrence community.”
Neustadter and the other winning composers will be recognized at the annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards at The Times Center in New York on May 27.
The award is named in honor of Morton Gould, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who served as president of ASCAP and the ASCAP Foundation from 1986-1994. An eminent and versatile American composer, Gould was a child prodigy whose first composition was published when he was only six years old. To honor Gould’s lifelong commitment to encouraging young creators, the annual ASCAP Foundation Young Composer program was dedicated to his memory following his death in 1996.
This is just the latest triumph for Neustadter. In 2007, he earned first-prize honors (second place behind the grand prize winner) in the Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. In 2008, he was commissioned by TCM to write an original score for a restored version of the 1923 silent film “The White Sister.” He also earned four Downbeat Awards, including two for composition, while in high school.
He is currently writing a score for a documentary on the life of John Muir for Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and 1972 Lawrence graduate Catherine Tatge. The film is scheduled to air on the National Public Television series “American Masters” in April 2011.
“Garth never ceases to amaze us with his stunning array of accomplishments,” said Fred Sturm, Neustadter’s faculty composition mentor and honors project advisor. “The national recognition he’s garnered with the awards he has won as a composer sometimes veils the fact that Garth is an equally talented violinist, saxophonist and singer. And despite all of the accolades he has earned, he remains a respectful, humble and solidly grounded individual. We’re enormously proud of him.”
Neustadter will share in a $45,000 prize fund with the other Gould winners and receive music notation and production software from Sibelius Music, the competition’s sponsor.