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BMI and the BMI Foundation Announce the Winners of the 69th Annual Student Composer Awards

Published: 06.14.2021
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BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), in collaboration with the BMI Foundation (BMIF), is proud to announce six young classical composers, ages 18 to 27, as winners of the 69th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Each year these awards recognize superior musical compositional ability with educational scholarships totaling $20,000. This year’s group of talented composers were showcased across BMI’s and BMIF’s digital platforms in honor of their outstanding accomplishments. To learn more about the winners, listen to their compositions, watch an exclusive performance from 2019’s BMI Student Composer winner Liam Kaplan, read fun facts on the history of the awards and more, visit bmi.com.

The 2021 award winners are:

  • Micangelo Ferrante– age 18, studies with Dr. Jules Pegram, also awarded the Carlos Surinach Prize, honoring the youngest winner of the competition.
  • Elizabeth Gartman– age 24, awarded the William Schuman Prize for most outstanding score, studied with Susan Botti at Manhattan School of Music.
  • Grey Grant– age 27, studies with Paul Schoenfeld at University of Michigan.
  • Lara Poe– age 27, studies with George Benjamin at King’s College in London.
  • Nicholas Denton Protsack– age 26, studies with Michael Norris at New Zealand School of Music.
  • Elliot Roman– age 21, studies with J. Mark Stambaugh at Manhattan School of Music.

Lucy Chen, a 16-year-old private student of Yiming Wu, and Sofia Ouyang, a 19-year-old student of Andrew Norman’s at The Juilliard School, received honorable mentions in this year’s competition.

“It is such a pleasure to honor these deserving and talented young composers, especially after the challenging year that our entire industry has faced,” said Deirdre Chadwick, BMI Executive Director of Classical and BMIF President. “Their creativity is alive and well, and we look forward to not only seeing their future works and achievements but also hopefully celebrating them in person at next year’s celebration.”

Preliminary panelists included Alexandra du Bois, Jeremy Gill, Trevor Weston and David Schober and the final judges were Pulitzer Prize-winner John Adams, Daniel Roumain, Kristin Kuster and Sean Shepherd. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music among many other accolades, serves as the permanent Chair of the competition.

This year, nearly 500 online applications were submitted to the competition from students throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged anonymously. BMI, in collaboration with the BMI Foundation, has awarded over 600 grants to young composers throughout the history of the competition.