BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick has announced a new multi-year partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School, creating the Lionel Newman Conducting Fellowship at the esteemed summer festival. The fellowship will be given annually, with the recipient selected by the Festival. Geoffrey Loff, an assistant conductor at Houston Grand Opera, will be the inaugural Fellow for 2019.
The fellowship was created to honor BMI film and TV composer and conductor Lionel Newman. Newman, brother of Alfred Newman, spent over 45 years at Twentieth Century Fox composing, conducting, and supervising music for over 350 films and television programs including The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Daniel Boone, Doctor Doolittle, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Alien, and Hello Dolly!, for which he won an Academy Award. His song “Again” from the 1948 feature Road House had over one million network performances, earning a special certificate of merit from BMI.
“We are so pleased to honor Lionel Newman by supporting accomplished young conductors, and helping them reach new levels of artistic achievement” said Chadwick, “The Newman family’s long-standing association with BMI is a source of great joy, and we are delighted to recognize that history by establishing this fellowship with the venerated Aspen Music Festival.”
Geoffrey Loff is currently an assistant conductor with the Houston Grand Opera. He made his concert debut at age thirteen and has performed as a soloist for the Chopin Foundation and the International Miami Piano Festival. As a collaborative pianist, he has been a frequent performer for the Mainly Mozart Festival and the Chopin Foundation. He was pianist and music director for Atlanta Opera’s outreach program, young artist and assistant conductor for Opera North, and resident artist for Minnesota Opera. Loff has been staff pianist and assistant conductor with Skylark Opera, Mill City Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera and has been a fellow both in the Conductors Institute of South Carolina and International Conducting Workshop Festival. Loff will return to Houston Grand Opera next season, where he will assume the role of Music Director of HGOco.
Founded in 1949, the Aspen Music Festival and School is regarded as one of the top classical music festivals in the United States, noted both for its concert programming and its musical training of mostly young-adult music students. The typical eight-week summer season includes more than 400 classical music events—including concerts by five orchestras, solo and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming—and brings in 100,000 audience members. In the winter, the AMFS presents a small series of recitals and Metropolitan Opera Live in HD screenings.