Zachary Wadsworth, aged 24, of Richmond, Virginia, took the first prize of $3,500. He'll receive a commission to write a song cycle for voice and piano to be published by E.C. Schirmer and to be performed in three major U.S. cities.
Educated at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, Wadsworth has placed first in the Long Leaf Opera One Act Opera Competition, received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and two Morton Gould Young Composers Awards from ASCAP. His works have been performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Wadsworth is currently a doctoral student in music composition at Cornell University.
The second ($1,000) and third ($750) prizes went to Allen McCullough, 29, of Lansdowne, Pensylvania, and Ryan Gee, 29, of Austin, Texas, respectively. Each receives a commission to compose an art song for voice and piano.
Rounding out the list of awardees was Issac Shankler, 28, of Los Angeles, who received the Damien Top Prize ($500), a commission to set a poem by Andr_e Brunin to be premiered at the 2008 Albert Roussel International Festival in France.
The biennial competition was juried this year by composers Susan Botti, William Rhoads, Su Lian Tan, and pianist and conductor Scott Dunn.