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Masterprize
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American composer, Christopher Theofanidis won the first prize of £25,000 for Masterprize 2003 with his piece, Rainbow Body.

Christopher Theofanidis was born in Dallas, Texas in 1967 and currently lives in New York. His studies have included a DMA and MMA from Yale University, an MM from the Eastman School of Music and a BM from the University of Houston.

He has held the positions of composer-in-residence for the California Symphony and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. He is also on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and the Juilliard School in New York City.

His compositions have won numerous awards, including the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Barlow Prize, a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Columbia-Bearns Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, and six ASCAP Morton Gould Prizes.

Rainbow Body was commissioned by Meet the Composer and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. It is released on Telarc on a CD of the same name, recorded by the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano (CD- 8059).

Since winning Masterprize 2003, Christopher Theofanidis's piece, Rainbow Body, has become the world's most performed piece for symphony orchestra written by a living composer, with over 30 performances scheduled for 2004 and 5. Click here for full details.

Other finalists


Highlights of Masterprize 2003

  • Over 1,000 entries were received from 65 countries.
  • An unprecedented level of support from the musical world (as demonstrated by the partners and level of judges).
  • Mariss Jansons became Artistic Director of Masterprize
  • Over 81,297 music lovers around the globe voted for their preferred piece by post, telephone, text messaging and via the internet.
  • The six finalists heard their works in a performance given by the London Symphony Orchestra at London's Barbican Centre on 30 October 2003 under Daniel Harding. Following the concert they received awards from Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, MP
  • Jurors included Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gidon Kremer, Jon Lord, Emmanuel Pahud, Barry Tuckwell,
  • The Education Programme was expanded country-wide to involve 13 youth orchestras and over 1,000 young musicians performing the Masterprize finalist pieces.


OVERVIEW OF MASTERPRIZE 2003

April 2002

Composers of any age and nationality were invited to submit short works for symphony orchestra of between 6 and 15 minutes long.

December 2002

Close of registration and submission of scores. Over 1,000 scores from 65 countries were received.

January 2003: stage one of judging procedure

A panel of international musicians gathered at the Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire to choose the ten semi-finalist pieces. For this the identities of the composers of the submitted pieces were replaced with entry numbers. Each piece was examined by at least four jury members. All the judging was done on an individual basis with no discussion between members of the jury. All ten pieces were then broadcast a number of times on Classic FM.

May 2003: stage two of judging procedure

A prestigious international panel of 25 jurors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marin Alsop, Jerry Goldsmith and Jon Lord chose the six finalist pieces. Again selection was made on a one person, one vote basis.

September 2003: Stage three of judging procedure

The recordings of the six finalists' pieces were then released as covermount CDs with the October issue of Classic FM Magazine and the November issue of Gramophone - 100,000 copies worldwide.

From mid-September to the end of the gala final concert music-lovers all over the world had the chance to vote for their preferred piece. The public was able to vote by post (the CD covermounts carried voting forms), via the Masterprize website (please see voting form for more details), by phone and text messaging.

30 October 2003: Gala Final

The Masterprize 2003 competition culminated on the evening of 30th October 2003 at London's Barbican Centre. The London Symphony Orchestra performed the six finalists' pieces under Daniel Harding (click through to biog). At the end of the concert the Final Jury (click through to list of jurors) cast their vote. The audience in the hall and members of the LSO also cast their vote for their preferred work. These votes were combined with that of the global public to come to the overall winner. The winner of Masterprize 2003 received £25,000.


THE FINAL OF MASTERPRIZE 2003

The Masterprize 2001 Gala Final was broadcast live from London's Barbican Hall from 7.30pm on Classic FM, NPR stations in the US and Radio Latvia on Thursday 30th October 2003.

The London Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding performed the six exciting finalist pieces in the presence of a celebrity jury and a worldwide audience.

At the end of the concert the winner was chosen by combining the vote of the celebrity jury (40% of the overall vote), that of the London Symphony Orchestra (10% of the overall vote), the worldwide public prior to the Gala Concert (45%) and the audience present in the hall on the night (5%). The winner of Masterprize 2003, Christopher Theofanidis, received a cash prize of £25,000.

Programme for the evening

Thursday 30 October 2003

Conductor: Daniel Harding

Leader: Carmine Lauri

Presenter: Natalie Wheen

The Jury:
Peter Alward
Christoph von Dohnányi
Michael Haefliger
Gidon Kremer
Emmanuel Pahud
Martijn Sanders
Barry Tuckwell

Programme:

Bechara El Khoury (France)
Les Fleuves Engloutis (Eternal Rivers) - in five movements

Arturs Maskats (Latvia)
Tango

Anton Plate (Germany)
You Must Finish Your Journey Alone

Interval (20 minutes)

Christopher Theofanidis (USA)
Rainbow Body

Nicolas Bacri (France)
Symphonie No 6 (Opus 60)

Robert Henderson (USA)
Einstein's Violin

Results and Awards

Awards ceremony introduced by Sir Clement Freud and presented by Katie Derham

The Masterprize was presented by RT Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.


JURIES OF MASTERPRIZE 2003

FIRST STAGE JURY | SECOND STAGE JURY | FINAL JURY

FIRST STAGE JURY

This jury chose the ten works for the Shortlist. The jury members saw only the scores and recordings as marked with entry numbers; the entrants were not otherwise identified. Each work was examined by four members of the first stage jury. Any work which received a commendation from any one member proceeded to be examined by all members of this jury, and were awarded a number of points by each one. The ten works which received the highest aggregate number of points formed the Shortlist. The ten entrants whose works were selected for the Shortlist were notified by 1 March 2003. Masterprize has not announced the names of entrants who were not selected for the Shortlist.

Members of the first stage jury included:

B. Tommy Andersson (Sweden): Conductor

Prof. Mikhail Bialik (Russia): Musicologist and Critic

René Bosc Director of Music, Radio France, Director of New Music and Artistic Director of "Presences" Festival

Andrew Cornall (UK):Senior Executive Producer, Decca

Mischa Damev (Switzerland): conductor

JoAnn Falletta (USA): Music Director Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra

John Fraser (UK): Executive Producer, EMI Classics

Paul Mann (UK): Winner of Donatella Flick competition in 1998 and former Assistant Conductor of the LSO.

Mark Mobley (USA): Senior Producer, National Public Radio

Robert Moir (USA): Artistic Administrator, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Ryusuke Numajiri (Japan): Principal Conductor, Tokyo Philharmonic

Natalie Wheen (UK): Broadcaster


SECOND STAGE JURY

At this stage the selection panel included:

  • the first stage jury
  • Marin Alsop - principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Vladimir Ashkenazy - Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Rainer Bischof - Secretary General, Wiener Symphoniker
  • Clive Gillinson - Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra
  • Jerry Goldsmith - Conductor, Composer
  • James Jolly - Editor, Gramophone Magazine
  • Roger Lewis - Managing Director & Programme Controller, Classic FM
  • Jon Lord - Founder Member and Keyboard player from Deep Purple
  • Trygve Nordwall - Executive Director, Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich
  • Antonio Pappano - Music Director of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Benjamin Roe - Head of Music, NPR
  • Keith Stubbs - CBSO
  • Martyn Westerman - Executive Director, National Symphony of Ireland

This Panel examined the Shortlisted works; again, each member awarded points individually. The six works which received the highest aggregate number of points went forward to the Final.

 


FINAL JURY

The six finalist works were performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, at the Barbican Centre, London on Thursday 30 October 2003, in the presence of a live audience and the Final Jury.

Final Jury for Masterprize 2003:


FINALISTS OF MASTERPRIZE 2003


NICOLAS BACRI

BECHARA EL KHOURY

ROBERT HENDERSON

ARTURS MASKATS

ANTON PLATE

CHRISTOPHER THEOFANIDIS


SEMI-FINALISTS OF MASTERPRIZE 2003


NICOLAS BACRI

JÖRGEN DAFGÅRD

RICHARD DUBUGNON

BECHARA EL KHOURY

ROBERT HENDERSON

ARTURS MASKATS

ANTON PLATE

PHILIPPE SCHOELLER

CHRISTOPHER THEOFANIDIS

MICHAEL TORKE