AGO Student Commissioning Project

The AGO Student Commissioning Project is the AGO’s most recent new music venture. Each year, grants of $1,000 are awarded to four collaborative composer-and-organist pairs for the composition and performance of four new works for the organ. In the fall, as the academic year begins, a student pair submits a joint application describing a proposed work and its performance. There are no restrictions with regard to  work’s compositional style, however, all composers and organists must be enrolled as full- or part-time students at an accredited U.S. college, university, or conservatory. After the new work is approved by the AGO Committee on New Music, the organist must premiere the work and present two additional performances.

Award: Four grants of $1,000 will be awarded each year to four composer and organist pairs by the AGO Committee on New Music.

These four composer/organist pairs were selected in the fall of 2019 for the 2019-2020 student projects:
Charles Berofsky and Bradley Vogel at the Eastman School of Music, J. Alexander  Bennett and Amber Dahlberg at Brigham Young University, Matthew Hazzard and Jim Roman at The University of Houston, and Seo Yoon Kim and Wendy Johnston at the Peabody Institute.

2018-19 Student Composer/Organist Pairs

Mark Vaughn (composer) and Christoph Hintermüller (organist) – The content of this piece is almost entirely comprised of works written by famous composers for the organ. When composing in this way, it becomes clear that there are multiple frameworks for perceiving music.

Listen to Firma Foundation.

Mark Vaughn

Christopher Hintermüller Organist

Jasmine Thomasian (composer) and Zhen Piao (organist) – The performance of Translucent Threads requires a laptop, two speakers (one monitor), two condenser microphones, and a mixer. The cluster glissandi require a different technique from standard performance practice in this piece written for organ and electronics.

Listen to Translucent Threads

Jasmine Thomasian

Zhen Piao

Gu Wei (composer) and Mi Zhou (organist). When the Mountains Sing is based on a folk song from Sichuan China. The piece seeks to convey the  feeling of longing and hope that is present in the original song.

Listen to When the Mountains Sing

Gu Wei

Mi Zhou

Carle Wirshba (composer) and Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie (organist) – Interrupted Introduction & Listen to Interrupted Introduction and Passacaglia in C#

Carle Wirshba

Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie

Past Student Commissioning Projects

2017-18 John Lempke and Karen Taylor
2017-18 Joshua Malavé and Josh Ring
2016-17 Alex Umfleet – Carina Sturdy
2016-17 Jonathan Cziner – Colin MacKnight
2015-16 Hon Ki Cheung – Alexander Meszler
2014-15 George Katehis – Alexander Meszler

Committee on New Music
Louise Mundinger, MM, Director  Email
David J. Hurd, Jr., MusD  Email
Carol Feather Martin, MM Email
Alexander Meszler, MM  Email

Eileen Hunt, AAGO, DMA, ex officio (Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music)  Email

AGO Headquarters Email