Society for New Music


Brian Israel/Sam Pellman Award

The Society for New Music and the New York Federation of Music Clubs sponsor the annual Brian M. Israel/Sam Pellman Competition open to composers living in New York State who are 30 years of age or younger as of May 1, whose music has not previously been performed by the Society. Composers may submit one work for 1-7 performers, in any combination, and may include tape or solo voices, but no choral pieces. Two prizes — one for $1,000 and one for $750 — are awarded. Also, each of the two prize-winning compositions will be performed by the Society for New Music during the following season. Scores and tapes must be submitted anonymously by May 1.

so who's brian israel?

Brian Israel, 1951-1986, a pianist, composer, and conductor who performed with the Society for New Music for many years, received his MFA and DMA degrees from Cornell University. A native of the Bronx, he studied with Lawrence Widdoes, Ulysses Kay, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips and Karel Husa. He joined the Syracuse University School of Music faculty upon completion of his graduate studies, and remained there until his untimely death from leukemia at age 35. He was a popular and much-loved professor. A prolific composer, Brian won several awards and received numerous commissions, among them a commission from the Society for New Music. Several of his works have been recorded on Spectrum, Redwood, and Pro-Viva.

and who's sam pellman?

Sam Pellman, 1953-2017, was an admired teacher, a groundbreaking scholar in the area of electroacoustic music, a composer, a pianist and organist, and a longtime Society for New Music board member and chair of its Israel Prize competition. He received his MFA and DMA degrees from Cornell University, where he studied with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. Sam was on the music faculty of Hamilton College for nearly 40 years, until his tragic death in a car-bicycle accident. Shortly before his death, Sam completed work on Tower of Voices, a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 that was hijacked and crashed in Shanksville, PA, on Sept. 11, 2001.

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