Composition News from the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Portrait of Scott Rieker

Scott Rieker Named Semi-Finalist in American Prize for Composition

June 14, 2021

Dr. Scott Rieker’s (DMA, ‘19), Director of Choral Music & Music Education, was named a semi-finalist in the American Prize for Composition, in the Choral Music division for his setting of five poems by former US Poet Laurate, Ted Kooser, entitled “Ted Kooser Suite.”


Portrait of Lindsay Wolfington

Lindsay Wolfington wins at 11th Annual Guild Of Music Supervisors Awards

May 21, 2021

Music Industry faculty member Lindsay Wolfington won the award for Best Music Supervision – Television Movie at the 11th Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards along with Laura Webb and Warren Fischer for her work on “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”.


Veronika Krausas

Detroit Symphony Orchestra to present world premiere by Veronika Krausas

May 7, 2021

On Saturday, May. 8, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of Caryatids by Veronika Krausas. The professor of Composition’s new work won the DSO’s tenth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. The concert also includes the Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto featuring Midori, Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC. The digital […]


Portrait of Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar selected to be Young Concert Artist’s Composer-in-Residence for 2021

May 6, 2021

Thornton alum Nina Shekhar (MM ’20, Composition) has been selected to be the Young Concert Artist’s Composer-in-Residence for 2021. The residency includes a 3-year management contract and a substantial financial package for three commissions. Shekhar is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Princeton University and also serves as a Composer Teaching Artist Fellow for the Los Angeles […]


portrait of Michael Abels

Michael Abels interviewed by Jon Burlingame in Variety

April 12, 2021

USC Thornton Composition alumnus Michael Abels (BM ‘84) was interviewed in Variety about composers of color in the film industry by Thornton faculty member and music writer Jon Burlingame. Abels, one of the co-founders of the Composers Diversity Collective, spoke about the changes he has seen in Hollywood over the past years as race and […]


Annie Gosfield wins American Academy of Arts and Letters Award

April 6, 2021

Annie Gosfield, USC Thornton alum and composer, has been named a winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Music Awards. Gosfield is one of the four composers awarded the Arts and Letters Awards in music. Each honoree will receive $10,000 award as well as an additional $10,000 to record their work. Their original […]


Luca Mendoza and Jon Hatamiya receive 2021 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

March 31, 2021

Luca Mendoza, a student in the Composition program, and trombonist Jon Hatamiya (’16, jazz studies) have been awarded the 2021 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. The award from the ASCAP Foundation and The Herb Alpert Foundation recognizes twenty young jazz musicians each year for their original compositions and arrangements. Each of the winners was […]


New Opera West releases animated opera short

March 17, 2021

New Opera West, a nonprofit opera company co-founded by Vocal Arts doctoral student Emily Thebaut and Composition faculty member Mark Weiser, recently released “Pepito.” The animated dog opera written by Nicolas Lell Benavides, a doctoral student in the Composition program, is currently streaming on Vimeo. The work was animated by Esperanza Guevara, Connor Jacobs, and […]


Michael Tilson Thomas and Los Angeles Philharmonic win at 2021 GRAMMY Awards

March 14, 2021

The 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards, held virtually on Sunday, March 14, brought wins for faculty and alumni at USC Thornton. Celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alum and Judge Widney Professor at USC, won for Best Orchestral Performance for the San Francisco Symphony’s “Copland: Symphony No. 3.” And the many alumni and faculty who […]


Morten Lauridsen in black and white

Morten Lauridsen named to Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center advisory board

March 10, 2021

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Composition and Thornton alumnus Morten Lauridsen has been named as one of the Honorary Advisory Board Members of the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center and will serve as a core member of the Honorary Board of Directors. Lauridsen is one of four prominent figures named to the new Board. […]


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