Gil Rose, acclaimed musical conductor and founding artistic director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, has won Columbia University's 2007 Ditson Conductor's Award for his exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers. Rose, who also serves as music director of Opera Boston, will receive a citation from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and a check for $5,000 at BMOP's 10th annual Boston Connection Concert, held tomorrow at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, in downtown Boston, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Ditson Conductor's Award, the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to American music, was established in 1945 by the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University. Past recipients include Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Tilson Thomas, and James DePreist. Since 1940, the Ditson Fund has provided grants for public performances, fellowships and published work of talented musicians deemed worthy of assistance.
Rose, who has been hailed as a genius by The Boston Globe for his "wildly entertaining, intellectual rigorous and meaningful" concerts, said he was honored to receive the award. "Looking back over the list of past recipients makes me feel a part of a continuum of conductors who saw the commitment to performing American composers as essential to a healthy and vibrant musical culture," he said.
Fred Lerdahl, the Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia and secretary of the Ditson Fund, will present Rose with the award during tomorrow evening's concert at Jordan Hall. The performance features guest artists Byron Hitchcock (violin), Boston Symphony Orchestra principal Richard Svoboda (bassoon), and other leading musicians from the New England Conservatory, demonstrating a range of musical styles.
More Than a Decade of Contemporary Sound
In 1996, Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, billed as the country's leading orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning and recording music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under Rose's baton, BMOP has earned nine Awards for Adventurous Programming from the American Society of Composers, as well as the John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music.
Since 2003, Rose has served as music director of Opera Boston, an innovative opera company-in-residence at the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre. The same year, he oversaw the launch of Opera Unlimited, a 10-day contemporary festival that followed up in 2006 with the North American premiere of Peter Eötvös's Angels in America, earning critical acclaim.
In 2002, Rose made his debut at Tanglewood, the summer performance home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted the Lukas Foss opera Griffelkin. He has made frequent appearances alongside the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and has served as guest conductor for several revered orchestral groups, including the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic. Last year, Rose received an ASCAP Concert Music Award for his exemplary commitment to new American music, and in 2003 he was named the year's "Best Conductor" by Opera Online.
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