Zaimont: Prize Winner!

Camerata Bern, Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi

Judith Lang Zaimont begins the summer music season with a world premiere, and three (!) distinctions for her music.

Conductor Antje Weithaas, Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi

On July 19, the Camerata Bern offers the first performance of Zaimont’s new JoyDance in Spring.  Commissioned by the ensemble for its “Encores” project to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the new work is scored for a string orchestra of 14 players. Antje Weithaas conducts the concert which is part of the City ofGeneva’s annual summer festival.

“Three years ago,” shares Camerata Bern director Louis Dupras, “when we were developing this ‘Encore’ Jubilee-project, one of our musicians had [previously] played a piece by Mrs. Zaimont, and suggested her name. Camerata Bern strives to promote and develop the classical string orchestra’s repertoire. We wanted to have a wide scope of today’s representative composers from different cultural areas. We also wanted to include as many women as possible, and [because] it’s our Jubilee-Season, Mrs. Zaimont’s JoyDance in Spring will remain in our repertoire for the next 50 years.”

“JoyDance in Spring is an exuberant, well-accented dance for string orchestra to welcome Spring. The movement’s main short-long motive, leaping upward, forms a musical gesture of welcome to the time of year when anticipation and a freshening in the air signal renewal also of the spirit. Strong rhythms spring from accented downbeats within a frame of shifting meters and the orchestra is divided into several layers, permitting complex textures to highlight the shifting inflections. Though the music moves away from bold declaration several times, reminding us of the season’s transitional nature, optimism reigns overall.” 

— Judith Lang Zaimont


Speaking of Spring, Zaimont’s music was recently recognized with three distinctions. Her “Solar Traveller”, Concerto for Piano and Wind Orchestra was one of three pieces to be honored with a 2012 American Prize in Composition. Commissioned by a consortium of university wind ensembles, “Solar Traveler” was the only work composed for non-traditional orchestra to receive this year’s award. Zaimont’s Serenade, in its piano trio version, won first prize of the Third Millennium Ensemble’s 2012 Competition. The DC-based new-music group will perform the work during their upcoming fall season. Lastly, the composer’s Wizards: Three Magic Masters (for solo piano) was required repertoire for the 2012 Kapell International Piano Festival, held at the University of Maryland’s Clarise Smith Performing Arts center. Wizards was also recently released on Albany Records (TROY 785), performed by pianist Young-Ah Tak.

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