Charles Zoll Wins National Rapido! Composition Contest; New Work Set for May 2014 Premiere with ASO

The winner of the third Rapido! Composition Contest has been announced: 21-year-old Charles Zoll, a senior at the University of Arizona, has been awarded first prize in the national contest, which includes a $7,500 commission for an original full orchestral work to be premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in May 2014.

The national finals of the Rapido! contest were judged by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano and Atlanta School of Composers members Jennifer Higdon and Michael Gandolfi.

"This was a wonderful competition that showcased remarkable talent," said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano. "On behalf of the ASO, I would like to congratulate Charles on his winning entry. We look forward to the music he will write in the next year."

In addition to his commission for a new ASO orchestral work, Mr. Zoll will expand his winning chamber piece into a 15-minute work to be premiered in Fall 2013 by five chamber ensembles: the Atlanta Chamber Players, Boston Musica Viva, Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago, Voices of Change of Dallas, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble of San Francisco. He will also participate in a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts in Georgia.

"Winning Rapido! is offering me experiences and exposure I never would have expected," said Mr. Zoll. "I am incredibly excited to begin working to expand my chamber composition, and then write a new piece for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra."

Rapido! Director Paula Peace said, "Kudos to the outstanding judging team of Spano, Gandolfi, and Higdon for their brilliant and bold selection of Charles Zoll. We are all eager to hear more from this young composer."

Rapido! was founded in 2008 by the Atlanta Chamber Players and the Antinori Foundation to promote new works for chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras and encourage underrepresented composers of all levels of experience. The Rapido Composition Contest challenged composers to write a five-minute work in just 14 days. Composers learned the instrumentation and form requirements on the morning of the first day of the contest this past June, and turned in a five-minute piece two weeks later. Fifteen semi-finalists, and then five national finalists - one from each region of the country - were selected from nearly 400 composers who submitted entries.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), currently in its 68th season, is one of America's leading orchestras. It performs great music, presents leading artists, educates and engages music lovers. The ASO serves as the cornerstone for artistic development and music education in the southeast. It performs more than 200 concerts each year for a combined audience of more than a half million in a full schedule of performances. It also reaches more than 67,000 students and underserved members of the community through its education and community outreach programs.

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