Carrillo awarded prestigious Copland House Residency Award


Karolina Marczewski | Staff Phot

UIUC professor Carlos Carillos teaching the Music Theory and Practice II class at Smith Memorial Hall on Jan. 26, 2015.

By Imogen Lindsley

“The applicants were at the very highest level — astonishing, really — and the variety of stylistic and technical approaches was impressive,” said Christopher Theofanidis, a 2014 Copland House resident and member of this year’s jury.

The award began in Nov. 1998, as a legacy to composer Aaron Copland’s extensive support for fellow composers and his dedication to American classical music.“All of our residents are extremely talented in their field, and the award is highly regarded,” said Ian Murdoch, operations and artistic associate at Copland House.

Copland taught students at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood program, Harvard University and New School for Social Research in New York; wrote more than 60 articles and essays and five books on music; and actively supported young composers by organizing Copland-Sessions concerts to showcase youth talent with his colleague, composer Roger Sessions.

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Upon Copland’s death on Dec. 2, 1990, those who knew Copland sought to honor his legacy by transforming his 1940s, prairie-style house, located in three secluded acres, into an artistic space for composers to write.

On arrival at the house, Carrillo plans to start composing immediately.

“To do anything, you need the time to just sit down and work and this type of residency offers that,” Carrillo said.

Residents are fully catered to, with all expenses paid for housekeeping, transportation and other needs; with no distractions, composers can focus on their creative work.

For 30 years Copland resided in the home at Rock Hill, New York, coining it, “my hideaway, my solitude.”

“You are working in his space,” said Carrillo, who recalled working in Copland’s studio in 1998, using the same grand piano and table that Copland had used to compose.

This is not the first time that Carrillo’s lyrical genius in classical contemporary music has been acknowledged.

Carrillo has received numerous commissions and awards, such as the Joseph H. Bearns Prize in Music, Broadcast Music Inc. award and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award. Both his works and teaching have had international impact.

Copland’s musical accomplishments are his source of inspiration, Carrillo said.

“(Copland) is truly one of the great composers in the United States. He is one of the great composers of classical music on this continent,” Carrillo said. “It is an honor to have this award in his name and to be working in the space that he actually worked and in his house.”

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