Gardner Composition Competition

2012 Gardner Competition Winners

The following composers have been named finalists of the 2012 Gardner Composition Competition. Excerpts or complete scores of their entries have been included in some cases. Please notify the composer of any of these works if you choose to program their music for any performance.

2012 Laureates

Michael Djupstrom, Grand Prize Winner

The work of composer and pianist Michael Djupstrom has been recognized through honors and awards from institutions such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Composers Forum, the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, the Académie musicale de Villecroze, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, the ASCAP Foundation, and the BMI Foundation, among others.  Notable performers of his works include the American Composers Orchestra, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Symphony in C, and numerous new music ensembles such as Brave New Works, Sounds New, the North/South Consonance Ensemble, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and the New Fromm Players at Tanglewood.

Djupstrom was born in St. Paul, Minnesota (USA) in 1980 and began music studies at the age of eight.  He studied composition formally at the University of Michigan, from which he received undergraduate and graduate degrees, and at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was awarded an Artist Diploma in 2011.  Other training included fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center, as well as studies in Paris with composer Betsy Jolas.  He currently lives in Philadelphia, where he teaches piano at Settlement Music School.

For more information, visit


Katerina Kramarchuk, Finalist

Katerina Kramarchuk’s (b. 1988) works have been performed around the globe at important venues such as Bargemusic, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Le Fontainebleau Château, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Independence Seaport Museum. In the past few years, she has been commissioned by Philadelphia Inquirer, The Rock School for Dance Education, Chamber Music Northwest Festival, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and “One Book One Philadelphia” among others. Kramarchuk was the composition fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival, was a Young Composer-in-Residence at the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and was a scholarship recipient from the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France. A native of Kishinev, Moldova, Kramarchuk holds a B.M. in Composition from Manhattan School of Music, an Artist Diploma in Composition from the Curtis Institute of Music where she was the recipient of the Charles Miller “Alfredo Casella Award for Composition”. She has studied with Richard Danielpour and David Ludwig, and will continue her studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Christopher Rouse in the fall of 2012.

For more information, visit


Massimo Lauricella, Finalist

After years of concert activity as a pianist, he studied composition with his father Sergio Lauricella.

As composer, he quickly gained international attention. His first composition, “Impressions of an American sparrow” for two pianos, won the “Valentino Bucchi prize of Rome in 1986 and two years later he won the “Forum” prize of Cologne with “Tremiti“, a work for string quartet. This piece, played by the Arditti Quartet and recorded by the German radio-tv station WDR, was subsequently also awarded the prize of the Kennedy Foundation of Washington.

In the following years his works received much more recognition and began to be diffused throughout the world by internationally renowned soloists, ensembles and conductors.

In 1992 Witold Lutoslawski, chairman of the International Contest of Warsaw, awarded his symphonic work “Spectra” that, also performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, was a great success according to both the public and critics.

After two more prestigious international prizes (Jewish Culture Center of Los Angeles in 1994 – Tulane University of New Orleans in 1995), the “B. Barattelli Society” of l’Aquila, on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary, appointed him to compose “Imis“, a piece for seven instruments, which, among many other interpretations, was also played by the Ensemble Pierrot Lunaire at the Vienna Musikverein.

For the ‘Giovine Orchestra Genovese’ (GOG) he composed two works, the first in 1996 for the centennial of Eugenio Montale’s birth, is “E piove in petto una dolcezza inquieta” for soprano and quintet with texts of the Ligurian poet and, in 1999, “Fiabe, miti e magie” for percussion instruments and piano.

In 1997, in occasion of a commission by the Verdi Theatre of Pisa for a work dedicated to Arnold Schönberg, he presents himself to the public in the twofold role of composer/conductor: he performed the first execution at all of his work “Eco di un tempo perduto”, in a concert that, being recorded by the RAI (the Italian National Network) and performed at the presence of Nuria Schönberg herself, obtained great public and critic success.

Since then, his intense composer activity has taken him towards the specialization in a repertory dealing with the music from ‘900 till nowadays, conducting and recording, as well as his own and great Nineteenth Century maestros’ works, even the ones belonging to contemporary authors, also carrying out first performances at all and collaborating with soloists, ensembles and orchestras such as the E.Co. Ensemble, the Icarus Ensamble, the Choros Ensamble, the soprano Susanna Rigacci, the Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of the San Marino Republic, the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, the Janua Coeli Globus, the “Carlo Felice” Theatre Orchestra of Genova, the flutist Andrea Griminelli, the Bayerisches Kammerorchester and Jacques Loussier with his Trio.

In 2002 he is appointed to conduct the Carlo Felice Theatre Orchestra of Genoa in occasion a concert dedicated to the music of  Hans Werner Henze, who commented upon the performance writing that he had been “…very impressioned with the vigour, the energy and the elegance…” of his interpretation.

That same year the prize of the Japan International League of Artists of Tokyo – which he won for his setting to music of texts by the poet Montale – aroused the interest of the Genoa Opera Theatre which established to perform his symphonic work “E fu sera, e fu mattina” dedicated to the Genesis. Among the listeners was Riccardo Chailly, who arranged it other five performances in Milan, in 1998, during the season of the Verdi Orchestra. The same work, in 2001, won the international award of composition “Ciutat de Palma ”, in Mallorca.

Among the numerous performances and activities of the following years we can mention the piece “Come un’aurora” for string orchestra, commissioned by the Music School of Fiesole on request of Luciano Berio, in occasion of the inauguration, the 21st April 2002, of the Auditorium of the Parco della Musica in Rome, and the appointment to “resident composer” at the EinKlang Festival of Wien for the year 2003.

In 2004 the Spanish “ACA Foundation” has published a monographic CD of his works and, the same year, the Harvard University gave him the “Fromm Award” commissioning also the new work for string orchestra “In memory of Carlo Walter Loeb”.

In 2006, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the University of Michigan and the Oberlin Conservatory of music, jointly commissioned him a new work (“Le immagini nascoste”) for large ensemble that, first performed in october 2008 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, will be again played by the other two institutions in 2009.

In 2007, he was named “Knight of the Order of Sant’Agata” by the Republic of San Marino for his work as a conductor.

Again with the San Marino Republic Chamber Orchestra, he conducts in September 2009 at the Venice Biennale presenting also his transcription of the Debussy “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune”, and, in occasion of 2010 edition, the “N. Paganini” international violin competition commissioned him the composition of the compulsory piece for the competition itself.

From 1986, he is regular professor of Composition at the “N. Paganini” Conservatory in Genoa.

To learn more about Massimo Lauricella, please visit his website at


Nicholas Pavkovic, Finalist

Nicholas Pavkovic recently received his M.M. in Composition from The San Francisco Conservatory, where he was a student of Elinor Armer. His 2011 work, Angelus Novus, received the school’s Highsmith award for orchestral composition. Pavkovic has also studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and film scoring at UCLA. He has provided music for more than two dozen short and feature films and was a 2008 Fellow in the Sundance Composers Lab. His 2008 Concertino for Piano and Percussion was the first prize winner in the Percussive Arts Society competition. Pavkovic’s academic interests include Hollywood emigré composers and Weimar musical culture.

His music can be heard at

The 2011 Rhapsody for Viola and Piano is dedicated to violist Jonathan Vinocour and pianist Robin Sutherland, both of whom are principals in the San Francisco Symphony. Vinocour will perform the work with pianist Russell Miller on Saturday, June 2 at 11:00 am at the 40th International Viola Congress in Rochester, New York.


Dan Visconti, Finalist

Dan Visconti (b. 1982) composes concert music infused with the directness of expression and maverick spirit of the American vernacular. His compositions often explore the rough timbres, propulsive rhythms, and improvisational energy characteristic of jazz, bluegrass, and rock—elements that tend to collide in unexpected ways with Visconti’s experience as a classically-trained violinist, resulting in a growing body of music one reviewer describes as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.”*

Upcoming concert seasons feature several premieres of Visconti’s compositions, including a work commissioned by the Jupiter Quartet for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s international string quartet series at Alice Tully Hall; an extended work for cellist Joshua Roman and pianist Helen Huang commissioned by Town Hall Seattle; and a consortium commission for the Gryphon, Deseret, and Triple Helix piano trios awarded by the 2010 International Barlow Prize. Other recent commissions have come from the Kronos Quartet, the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Antares, the Bakken Trio, the Corigliano Quartet, the Janaki String Trio, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Visconti’s music continues to receive performances by some of the top interpreters of contemporary music, including eighth blackbird, Brave New Works, Vox Novus, the Sybarite5 and Washington DC’s Contemporary Music Forum; in recent seasons the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony, and the South Carolina Philharmonic have also given his orchestral works repeated hearings.

His compositions have been honored with the Berlin Prize, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the performing arts, and the Cleveland Arts Prize; awards from BMI and ASCAP, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of Composers, and the National Association of Composers USA; and grants from the Naumburg Foundation, the American Music Center, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bascom Little Fund, and Chamber Music America. He has also been the recipient of artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, the Lucas Artists Program at Villa Montalvo, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Currently, Visconti is engaged in a multi-year residency with opera companies including Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, New York City Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera as recipient of the Douglas Moore Fellowship in American Opera.

Visconti studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music, primarily with Margaret Brouwer, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, and Zhou Long. He is a member of BMI and currently resides in Washington, DC.

To learn more about Dan Visconti, please visit