The Spectrum Chamber Music Composition Award

The 2024 Award Winner

Piano Trio No. 1: In Search of Peace
Michael Salvatore Grebla

Spectrum is excited to announce the winner of The 2024 Spectrum Chamber Music Composition Award. This year we asked specifically for piano trio compositions (although traditionally written for violin, cello and piano, we allowed compositions with any two instruments plus piano). As with our previous two years of the competition, we received submissions from all over the world.

And the winner is…Piano Trio No. 1: In Search of Peace by Michael Salvatore Grebla. Grebla hails from Western Australia and is currently based in New York City.

Of his winning composition, he writes, “It brought me joy and hope, each day, sitting in my little East Harlem apartment creating this piece of music for friends back home despite the rapid, ever-changing realities and circumstances of the time.” He continues, “I strive for authenticity in what I write, where the music speaks for itself, and this often means the music reflects the state of mind of the composer. I think in this case, you’ll hear a composer’s search for the good.”
Recognized with grants and awards from various arts organizations, Grebla’s work has been performed internationally at festivals and by ensembles including the Arditti String Quartet, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, among others. He holds a Master of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory and undergraduate degrees from the University of Western Australia in music and mechanical engineering.

This year’s jury—comprised of two TCU faculty composers, Martin Blessinger and Till Meyn, and two Spectrum musicians, Cara Owens and Michael Bukhman—was unanimous in its decision to award Grebla first prize; honorable mention in the competition has been awarded to Paul Richards for his work Piano Trio: Hairpin Turn.

Previous Winners

     Yoni Fogelman—A Selection of Pets
     Richard Percival—The Art Deco Suite

 A Selection of Pets by Yoni Fogelman, a Los Angeles-based composer studying at UCLA.

Of his winning composition, Fogelman writes, “I am an avid admirer of the woodwind family, and I knew before composing a single note of this wind quintet that the music had to feature each of the instruments soloistically. . . . each instrument is paired up with an animal that shares a similar sounding name. For example, the first movement features the horn, which I have cast to evoke a heron. He continues, “This wordplay was a great opportunity to have fun with the music while emphasizing the vast emotional capabilities of this ensemble, thanks in part to the wonderful distinctiveness of each instrument.

20-year-old Fogelman has studied piano and voice for the past six years, working with many expert choir directors, composers, arrangers, musicians, and choreographers in the Los Angeles area. His music is gaining attention and is performed widely as he continues to win awards, commissions, and fellowships. Fogelman studies composition at UCLA with composer Richard Danielpour.

The jury was unanimous in its decision to award Fogelman first prize, praising his composition’s idiomatic writing for the wind instruments, with much for the performers as well as the audience to enjoy.

Honorable Mention in the competition has been awarded to Australian composer Richard Percival for his work The Art Deco Suite, a delightful collection of popular pieces masterfully composed for wind quintet.

The Jury for the Spectrum Chamber Music Composition Award is comprised of two TCU faculty composers, Martin Blessinger and Till Meyn, and two musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Ivan Petruzziello, and Cara Owens.

The winning composition by Fogelman will be performed by a wind quintet comprised of FWSO musicians on Spectrum’s spring concert at All Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist (formerly First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church), Monday, April 17th at 7:30 pm, along with the music of John Williams and more.

     Kian Ravaei—Family Photos
     Jeremy Beck—String Quartet no. 6
     Paul Frucht—Rhapsody