Centre Professor Receives Prestigious Commission
RELEASED: Nov. 21, 2000
DANVILLE, KY - Laurence Bitensky, assistant professor of music at Centre College, is one of ten musicians in the nation recently honored by the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University with a $10,000 commission.
The Fromm Foundation is a respected sponsor of musical compositions, music concerts and concert series, among them the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. The mission of the foundation is to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary music closer to the public. One of last year's Fromm commission recipients, Melinda Wagner, received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Bitensky also has received, for the fourth consecutive year, an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The ASCAP awards program encourages writers of serious music, with selection based on the scope of the person's original compositions and recent performances.
In addition, Bitensky was commissioned by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association in 1999. The resulting work, "Mishb'rey yam," brought him recognition from the Music Teachers National Association as the "1999 Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year." The piece was performed at the MTNA convention in Minneapolis in April 2000.
An accomplished pianist and composer, Bitensky has written music for a wide range of instruments and musical settings. His works have been performed by chamber ensembles, orchestras and wind ensembles across the country, and his choral work, "Learning of Light," was premiered at the 1999 installation of Centre President John Roush.
Another recent work by Bitensky was performed at the "ppIANISSIMO Festival" in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A member of the Centre faculty since 1998, Bitensky has also taught at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Syracuse University and Broome Community College.
He holds a bachelor's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music,
a master's from Ithaca College, and a doctorate from Cornell University.
- end -
Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger