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A Memorial University of Newfoundland professor is receiving one of her industry’s highest honours next week at a gala ceremony in New York City.
Dr. Kati Agòcs (pronounced: kuh-tee ah-goch) is a 2007 recipient of an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) Leonard Bernstein Composer Fellowship – a highly-coveted prize for musicians.
She will formally accept her prize on Dec. 12 at a ceremony at the legendary Lincoln Center.
Dr. Agòcs first came to Memorial in September 2006 on an eight-month appointment before accepting a tenure-track position in May 2007.
Garnering the fellowship allowed her to spend time this past summer at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts, an annual summer academy offering intense training for professional musicians.
The fellowships are awarded by a jury of composers based on submitted music, and the potential that the jury perceives.
Dr. Agòcs submitted several pieces that she composed including Immutable Dreams, a quintet which she performed at the centre.
“Tanglewood was an extremely important experience for me because of the tradition involved for composers,” she noted. “It is a rite of passage. “Many of the pre-eminent American composers of the past 50 years have been in residence there, and many from Europe as well. I got the chance to work with John Harbison, and to have performances of my chamber music on a high level.”
Dr. Agòcs has spent this fall sharing her experiences from the academy with her students. She said she’s “energized” by the young Memorial musicians.
“It’s fulfilling to see them realizing their potential,” she said. “I look forward to going to work and to seeing my students. I’m not certain that every musician who works in an academic setting feels this way.”
This month’s award is just one in a long list of accomplishments for Dr. Agòcs, a native of Windsor, Ont., who has been making waves on the international music scene for several years.
She came to Memorial after spending a year in Budapest where she was a postdoctoral Fulbright Fellow.
She holds both a doctor of musical arts and a master’s degree from New York City’s The Juilliard School.
She is also an alumna of the Aspen Music School, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (one of the United World Colleges), and Sarah Lawrence College, all of which she attended on full scholarship.
Her work has been commissioned by organizations such as CBC Radio, Canada Council for the Arts, the Albany Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra and The Juilliard School.
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