A newspaper for ECU faculty and staff
Pieces of Eight


Horst Takes Major Prize

Martha Horst, ECU professor of composition, was the co-winner of the 23rd Alea III International Composition Prize. Her work, Threads for string trio, was premiered Oct. 1 at Boston University.


“I wrote Threads for a friend who was to tour the piece in Asia,” Horst explained. “When he won a job with the Chicago Symphony, I was excited for him, but disappointed that I might never have the chance to hear this work.”

Yet all ended well, as the Alea III competition stipulates that submissions cannot have been previously published or performed. “After I reached the finals, I was extremely excited because I knew that I would finally be able to hear Threads. I didn’t anticipate or think about winning the contest at all,” Horst said.

The Alea III International Composition Prize was established at Boston University to promote and encourage the creation of new music by young professional composers of all nationalities. During the preliminary stage, members of the Boston University Music faculty selected works for the finals.

A performance of the finalists’ works, conducted by Theodore Antoniou, was judged by well-known personalities from the Boston music scene, including composers, performers, conductors, musicologists and educators. The winners received a $2,500 prize.

Horst, who is also a professional singer, has been commissioned recently by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Earplay, the Left Coast Ensemble, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Her music has been performed by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and the New England Reed Trio.

During the past 27 seasons, more than 4,500 scores have been submitted for consideration in the Alea III competition, and approximately 160 have been performed. For 2005, 243 scores were submitted from 41 countries.

Horst teaches in the Department of Theory, Composition, and Musicology. She performs regularly with the Grammy-award winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus.


This page originally appeared in the Oct. 14, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/archives.cfm.