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IN THE NEWS – MSCM’s J. Anthony Allen receives 7th ASCAPLUS Award

Faculty member J. Anthony Allen, who teaches acoustic and electronic Composition at the McNally Smith College of Music, recently, received his seventh consecutive ASCAPLUS award made by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in New York. The annual ASCAPLUS Awards are awarded by an independent panel of ASCAP’s Concert Music Division. The panel included Judith Chapman (noted choral conductor and arranger); H. Robert Reynolds (Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan); and Steve Smith, music editor of Time Out NY and classical music critic for The New York Times.

Throughout his career, Allen has worked with many forms of interactive media including audio, video, installation, and dance. His works have been called “a study in ominous sound and motion” (Baltimore Sun), “an aural hallucinogen” (Minnesota Public Radio), and “a well-executed, beautiful and engaging use of technology” (Cogapp: The Art and Science Blog). Allen’s artistic interests lie not only in exploring new sounds and methods of music, but the sociological aspects of performance art as well. He performs extensively both as a guitarist and on wearable sensor controllers that he built and designed himself, and his compositions have been played throughout the U.S. and Europe.
As for his exploration of performance art, one needs only to look at his work with fire dancers, turntablists, outdoor performances, homemade and non-traditional instruments, and collaborations with everyone from bio-medical engineers to skateboarders! In more traditional settings, Allen¹s work has been performed by the Peabody and Aspen orchestras and in 2006 by the Minnesota Orchestra as part of their acclaimed Composer Institute program.
Allen also has been presented at a host of global electronic music events, including: The International Computer Music Conference; Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS); The Society of Composers (SCI) national student conference; Electronic Music Midwest festivals; Spark Festivals of Electronic Music and Art (Minneapolis); Music at the Anthology (MATA) festival (New York City); The Buffalo Festival; and The Aspen Music Festival, for which he received the Susan and Ford Schumann Award in 2004 and 2005.

His other distinguished awards include the Prix D’Ete award (first prize, Peabody Conservatory), and the Macht Orchestral Prize and P. Bruce Blair Award (Peabody Conservatory). He was a regional winner of the SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Prize, recipient of two Peabody Institute Career Development Grants, an Arts Quarter Collective Grant (University of Minnesota), Meet the Composer Creative Connections grant, many ASCAP Standard Awards, and several grants from the American Composers Forum. In 2008 he was awarded the first ever Distinguished Young Alumni award from his alma mater, Grand Valley State University.

Allen has also published frequently. His most recent paper publications have appeared in Organized Sound (Cambridge University Press), The Living Music Journal, Proceedings of the Third Annual Spark Festival, and ComposersOnline.Org.  Allen has studied with prominent teachers in the United States while at the Peabody Conservatory and University of  Minnesota.  Additionally, Allen studied electro-acoustic music at the Centre de Création of Music Iannis Xenakis (CCMIX) in Paris,
France.

His acclaimed performance at the Guitar Foundation of America National Conference, plus his numerous solo concerts and recitals, as well as professional studio work, continues to build his international reputation.  He has performed on electronic devices on several occasions including performances with members of the Zeitgeist Contemporary Music Ensemble, in New York City at the MATA festival, Miami, FL., Minneapolis, MN., and recurring performances with the improvisation group Ballet Méchanique.  His music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France, and Italy.

Since 2003, he also has helped shape electronic music culture, providing leadership and direction as the primary Producer for the international Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts.  In 2004 Allen co-founded the ³Salon3136² Concert Series which hosts concerts and other events with the intention of dismantling the exclusivity of concert music. Beside a full slate of teaching appointments (see his website for a full list) among his many performance duties, he also has  taught classical, jazz, folk, and rock guitar at academies and institutions throughout the Midwest. Allen¹s recorded music is available on the Innova, SEAMUS, and Panacea3 labels.

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