Tuesday, April 28, 2009

University of Albany Professor Don Byron Wins Fellowship Awarded By The American Academy In Rome

Musician and University at Albany professor Don Byron has won a Rome Prize, which will grant him a stay in the Italian capital to work on a composition.

Byron was one of 29 artists, writers, musicians and scholars who won the 2009-10 fellowship awarded by the American Academy in Rome. He was one of only two composers to win the award.

Byron plans to use his 11-month stay at the center, on the highest hill in Rome, to work on a chamber opera based on the novel and film "Gentleman's Agreement."

In 2007, Byron was named a Guggenheim Fellow. His project proposal for that was to write a chamber opera with singers, accompanied by an augmented version of the Bang On A Can All-Stars, a group Byron has worked with as a composer and producer.

Byron is a clarinetist and tenor saxophonist. His 2004 album "Ivey-Divey" was nominated for a Grammy award and was voted Jazz Times album of the year.

He also has worked with local choreographer Ellen Sinopoli and was a featured performer at the Bang On A Can summer festival at MassMoCA in 2007.

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