Ravinia Gives Young Composers Second Shot


Composers Addison Frei (left), Zachary Rich and Steven Feifke

(Photo: Courtesy Ravinia Steans Music Institute)

In this pandemic era, getting a second shot has been a very good thing. That sentiment also applies to Ravinia’s Bridges Composition Competition.

The three winners of the 2020 Bridges competition received the David Baker Prize, named after the famed jazz composer and educator, as well as $2,500. But they needed a second chance to premiere their award-winning works after last year’s event was canceled. On June 4, at 7 p.m. CST, composers Steven Feifke, Addison Frei and Zachary Rich will debut pieces written for string quartet and jazz rhythm section at Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall in Highland Park, Illinois. The event will be live-streamed for an online-only audience.

Feifke, whose winning piece is titled “The Promised Land,” is a pianist, composer and bandleader. He is a two-time semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and a rising star on New York’s big band scene.

Frei, who will premiere “Comment On War,” is a pianist, composer and producer. A Juilliard School alumnus, Frei has won the Parmigiani Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition.

Rich, presenting “Insomnolence,” is a composer, trombonist and educator in Northern Colorado. He was the winner of the 2021 Herb Alpert Young Composer Award, the 2020 Bill Conti Big Band Composition Award.

In addition, 2019 Bridges competition winner Michael Orenstein will perform his piece “Staircase.” The competition was juried by pianist Billy Childs, bassist Rufus Reid and saxophonist Steve Wilson. The Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, running since 1905. DB

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July 2021
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