Congratulations to Steven Snowden, winner of our 2017 Call for Scores! Steven's quartet, Appalachian Polaroids, is a striking single-movement work that draws inspiration from folk songs and fiddling of Appalachia and incorporates a 1976 field recording of Sheila Kay Adams singing Black is the Color in Asheville, NC. To learn more about Steven, you can read a brief bio below.

We would also like to recognize two Finalists:

  • Tyler Capp - "Paramnesia"
  • Robert A. Baker - "motion/less"

We were completely blown away by the enthusiastic response to our second call for scores, and we received 223 individual works for string quartet! While the U.S. was represented by the vast majority of submissions, other participants hailed from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Iran, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine and the U.K.

Steven Snowden's Appalachian Polaroids will receive:

  • two performances of the work in the spring of 2018:

March 31
Western Piedmont Symphony Chamber Classics
Hickory, NC

April 8
Hendersonville Chamber Music
Hendersonville, NC

  • a professionally produced live recording of the performance
  • a $500 honorarium
Photo by Elisa Ferrari

Photo by Elisa Ferrari

About the winner:

The music of Steven Snowden has been described as “Beguiling… combining force with clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “Wonderfully dynamic” (Interlude Hong Kong), “Rustic, red-blooded” (New Music Box), “Marvelously evocative”, (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and “The most wildly intriguing sight and sound I have experienced at a concert” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). Writing music for dance, theater, multi-media installations, and the concert stage, his work often deals with concepts of memory, nostalgia, and the cyclic nature of historical events as they pertain to modern society. While his musical influences are deeply rooted in bluegrass, folk, and rock, he utilizes non-traditional techniques and processes to compose works that don’t squarely align with any single genre or style.

A native of the Ozarks countryside, he began studies in music composition in 2002 and received degrees from Missouri State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Austin. In 2012-2013 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, researching the implementation of motion tracking technology as a means to facilitate collaboration between music and dance. In 2013-2014, he was a visiting professor and composer in residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is the co-founder/director of the Fast Forward Austin Music Festival.  He currently works as a freelance composer in Boston and is on an eternal quest to make the perfect breakfast taco.