Two new commissions awarded to assistant professor Huck Hodge are among the latest honors bestowed upon the composer, whose works will be premiered by leading new music ensembles in the United States and abroad.
Hodge was among a dozen composers awarded commissions in 2013 by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. The Foundation annually awards commissions in the area of contemporary art music, which has resulted in the commissioning of more than 300 new works and their performances since the Foundation’s formation in 1952. Previous recipients have included Luciano Berio and Elliott Carter, among other noted composers.
For his Fromm commission, Hodge will draw on the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, Carl Jung, and the contemporary Buddhist poet Ko Un to create a new work for the Daedalus String Quartet, an award-winning chamber group that serves as Columbia University’s Quartet-in-Residence. Performances in several cities are planned for the 2015-16 season.
A second new work is a joint commission from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung (Germany) and the Barlow Endowment (USA) for a chamber ballet that Hodge is composing for the Milan-based Divertimento Ensemble, a leading Italian chamber orchestra specializing in contemporary music. The work for large ensemble, surround-sound electronics, and dance will be premiered by the ensemble and the AiEP Dance Company in Summer 2014.
The piece, which draws loosely on elements from Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis and the 2002 novel The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears, as well as the work of Carl Jung, will explore concepts relating to time and meaning.
Other recent commissions include a program staged in Taipei, Taiwan, in November 2013 and commissioned by the National Concert Hall of Taiwan. For that program, performed by the Taipei Chamber Singers, Hodge joined forces with UW doctoral composition student Shi-Wei Lo and video artists from the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.