2006 Orchestral Composition Contest Winner: David Heuser

David HeuserThe Fauxharmonic Orchestra is pleased to announce that composer David Heuser has won its first annual international orchestral composition contest. Heuser’s work stood out as particularly expressive, original, inventive and powerful. The winning composition, A Screaming Comes Across the Sky, was chosen from among eighty-six entries. Heuser will receive a cash prize as well as a recorded performance of his work by the Fauxharmonic Orchestra. The contest was open to composers of all ages, career stages, and nationalities.

About the winning composition

Listen to the Fauxharmonic Orchestra performance: A Screaming Comes Across the Sky

“A Screaming Comes Across the Sky” was commissioned by the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival for its “New Texas Overtures” season in 2005. The title of the piece is the first sentence from Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow. The piece was premiered in 2005. One reviewer of that performance wrote:

David Heuser’s ‘A Screaming Comes Across the Sky’ was a shot-in-the-arm beginning. … Heuser’s music certainly matched the title through its intense, driving rhythms and thunderclap-loud outbursts. This was all-American music at its most dynamic and visceral. Yet the piece by the University of Texas-San Antonio composer was well-crafted and smartly orchestrated … The music continually engaged mind and body as it careened along.

— Houston Chronicle (July 2005)

About the composer

David Heuser is associate professor of theory, composition, and electronic music at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Heuser’s music has been performed by various groups and individuals and on festivals and conferences throughout the US and abroad. He has won a variety of awards, grants and commissions including an ASCAP Young Composer Award, many ASCAP Standard Grants, a First Music commission from the New York Youth Symphony, an Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival “New Texas Overture” Commission, and the Delius Composition Contest Chamber Music Award.

More about David Heuser

Honorable Mentions

The following outstanding compositions were selected by the judges for hornorable mention:

Ikarus Brydern Benedikt
The Flames of Imbolc Garrett Byrnes
The Cerneian Hind Kevin Cancellaro
In Fire Sabang Cho
Creo de Irritum Jonathan Crane
Caldera Christopher Dietz
Amadeus ex machina Lawrence Dillon
Elegy Joel Feigin
Passacaglia on a Theme by Bach Federico Garcia
Symphony No. 1, First Movement Takanori Honda
Mogao Xiao-ou Hu
Scherzo Igor Iachimciuc
Variations on Chords Vera Ivanova
Horizons Jon Bauman
Memories from my previous lives Angel Lam
Sparkle Shafer Mahoney
Là, ou la mèr rencontre le ciel, Prelude for orchestra Tudor Dominik Maican
Surreal Abundance Ed Martin
Albanian Rhapsody No. 1 Anesti Nova
Bénédiction d’un conquérant Adriàn Pertout
Inertia Jonathan R. Pieslak
Atonement John Spencer

About the contest

The Fauxharmonic Orchestra’s international composition contest was established in 2005 to help foster new orchestral composition, and to showcase digital orchestral performance. The contest winner receives a $1,200 prize and a recorded performance by the Fauxharmonic Orchestra.

This year’s contest involved eighty-six entries by composers from the US, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Canada. Judges for the 2006 contest were:

Emily Doolittle, composer (bio)

Markand Thakar, Music Director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra; Co-director of the graduate program in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (bio)

Herb Tucmandl, CEO and Founder, Vienna Symphonic Library, the world’s pre-eminent maker of digital orchestral instruments and performance systems (bio)

Paul Henry Smith, Music Director of the Fauxharmonic Orchestra, a digital orchestra ensemble devoted to producing recordings of orchestral music, new and old, of the highest artistic caliber.

1 reply
  1. joven estigoy
    joven estigoy says:

    a very energetic movement of the composition elements that has been used in the piece, it describes and interprets what it means about the title of the piece.

    please send us an email message, when wil be again the next orchestral composition writing contest, I have a FANTASY SYMPHONIC PIECE TO BE SUBMITED,



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