LPO Wins Award for Adventurous Programming

LPO Wins Award for Adventurous
Programming from ASCAP, ASOL

Nashville, TN — Last Friday, at the annual Conference of the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL), the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) received a 2006-07 ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music.  

Brenden Townsend, right, receives award for the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra from Frances Richard, ASCAP vice president of concert music.

LPO Honors

Frances Richard, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) vice president of Concert Music congratulates Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra director Brendan Townsend on the LPO's receipt of a 2006-07 ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music at ceremonies held recently in Nashville, Tenn.

Directed by Brendan Townsend, the LPO is one of 26 total American orchestras divided by budget categorization to receive an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award for Adventurous Programming this year.

Presented annually by ASCAP and ASOL at the League’s National Conference, these Awards recognize American orchestras whose concert programs demonstrate a strong commitment to the works of contemporary composers. Presenting awards on behalf of ASCAP were Frances Richard, vice president, Concert Music, ASCAP and Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and music advisor to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the LPO,” said maestro Townsend, music director, who led a Conference panel discussion on multimedia use in the concert-hall, “I have always believed strongly that to perpetuate the creative arts we must showcase new music. Our programming and the ‘Music By Numbers’ is garnering attention from around the country. What we are doing here is laying the seeds for a strong musical future for Laredo.”

In their 2006-07 season, the LPO presented works by composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Christopher Rouse, Mikolaj Gorecki, Lowell Liebermann, Nancy Galbraith, and Peter Boyer.

“It was wonderful to have all this new music so readily accepted by our audience here in Laredo. It is really a testament to their open-mindedness,” added Townsend, “In other cities, conductors might get booed off the stage for presenting new music. Here we accept it as a wonderful adventure.”

Since the establishment of the Awards in 1959, ASCAP and the League have awarded more than $600,000 to American orchestras of all sizes.

“The presentation of contemporary music is important in keeping America’s orchestras vital and fresh, and the League is proud to partner with ASCAP to present these distinguished awards,” said League President and CEO Henry Fogel.

In presenting the ASCAP Award to Townsend, Leonard Slatkin commended Laredo for the diversity of programming, and the uniqueness of the repertoire choices.

“Laredo is lucky to have you,” he told Townsend during the award ceremony. “Perhaps this will be the first of many awards for the LPO,” said Townsend.

The LPO will open its 28th performance season on September 30, 2007 with a world premiere of a work by Townsend’s brother entitled “Battle for Brona.”  

Season tickets will be available beginning in August. Other programs will continue to mix favored selections from the classical repertoire with adventurous new works for orchestra.

For more information on the LPO, contact Townsend at 956.326.3029, visit offices at Texas A&M International University’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, room 216C or e-mail btownsend@tamiu.edu

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world’s largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 285,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP also represents the repertories created by the international affiliates of 90 foreign performing rights organizations.

Founded in 1942, and chartered by Congress in 1962, the ASOL leads, encourages, and supports America’s orchestras while communicating to the public the essential value and cultural importance of orchestras in their communities and the vitality of the music they perform.

It provides a wealth of services, information, learning and leadership opportunities and grass-roots advocacy to its diverse, nearly 1,000-member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes.

For information on ASCAP, visit ascap.com

For more about ASOL, visit symphony.org

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu