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IU Jacobs School of Music professor Claude Baker commissioned to write symphonic work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 26, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Claude Baker, class of 1956 provost's professor of composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been commissioned to write a multi-movement symphonic work commemorating next year's 75th-anniversary season of Ohio's Canton Symphony Orchestra.

The commission, the result of an award from the Meet The Composer's 2011 Commissioning Music/USA program, includes performances by two additional ensembles -- the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra and the Austin Symphony -- which formed a consortium with the Canton Symphony.

The premiere performances of Baker's work will be given by each orchestra in turn during the 2012-14 concert seasons.

"I am excited and honored to be presented with such a wonderful and unique opportunity," Baker said. "The orchestras involved in the consortium are of the highest artistic caliber. It is a rare occasion, indeed, when a new symphonic work can be guaranteed multiple performances by such superb ensembles."

This year, Meet The Composer, one of America's leading new music organizations, awarded $210,000 to 18 soloists and organizations for the commission of 18 new works through its Commissioning Music/USA program.

About Claude Baker

Born in 1948, Claude Baker is currently class of 1956 provost's professor of composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Baker received his doctoral degree from the Eastman School of Music, where his principal composition teachers were Samuel Adler and Warren Benson.

As a composer, he has received a number of professional honors, including an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; two Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards; a "Manuel de Falla" Prize (Madrid); the Eastman-Leonard and George Eastman Prizes; BMI-SCA and ASCAP awards; commissions from the Barlow, Fromm and Koussevitzky Music Foundations; a Paul Fromm Residency at the American Academy in Rome and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation and the state arts councils of Indiana, Kentucky and New York.

Among the many orchestras that have performed his music are those of Saint Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Louisville as well as the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de RTV Española, the Orquesta Nacional de España and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Other ensembles include the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the Pacifica String Quartet (with pianist Ursula Oppens). His works are published by Lauren Keiser Music and Carl Fischer, and are recorded on the ACA, Gasparo, TNC and Louisville First Edition labels.

Baker has also served on the faculties of the University of Georgia and the University of Louisville and has been a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music.

At the beginning of the 1991-92 concert season, he was appointed composer-in-residence of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for eight years. In recognition of his contributions to the St. Louis community during that period, Baker was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1999.