Congratulations to Doug Balliett, winner of the 2018 Composers Competition!

Ozymadius, the chilling sonnet by Percy Shelley about local fame in face of eternity, has been giving readers pause since its publication in 1818. Balliett’s setting takes a psychologically introspective look at the furious king and the wasteland his works inhabit.

Balliett’s Ozymadius (2014) will be performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes on the 2019 Look + Listen Festival.

Doug Balliett is a composer, instrumentalist, and poet based in New York City. The New York Times has described his poetry as “brilliant and witty” (Clytie and the Sun), his bass playing as “elegant” (Shawn Jaeger’s In Old Virginny), and his compositions as “vivid, emotive, with contemporary twists” (Actaeon). Popular new music blog I Care if You Listen has critiqued Mr. Balliett’s work as “weird in the best possible way” (A Gnostic Passion) and “light-hearted yet dark…it had the audience laughing one minute and in tears the next” (Pyramus and Thisbe). He is particularly fascinated by period performance, regularly touring with groups and artists such as Les Arts Florissants, Tom Dunford, and the Boston Early Music Festival. He is a professor of baroque bass and violone at the Juilliard School. For several years he hosted a weekly show on New York Public Radio with his twin brother (The Brothers Balliett), and he conducts projects of both old and new music. This year he is composer-in-residence at the Spoleto Music Festival (USA). With a constant stream of commissions and nearly 200 performances per year, Mr. Balliett has been identified as an important voice for his generation.

The Look & Listen Festival Composer Competition is an annual call for submissions to foster and support contemporary composers and music pioneers from all over the world. Each year, a winning work is chosen to be featured as part of the upcoming festival in NYC and the composer receives a cash prize.