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Karel Husa   

 ***Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate


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Karel HusaThe composer received the first World Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles (WASBE) Lifetime Achievement Award at the conclusion of WASBE’s International Conference in Cincinnati, OH, July 6-11, 2009. This new category represents WASBE’s highest possible commendation. Husa was granted the award “in recognition of his outstanding repertoire that has enriched its medium and his long service to the profession.” Two performances of his Music for Prague 1968 by the U.S. Marine Band (The President’s Own) conducted by Michael J. Colburn, University of Cincinnati (OH), followed the ceremony. Husa previously conducted the same work at a WASBE Conference in 1997 in Schladming, Austria. The “Prague Spring Festival” commissioned Husa to write Three Studies for clarinet solo (dedicated to the composer’s friend Jiri Hlavac) for the annual International Competition for Young Composers. The first winner for best interpretation of the work in 2008 was Jana Lahodna, a student of the Prague Academy of Music. The American premiere of the work was given in July 2008 by Fred Ormand at the International Clarinet Fest in Kansas City.


Cheetah, for wind ensemble, received its European premiere at the WASBE Festival in Killarney, Ireland, July 9, 2009, from students of the University of Louisville under the direction of Fred Speck; the same work was previously presented March 23 at the Japan National Conference, in Tokyo.


Music for Prague 1968 was heard in a September 7, 2008, Memorial Concert, as performed by the Polish National Symphony Orchestra led by Lukacz Borowitz, Rudlofinum, Prague, the Czech Republic. Concerto for Wind Ensemble was performed December 3 by the University of Texas Band, under the direction of Jerry Junkin, and January 7, 2009, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble, led by Mark Scatterday, Rochester, NY. Five Poems for Wind Quintet was presented December 6 by the Imani Winds, Chicago (IL) Institute; while Concerto for Saxophone and Cheetah were heard December 10, with soloist Jan Absien Danielsen and the Larvik (Norway) Blasorkester, led by Odd Terje Lysebo. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra received performances May 2-4, 2009, from Illia Gringolts with the North Carolina Symphony, directed by Grant Llewelyn, Duke University, Raleigh, NC, and May 17, from Luis Morales Bance, with the Orquesta Filarmonica Nacional, under the direction of German Cacares, XV. Festival Latinoamericano, Caracas, Venezuela.


Cheetah for wind ensemble; by AMP/G. Schirmer. String Quartet No. “0”; by RadioServis Prague, the Czech Republic.


Evocations de Slovaquie, for clarinet, viola, and cello; R. and L. Harlow, J. Morales; Sonolumina Isomike. Elegie et Rondeau, for saxophone and piano; spectrum saxofonis (Harry Kinross and Todd Sisley); Cantate/musicaphon M56836.

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