First Prize – Jason Noble, Ph.D. Composition
Focusing on Messaien's the Quatuor pour la fin du temps and Grisey’s Vortex Temporum, Jason argues that music as the art of time, when evoking an experience of timelessness, does not take us out of time; rather it plays on the structures of human perception to create other ways of being in time. Through a sophisticated and musically sensitive analysis of both works from a variety of engaging perspectives, he creatively builds new theoretical relationships to conclude that despite different approaches the two works are fundamentally aligned in their common artistic endeavor. The Committee very much appreciated the elegance of his expression and the way in which he blended structural analysis with the experiential.
Second Prize – Zoey Cochran, Ph.D. Musicology
Using case studies from early 18th century Neopolitan opera, Zoey Cochran gives a nuanced account of the multifarious uses of Neopolitan and Tuscan in the arts. Her reinterpretation takes into account variation within the dialects, as well as the opera’s role as a form of resistance to foreign power, to present an enriched view of these works and their socio-political context. The committee was impressed with the professionalism and sophistication of her analysis. Her exploration of the Italian language and its role is a tour-de-force of the power of old-fashioned or pure historical musicology that grounds itself in archival sources.