WMU News

Curtis-Smith receives ASCAP award

Sept. 18, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- C. Curtis-Smith, professor of music at Western Michigan University, has been selected for the 20th time to receive an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award.

The awards, valued at $1,500, are presented annually by ASCAP to assist and encourage writers of serious music. An independent panel of music authorities selects award winners based upon the value of their catalogs of original compositions and the performances of those works in areas not surveyed by the society.

While Curtis-Smith's string of awards is not a record for the 37-year-old program, it is a fairly rare occurrence, according to officials at ASCAP.

A faculty member since 1968, Curtis-Smith has received some 75 grants, awards, commissions and prizes from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the Arts Foundation of Michigan. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Koussevitzki Prize at Tanglewood.

An accomplished pianist who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University, Curtis-Smith has received national and international acclaim for his unusual and imaginative pieces. He has written more than 100 compositions for a variety of instruments.

Curtis-Smith recently returned to the WMU campus after spending two years as a visiting professor of music at the University of Michigan. He currently is writing a piece for organ and percussion commissioned by the American Guild of Organists. It will be premiered at the group's national convention in Denver in July.

He also is working on a violin concerto commissioned by Sergiu Luca, a faculty member at Rice University who has been a guest performer with a number of major orchestras.

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