Percussion star and La Jollan Steven Schick named Champion of New Music


La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Music Director Steven Schick is one of three recipients of the 2014 Champion of New Music award, named by the American Composers Forum (ACF). The others are Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor Marin Alsop and retired ASCAP Vice President of Concert Music Frances Richard.

Schick, a Bird Rock resident, will be presented with the Champion of New Music award on April 5 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn., during his conducting appearance with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The Champion of New Music award, established by ACF in 2005, is a “national mark of recognition to honor individuals or ensembles that have made a significant contribution to the work and livelihoods of contemporary composers,” states the organization’s press release. Founded in 1973, the American Composers Forum is a national membership organization committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music.

Schick, a Distinguished Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego, has been a champion of contemporary music for 40 years. As a percussionist he has commissioned and/or premiered more than 150 new works. As conductor and Music Director of La Jolla Symphony & Chorus since 2007, Schick’s orchestral programs have been heralded as the most daring in the country. Schick is also Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and in 2012 became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

He is founder and Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at Banff Centre for the Arts, and he maintains an active guest conducting schedule that this season includes the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Nova Chamber Ensemble, and Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Schick was recently announced as music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival.

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit performance group dedicated to inspiring San Diego with the joy of music. Its 110-person orchestra and 130-person chorus perform ground-breaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 2013-2014 season, Steven Schick shares the podium with Choral Director David Chase.