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Music professor awarded McKnight Composer Fellowship

St. Olaf College Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Reinaldo Moya has been awarded the 2015 McKnight Composer Fellowship.

St. Olaf College Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Reinaldo Moya has been awarded the 2015 McKnight Composer Fellowship, which provides recognition and financial support for mid-career composers working in any musical genre.

Moya received $25,000 of unrestricted funds through the award, in addition to an opportunity to devote up to one month of concentrated time to work in an artist residency setting of his choice.

“In a state where we have so many wonderful composers writing all kinds of truly beautiful and amazing music, I feel very fortunate and thankful to be recognized,” he says.

Moya earned a bachelor of music degree in composition from West Virginia University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied under the tutelage of Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser.

His music has been performed in Germany, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Australia, and throughout the United States. Some of his well-known works included the orchestral piece Siempre Lunes/Siempre Marzo (Always Monday/Always March), the chamber music Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold), and the opera Generalissimo.

Moya is also the recipient of Meet the Composer’s 2011 Van Lier Fellowship, as well as multiple Morton Gould Young Composer Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His orchestral work Aurora Australis was awarded the Walter Friedman Memorial Prize for Orchestral Composition in 2008. In November 2013, Moya’s selections from Generalissimo were performed as part of the Amazonas concert series at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Moya will use the McKnight fellowship to explore his current interests more deeply, among them the immigrant experience in America. He is working on an opera that draws from his own experience as an immigrant, as well as the experiences of others.

“It’s very important and eye-opening to see other realities and try to really understand an issue deeply. Only then can we as artists really hope to do something meaningful, moving, and artistically resonant,” Moya says.

Moya is one of just four 2015 McKnight Composer Fellowship recipients. One of the other recipients of the fellowship is St. Olaf alumna Abbie Betinis ’01. Betinis has been commissioned by more than 40 music organizations, including Cantus, the Dale Warland Singers, and the Schubert Club, where she has been the composer-in-residence since 2005.