First-year DMA graduate student composer Tonia Ko is one of 16 recipients of this year's American Academy of Arts and Letters (AAAL) awards in music, along with Steve Burke, DMA '01. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250-member academy and selected by a committee of academy members. The awards will be presented in May.
Ko will receive a Charles Ives Scholarship of $7,500, given to composition students of great promise. Ko's music has been performed by ensembles including orkest de ereprijs in the Netherlands, ensemble mise-en, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, Momenta Quartet, and has been featured at the Wellesley Composers Conference. Most recently, she was awarded two prizes in the first Lin Yao Ji International Competition. She will be a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center this summer. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, she received a master's degree in music from Indiana University and a bachelor's in music with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music.
Burke is one of four winners of the Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. The winners will receive $7,500 along with an additional $7,500 to record of one work.
Burke received a Charles Ives Fellowship from the AAAL in 1999. He also won a Rome Prize and a Guggenheim fellowship and has received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Jerome Foundation, the ASCAP Foundation, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Yaddo and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yale University and Cornell.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist and sustain an interest in literature, music and the fine arts." Each year the academy honors more than 50 composers, artists, architects and writers with cash awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.