Alum Clint Needham Wins Prestigious Music Award

January 28, 2012

From 170 worldwide entries, Baldwin Wallace alumnus Clint Needham '04 has been selected as the winner of the 2011 International Barlow Prize: a prestigious award presented by The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

He will receive a $12,000 commission to compose a major new work for woodwind quintet, which is slated to premiere in 2013.

Impressive Beginnings at Baldwin Wallace University

Needham, who earned his bachelor of music degree at BW's Conservatory of Music, composed his first published piece of music while still a student. 

A work honoring the retirement of BW trumpet professor Jim Darling, it was Needham's first piece with a guaranteed performance. The pressure of filling a commission taught him an important lesson: "...that deadlines are great creative motivators!"

After graduating from BW he went on to earn his master's and doctoral degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Needham is currently on the faculty of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he teaches music composition and theory, among others. 

From a World-class Conservatory to International Acclaim

Needham admits his four years at BW were the most crucial in his development as a composer. He attributes his success to the constant contact with high-level musicians at BW, who would not only perform his works, but would offer their time to workshop his ideas.

At BW, Needham said he wonderful teachers who never pushed a creative agenda or imposed writing in a certain way. This experience allowed him time to develop his "own compositional voice."  Now, that voice will be further shared as his new commission premieres with three woodwind quintets, the Imani Winds, Fifth House Ensemble and the Orpheus Winds.

Needham is now recognized among other recipients of the Barlow Prize, including composers Christopher Theofanidis, Kevin Puts and David Dzubay. 

He also has been honored by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Project 440 Commission.  That composition will debut during the 2011-2012 season at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Needham's Latest Work Featured on Web, at BW, Across the Country

On February 14, 2012, Needham's “Chamber Symphony” was released by the American Composers Orchestraon their first Emerging Composers Digital Release on iTunes, Amazon, and Instant Encore.

On March 14, 2012, lecturer in trumpet at BW and Cleveland Orchestra member, Jack Sutte, will premiere Needham's trumpet concerto “Fractured Structures” with the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Wind Ensemble at 8:00pm in Kulas Musical Arts Building in Berea, OH.

On March 24, 2012 the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will premiere “When We Forget” as part of their Project 440 Commissions at Carnegie Hall at 7:00pm. A preview performance will take place at Lafayette College in Easton, PA on March 22 at 8:00pm.

Needham has also been commissioned by the Boston Symphony’s Hawthorne String Quartet and the Terezin Music Foundation to write a new work for solo string quartet and orchestra.  The premiere will take place with the Hawthorne Quartet and the Omaha Symphony in the fall of 2012.

His work, “Everyday Life” will be premiered next season with the Albany Symphony on January 12, 2013.  The concert also features guest soloist Yo-Yo Ma.