by Mike Telin
On Friday, September 4 at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, the creativity of five composers will be tested when they have five hours to write a brand new piece of music in order to win the coveted titled of Iron Composer. Competition director Joe Drew said that this years contestants are all accomplished composers and college-level teachers whose musical styles are quite varied. “We try to select as diverse a group as possible. We are putting on a show, and it wouldn’t work if we had a group of composers who all write in similar styles, or who would all have a similar response to the stimulus of the challenge.”
What is that challenge? On Friday at 9:00 am in the Chamber Hall, the five finalists will be assigned an instrumentation and a secret musical ingredient that must be incorporated into their work. Past challenges have paired piano trio with a Monet painting, pipe organ with 19th-century music boxes, and brass trio with audience participation. After five hours, the composers must submit a score and parts for their finished piece. Their work will be performed and judged during a free public concert at 8 pm in Gamble Auditorium. Following the performance, prizes will be awarded, and the title of Iron Composer will be bestowed.