Abell Competition Winners

2014 Competition Winners Announced

The Division of Composition at the University of Louisville School of Music is pleased to announce the results of the Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music.

The Award was endowed by Louisville philanthropist Frank Robert Abell. Abell had a deep love for contemporary music, and was a supporter of young composers. The Award is for new pieces for chamber ensemble by composers aged 18-26. This year there were approximately 140 entries from a number of different countries.

First Prize

goes to Itzam Leonardo Zapata Paniagua, 25, of Mexico City, for his work Piñatas, Glitter and Stilettos, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. Mr. Zapata has studied both guitar and composition in his native Mexico City, as well as at the Sibelius Academy in Finland with Lauri Kilpiö and at the Mozarteum, Salzburg with Tristain Murail. He remains active as a guitarist and his music has been performed in Mexico and Europe, with performances coming up in Canada and further European venues.

Second Prize

goes to Weijun Chen, 24, a Chinese citizen currently residing in Buffalo, New York, for his Canoe, for string quartet. Mr. Chen holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and is pursuing a doctorate at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His music has been performed in many venues in the USA and abroad.


2013 Composition Competition Winners

  • 1st Prize: Eugen Birman, "Red Desert"
  • 2nd Prize: Chaz Underriner, "nocturne series: 5 for string quartet and field recording"


Previous Winners:

The Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music:

  • 2012 Christopher LaRosa, "Symmetries"
  • 2011 Hunjoo Jung, "Maria! I must be Awakened to Your Soul"
  • 2010 Nathan Heidelberger, "Of Songs"

The University of Louisville Young Composer Competition for New Electro-acoustic Music:

  • 2012 Dexter Ford, "Barbershop"
  • 2011 Ryan Gaston, "Nocturne (Crickets: Inside & Out)"
  • 2010 Emilie Payeur, “Etude Claire et Nette”