School of Music


    Notes alla Breve

Climate change-inspired piece wins Grawemeyer music award


Chinese-American composer Lei Liang has won the 2020 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for an orchestral work evoking the threat posed by climate change and the opportunity it offers for redemption. Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissioned the winning piece, “A Thousand Mountains, a Million Streams,” which premiered in 2018 in Boston’s Jordan Hall with Gil Rose conducting.

“The world we live in today is dangerous,” Liang said. “Our very existence is threatened by global warming, which is causing violent disruptions to the living things on our planet and being made worse by human irresponsibility.”

Liang, 47, is a music professor at University of California, San Diego, and research-artist-in-residence at Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. He has composed more than 100 works, including pieces addressing other contemporary social issues such as human trafficking and gun violence.


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JOHN M. HOOVER '63, '69

Before retiring to Florida in 2004, Hoover taught instrumental music at Atherton, Seneca, and Ballard high schools and at several middle and elementary schools in the Jefferson County Public School systems. Hoover served as the University of Louisville’s director of bands for several years. He played French horn in the Louisville Orchestra and served as bandmaster of the National Guard’s 202nd Army Band. Hoover also served as conductor of the River Cities Concert Band. Since retirement, Hoover has organized and performed with wind ensembles in the Tampa area. John M. Hoover received his Bachelor of Music Education in 1963 and his Master of Music in 1969, from the University of Louisville.

Emeritus Professor T.Y. (Tsung-Yao) Huang and Mrs. Mary Huang Music Awards Fund


Thanks to the generous gift from Emeritus Professor T.Y. (Tsung-Yao) Huang and Mrs. Mary Huang the UofL School of Music is able to hold 3 student competitions each year. The winners of the Aria, Concerto, and Composition competitions are presented with a monetary prize and a performance opportunity.

Dr. T.Y. Huang is emeritus professor in the Department of Radiology, who retired from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2011. During his 32-year tenure at the University of Louisville Hospital, he served as a section chief of Neuroradiology and Vascular/Interventional radiology. Additionally, Dr. Huang was recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Man of the Hour Award. Dr. Huang and his wife, Mary Huang, who was a nurse and mid-wife, are avid supporters of the arts.

This year’s winners are: Andrew Durham for Aria, Derek Douglas Carter for Composition. And Murphy Lamb for Concerto.


Emeritus Professor T.Y. (Tsung-Yao) Huang and Mrs. Mary Huang Aria Competition


Andrew Durham is a senior undergraduate performance major studying voice from Paducah, Kentucky. Andrew plans to pursue a master’s degree in vocal performance.

“Growing up with two parents who are both music teachers, music has been my life and I have always loved being around and performing music. From being in orchestra, choir, and opera I’ve realized there is no emotion that cannot be portrayed or enhanced through music. It has been a vital part of culture from the beginning of time and it is a musician’s job to keep the music of today, and hundreds of years ago, alive for the next generation of artists.“


Emeritus Professor T.Y. (Tsung-Yao) Huang and Mrs. Mary Huang Concerto Competition


Murphy Lamb is a junior pursuing a BA in Music and Physics from Campbellsville, KY. His primary instrument is piano. Murphy plans to pursue a master’s degree in arts administration on completion of his bachelor’s degree.

“In my life, music has been a constant. It grounds and defines all my other endeavors and accomplishments. It has been a source of frustration and challenge at times, but has fostered a discipline and appreciation for the arts that I will always cherish. Music is, from my experience, one of the truest forms of expression and I will be forever grateful for the impact it has had on my life.“


Emeritus Professor T.Y. (Tsung-Yao) Huang and Mrs. Mary Huang Composition Competition


Derek Douglas Carter is an orchestral conducting graduate student from central Illinois. He received his master’s in composition from UofL and his bachelors of music composition and theory from Illinois State University.

“The idea behind the work is highly conceptual, as are most of the pieces in the dreamscape series. It’s about exploring concepts that can exist physically, and to tour structures that are multi-dimensional. I often imagine musical forms as architecture or museums, and listening to music as walking through those metaphorical buildings. So this dreamscape is built on that concept, while being extremely aware of the actual non-physical reality of sound.”