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ASCAP honors composer James Piorkowski
Saturday, November 20, 2010

For the 11th year in a row, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has bestowed its ASCAPLUS Award, an honor reserved for artists whose works are most often performed in public venues, to James Piorkowski, SUNY Fredonia Distinguished Professor of Guitar.

“I’m always thrilled to receive recognition for my work, and that people are willing to perform it,” said Piorkowski, whose award was given in the Concert Music Division. “The music itself is the inspiration,” he continued. “I think this (award) is just an affirmation of my work.”

The ASCAPLUS award recognizes composers whose works are presented in non-commercial venues that do not offer individual royalties. During the 2009-10 season, Piorkowski compositions were performed in various festivals, including the Kras Guitar Festival, a premier gathering of musicians from the Baltic region in Europe.

Piorkowski and School of Music colleague Susan Royal performed two Piorkowski guitar and flute compositions, “Freedom Flight” and “Musique D’Amitie,” at the Kras festival in Skocjan, Slovenia. They were the only Americans invited to the festival, which Piorkowski said was an honor to attend.

Another new Piorkowski composition, “El Camino a Oviedo,” for guitar and cello, was performed in Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia during the past year. The piece was inspired by the exhilarating driving experience through beautiful mountain regions of northern Spain during a tour taken by Piorkowski and members of the SUNY Fredonia Guitar Quartet during the summer of 2009.

On sabbatical leave in the fall semester, Piorkowski spent a whirlwind 30 days in Europe where he gave solo concerts in Germany, France and Spain and also observed renowned teachers practicing their craft at leading music conservatories. He was also given the opportunity to share his own ideas with students.

Piorkowski returns to his full teaching schedule in Mason Hall in January with the start of the spring term.

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