2022 Gardner Winners

Daniel Sabzghabaei

2022 Gardner Winners

The American Viola Society congratulates the winners of the 2022 Maurice Gardner Competition for Composers, honoring American composer Maurice Gardner (1909-2002).

The First Prize is awarded to Daniel Sabzghabaei for his composition for viola and voice, …under this blue of my land. His work was selected from a record 113 scores submitted to the competition. Mr. Sabzghabaei will receive a cash prize of $1000. In addition, the winning score will be performed at the American Viola Society and 47th International Viola Congress in Columbus, Georgia, June 1-5, 2022.

The Second Prize winner of this year’s Competition is Deniz Caglarcan, who won the award for his composition, Void, for viola and electronic media. Mr. Caglarcan will receive a cash prize of $500.

Honorable Mentions are awarded to three composers:

Wajdi Abou Diab for The Moraba’ Dance, for solo viola
Devin Cholodenko for Duo for Viola and Piano
Daniel Temkin for Unspoken, for solo viola

The mission of the Gardner Competition is to identify and promote important new works featuring the viola. In considering each work, the judges listened for writing that recognizes the unique voice of the viola and its capabilities as a solo instrument, for careful and inspiring construction of the work overall, and for exciting possibilities and challenges for the performer.

This year’s competition saw a record 113 compositions entered, by the widest and most diverse group of composers in the Gardner’s history. Although we gathered information from entrants who wished to share whether they identified as members of an underrepresented group,the process was entirely blind from start to finish. The Gardner Committee is now looking at the demographic information that was gathered, without associating it with entries, to see how the Competition did in terms of reaching a broader and more inclusive group of composers. Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we will continue to strive to make the process as inclusive and diverse as possible.

The Gardner 2022 Committee members were Michael Frazier (Visiting Professor of Composition, Oberlin Conservatory), Wendy Richman (Founding Violist, International Contemporary Ensemble), Eleanor Trawick (Professor of Composition, Ball State University) and Chair, Martha Carapetyan (Austin Symphony, Southwestern University). Daphne Gerling (Viola Professor, University of North Texas) served as Gardner Competition Liaison to the AVS Board.

The Committee acknowledges the deep commitment and dedication of all the composers who graciously and enthusiastically entered their scores to the competition.