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Thai composer wins coveted ASO award

May 24, 2008

After a yearlong competition, a Thai composer has won a coveted award from the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Narong Prangcharoen is the winner of the Annapolis Charter 300 Young Composers Competition, besting three other finalists and taking the $5,000 prize. He'll also get the chance to have his nine-minute work, "Tri-Sattawat" ("Three Centuries"), included on the ASO's first professional recording, which will be out in late 2008 or early 2009, according to the symphony. "We're proud and thrilled," said symphony President Lee Streby. "There was a very tight competition."

Mr. Prangcharoen is currently in Thailand, but issued a statement to the ASO via e-mail that read in part: "It is one of the great honors in my life to be part of this historical project. I have wonderful memories from my Annapolis visit in February (when his work was performed)."

Mr. Prangcharoen got six of a possible seven votes to win. Five music experts weighed in - including ASO Music Director Jose-Luis Novo and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop - as did audiences and the symphony's musicians. The audiences filled out surveys after the four works in the competition were performed this season, and these were compiled into one vote, as were the opinions of the musicians.

The three other finalists were Dan Visconti, Jacob Bancks and Kristin Kuster. Interestingly, Mr. Prangcharoen was the only one of the four who hadn't visited Annapolis before the works were performed.

Mr. Streby said Mr. Prangcharoen will be back in the city in November when the recording is made at two live concerts.