Ben Rouder wins 2020 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2020 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Ben Rouder.

Rouder (pictured) is a junior working toward a bachelor’s degree in composition at Mizzou. He submitted “M.I.S.”, a work for chamber ensemble originally composed as part of last year’s “Influences Symphony” project, to the competition and was selected for the prize by independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2020 competition were Yotam Haber, associate professor of music composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Nina C. Young, assistant professor at the University of Southern California.

Now in its 15th year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou.

As this year’s winner, Rouder now will be commissioned to write an original work for the University Singers, conducted by Paul Crabb, who will premiere it as part of the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Friday, February 28, 2020 at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. With the commission, Rouder also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts, and will have his work professionally recorded.

Rouder is a native of Columbia, MO who graduated from Rock Bridge High School. His music has been performed by groups including the Columbia Civic Orchestra, the University of Missouri Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, the University of Missouri Brass Choir, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

He was the winner in the Open Orchestral division of the 2019 Missouri Composers Project competition for his work “Social Justice Warrior.” Rouder also is the founder and current administrator of the Seventh Column Chamber Ensemble, a student-run chamber orchestra founded in 2019.

The other finalists for the 2020 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Daniel Fitzpatrick, Luis Hermano Bezerra, and Hans Bridger Heruth.