Santiago Beis wins 2021 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2021 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Santiago Beis.

Beis is a first-year graduate student working toward a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou. He submitted “La sed y el Agua” (“Thirst and Water”), a work for piano and string orchestra, to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2021 competition were Yigit Kolat, composer and lecturer at the University of Washington; Wendy Richman, violist with the International Contemporary Ensemble and The Rhythm Method; and Evan Williams, assistant professor of music and director of instrumental studies at Rhodes College.

Now in its 16th year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou.

As this year’s winner, Beis (pictured) will be commissioned to write a new work for the string section of the MU Philharmonic to be recorded in Spring 2021. With the commission, Beis also will receive a cash prize for the production of the score and parts.

Born in Rivera, Uruguay, Beis earned his bachelor’s degree in composition and conducting from EMBAP – UNESPAR (Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná – Universidade Estadual do Paraná) in Curitiba, Brazil. As an undergraduate, he collaborated with a number of local and regional new music ensembles, and won first prizes in two Brazilian national composition festivals, the Funarte Prémio de Composição Clássica and the Bienal Música Hoje.

Also a performer who plays piano, flute, saxophone, trumpet, and synthesizers, Beis has recorded his jazz compositions with various groups including his own trio, which was recognized as one of the top five groups in the “Made in NY Jazz Gala” competition at the Tribeca Center of Performing Arts in New York City.

The other finalists for the 2021 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Daniel Fitzpatrick, Daniel Vega, Oswald Huynh, and Luis Hermano Bezerra.