The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2022 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Luis Hermano Bezerra. Now in its 17th year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou.
As this year’s winner, Bezerra will be awarded a $1,500 prize and will be commissioned to write a new work for the University Wind Ensemble. The Ensemble will premiere the work as part of the 2022 Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Friday, February 25, 2022 at Jesse Auditorium on the University of Missouri campus. The work will also be professionally recorded.
The other finalists for the 2022 Sinquefield Composition Prize were María Laura Disandro, Jack Snelling, and Oswald Huynh. The adjudicators for the 2020 competition were clarinetist Bill Kalinkos, pianist and composer John Orfe, and cellist and composer Jon Silpayamanant.
Bezerra is a Brazilian composer, bassist, and arranger primarily focused on mixing his Brazilian roots with the classical legacy. His compositions, which are profoundly influenced by Brazilian popular dances and musical genres, present a variety of traditional musical expressions. As a bassist, he has recorded and toured with many groups and ensembles in Brazil, including the Northeast Popular Orchestra and the State University of Ceara Symphony Orchestra.
Bezerra worked as an instructor at the Alberto Nepomuceno Music Conservatory in Brazil, teaching theory, aural training, and bass. He is a now a graduate student in the composition program at the School of Music of the University of Missouri, studying under the mentorship of Dr. Stefan Freund, Dr. Carolina Heredia, and Dr. Yoshiaki Onishi. Bezerra is also a graduate teaching assistant with the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working as an instructor of theory and computer technology.
As a composer, Bezerra’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and organizations such as the [Switch~ Ensemble], the Sheldon Arts Foundation in St. Louis, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in Columbia, MO.
For more information about the Sinquefield Prize, visit the MNMI website.