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Two NEC Alums Awarded 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship

April 18, 2015

From New England Conservatory

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Darcy James Argue and Andreia Pinto-Correia Awarded for Music Composition 

April 17, 2015 – Boston, MA – The Guggenheim Foundation announced its 2015 fellowships this week. There were 175 recipients across categories ranging from choreography to linguistics. Two of the eleven fellows in the music composition category are NEC Alums. Darcy James Argue ’02 M.M.and Andreia Pinto-Correia ’06 M.M., ’13 D.M.A. were awarded fellowships this year.

The Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been given annually, since 1925, by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” New England Conservatory graduates have been receiving Guggenheim Fellowships since 1927.

About Darcy James Argue

Argue graduated with a M.M. from New England Conservatory in 2002. He mixes minimalism, contemporary classical, indie rock and jazz styles. His compositions push music forward into new directions. Typically, Argue avoids standard instrumentation and uses avant-garde instruments to paint a picture for the audience. He is known for using guitars with loop pedal and effects, Cajones, and Melodicas. He rarely follows standard instrumentation and often uses a mix of various woodwinds, clarinet, and flute.

In 2005, Argue founded the Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, an 18-piece, steam-punk big band.  In 2009, the group’s first studio album, Infernal Machines,was released by the New York City-based, indie-classical label, New Amsterdam Records. This debut includes amazing new adaptations to the big band such as cajun rhythm, subtle electric guitar washes and lush horn refrains. The album is reminiscent of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, as well as pioneering post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise. Argue incorporates electric guitars, Fender Rhodes and electric bass into traditional big band instrumentation, extending the innovations of such visionaries as Don Ellis, Gil Evans and George Russell. He also blends contrapuntal horn voicings, atmospheric electronic textures and post-minimalist rhythms. The album was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society’s second album, Brooklyn Babylon, also received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble in 2014. This album was based upon a multimedia performance, which used images from graphic artist Danijel Zezelj to tell a story. He uses severe angles with black-and-white monochromatic looks, which suggests a vast metropolis reminiscent of an early-20th-century New York. This album is classically structured with its “Prologue” and “Epilogue,” Argue’s compositions also implement Americana, European influences and measures of avant-garde.

In addition to his work with Secret Society, Argue has toured Australia and New Zealand leading the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra and was featured in the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos’ inaugural international Jazz Composers Forum. He has led performances of his music by the WDR Big Band, the Danish Radio Big Band, the Frankfurt Radio Bigband, the Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Big Band Palácio das Artes, and the West Point Jazz Knights. Argue has composed works for chamber duo and string quartet, art songs for Newspeak, and created arrangements for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted residencies and workshops at the University of North Texas, McGill, Cornish College, Western Connecticut State University, and with the Western Australian Jazz Youth Orchestra, among others. In 2012, he was composer-in-residence for Missouri State University’s annual Composition Festival.

Argue has received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Jazz Gallery, the Manhattan New Music Project, the Jerome Foundation, and BAM, as well as ensembles including the Danish Radio Big Band, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, the West Point Jazz Knights, and the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.

About Andreia Pinto-Correia

Born in Portugal, Pinto-Correia began her musical studies in her native Lisbon and received her M.M. in 2006 and her D.M.A. in 2013 with Academic Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Bob Brookmeyer and Michael Gandolfi. She also attended the Minnesota Composer Institute, the European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA), the American Opera Projects (AOP), the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals.

Recent honors include commissions from the European Union Presidency, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Culturgest/National Bank of Portugal. Recently, her works have been performed by the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, and the Borromeo, and the Mivos String Quartets. She has also been the recipient of an American League of Orchestras/ New Music USA Music Alive Composer Residency, a Rockefeller Foundation Center Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts/Ucross Residency Prize, and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award by the Japan Society. In addition, she was the curator of the Fertile Crescent Festival for Contemporary Music at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Upcoming premieres include an extended orchestral commission from the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center in memory of Elliott Carter for the opening concert of the Contemporary Music Festival’s 75th anniversary; a work for American virtuoso Peggy Pearson for oboe and string trio (oboe quartet), and a piano trio for the extraordinary Horszowsky Trio. She will also be a Civitella Foundation Fellow in 2015.

About New England Conservatory (NEC)

A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjée, an American music educator, choral conductor and organist; NEC is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District, NEC offers rigorous education in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music students from around the world. Highly regarded for its innovative practices, NEC’s out-of-the-box curriculum yields an expansive range of styles and traditions. NEC’s faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. Alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.

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