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Schimmel receives Guggenheim Fellowship for musical composition

headshot of Carl Schimmel

Carl Schimmel

Illinois State University Associate Professor of Music Carl Schimmel has been named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. The fellowship, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, will support Schimmel’s work in musical composition.

The Foundation recently awarded 173 Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s 94th competition.

During his fellowship, Schimmel plans to focus on exploring methods of expressing narrative in musical form. His projects include a new work for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered in April 2019; a string quartet for the Momenta Quartet; a bass clarinet and marimba duo for Transient Canvas; a set of piano etudes for such pianists as Winston Choi, Jason Hardink, and Marc Peloquin; and an electric guitar and saxophone duo for the Creviston-Fader Duo.

“It is an incredible honor to have been selected for a Guggenheim Fellowship, and to be included in such a diverse and talented group of composers,” said Schimmel. “The Fellowship will enable me to focus on composing for the year as well as to live in Iowa with my family, and for that I am very grateful.”

The great variety of backgrounds, fields of study, and accomplishments of Guggenheim Fellows is one of the unique characteristics of the fellowship program. In all, 49 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 61 different academic institutions, 31 states, and three Canadian provinces are represented in this year’s class of Fellows, who range in age from 29 to 80.

“The School of Music is extremely proud of Carl Schimmel being named a Guggenheim Fellow,” said Stephen Parsons, director of Illinois State’s School of Music. “This prestigious award certainly brings acclaim to Carl and his work, but also to our School, the College of Fine Arts, and Illinois State University.”

An associate professor of music theory and composition in Illinois State’s School of Music, Schimmel has also been the recipient of Columbia University’s Joseph Bearns Prize, the Lee Ettelson Award, and the 2017 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received performances from the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, and many others.

Schimmel’s works have been performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and other venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Schimmel is a graduate of Duke University (Ph.D.), the Yale School of Music (master’s degree), and Case Western Reserve University (bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and music).

“Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and creative ability in the arts,” said Jean Miller, dean of Illinois State’s College of Fine Arts. “As a graduate of Duke University, the Yale School of Music, and Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Carl Schimmel has achieved great success as a composer and as an Illinois State University associate professor. The College and School of Music are thrilled he has been selected for this prestigious award. It is quite a remarkable achievement.”

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