Retired UCSB Music Professor Earns ASCAP Award

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

William Kraft, an emeritus professor of music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been chosen by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to receive a cash merit award.

The awards, given each year, reward composers for compositions of the past year and encourage further artistic effort in the future.

"In making these grants, we join with your educational institution in supporting the growth and development of our nation's musical future," said ASCAP president Marilyn Bergman.

Kraft, who retired in 2002 after spending 11 years as a professor and composer in residence at UCSB, has many original music pieces in his career catalog. "Red Azalea," an operatic presentation of Anchee Min's memoir of China's Cultural Revolution, debuted in 2003 at UCSB. Kraft's previously composed concerto for timpani was performed more than 30 times this year, most recently in Lyon, France.

Most recently, he has been commissioned to write three more pieces for concerts next year in Fullerton, San Francisco, and Martha's Vineyard.

Prior to coming to UCSB, Kraft was a world-renown composer, percussionist and timpanist who performed for 26 years with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1994, Los Angeles Magazine named him one of the 50 most interesting people in Los Angeles, calling him "one of L.A.'s most distinguished---and least recognized---musical minds." He served as assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic from 1969 to 1972.

From 1981 to 1985, he was a composer in residence there.

UCSB Music Department