Arts & Culture

UK Alum Wins International Contemporary Music Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2011) − University of Kentucky alumnus and percussionist Brian Archinal was awarded the first prize of 4,500 Euros at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 2011 held April 17, in Amsterdam. He was one of five finalists who battled it out for the contemporary music contest's three prizes.

Open to all instrumental and vocal soloists, duos and ensembles with up to 12 performers, the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition showcases young interpreters of contemporary music. This year, the jury consisted of the conductor Lucas Vis, guitarist Seth Josel, harp player Ernestine Stoop, pianist/organist Leo van Doeselaar and viola player Mikhail Bereznitsky. Eighty-three participants from 31 countries were selected to compete in the first round, of which 15 successfully reached the second round of the contest.

Following his second round audition which included performances of "All facing upwards" by Piet-Jan van Rossum and "Corporel" by Vinko Globokar, Archinal performed Louis Andriessen’s "Woodpecker" and part one from "Bone Alphabet" by Brian Ferneyhough in the final rounds.

Second prize was awarded to the English harpist Eleanor Turner and third prize went to Solaris Duo, consisting of American saxophonist Joel Diegert and Georgian pianist Mariam Vardzelashvili. To watch a video on the 2011 Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition with Archinal and the other finalists, visit the competition's website at

Archinal received his bachelor's degree in music performance at UK where he studied with James Campbell, director of percussion studies at UK School of Music. After leaving UK, he obtained his master's degree from the University of California, San Diego.  Currently Archinal is based in Basel, Switzerland, where he is studying at the Hochschule für Musik with Christian Dierstein on a combined Fulbright Grant and the Swiss Government’s FCS program.

Archinal has performed with Ensemble-Phoenix (Basel), red fish blue fish in (La Jolla, Calif.), La Jolla Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Kaohsiung City Symphony (Taiwan), SOUND/VISION (Lexington), Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (Tempe, Ariz.) and Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra (Switzerland).

The musician has performed at the Venice Bienalle (Italy), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Carlsbad Music Festival (Calif.), Concours de Genevé (Geneva, Switzerland), Chapman University (Orange, Calif.), Northeastern University (Boston), FreeKY Festival (Lexington) and two Percussive Arts Society Conventions. Archinal has also been a featured artist at the Music For All Summer Symposium (Bloomington, Ill.). As a competitor, he finished in the semi-finals of the 2009 Concours de Genevé and was runner-up in the 2008 Atlanta Symphony ‘Modern Snare Drum’ Competition.

Archinal has worked closely with such composers as Roger Reynolds Michael Pisaro, Philippe Manoury, Christopher Dench David Lang, Peter Ablinger, Edmund Campion, Trevor Bača, Nicholas Deyoe and David Crowell.

Recently, Archinal released his debut CD, "Self|Space," with recordings of multi-tracked ensemble works by Edmund Campion, Jordan Munson, Trevor Bača and Peter Ablinger. To hear music from Archinal's CD, visit his website at  

The 38th edition of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition was organized by Music Center the Netherlands and made possible in cooperation with the Orgelpark and the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-1754 ext. 229;