Monday, March 26, 2012

Gift establishes MARIJOSIUS PROGRAMMING AWARD in Perpetuity

The American Prize non-profit competitions in the performing arts is honored to announce that it has received a generous gift from the family of Maestro Vytautas Marijosius to fund in perpetuity its unique award in orchestral programming. The Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian Maestro who taught at the Hartt School of Music for more than thirty years.

The Marijosius Award recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community. It was first presented in 2011.

The postmark deadline for the 2012 programming competition is Monday, April 2, 2012. Complete information, including requirements and application forms, may be found on the website The American Prize.  

For more about the Marijosius Award (including profiles of previous winners) and to discover the brilliance and the wit of the man for whom the award is named, please read below.

Friday, March 23, 2012


For many years, the Hartt School sponsored the Institute for Contemporary American Music (ICAM), bringing to campus legendary, great and near great composers. Among the many who shared their gifts with students were Aaron Copland, William Schuman, George Crumb, Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter and Carlisle Floyd.

Marijosius, who championed the works of some of these modern masters (and many others) had choice words when faced with new music that looked better on the page than it sounded to the ear: 

"This is not so much contemporary music as just temporary..."

or this about a celebrated guest who could answer questions in perfectly formed paragraphs, but whose music was, well... 

"He is a composer more brilliant like talented."

or this, when examining a new score by a composer more interested in complexity than communication:

"He writes music with a rhythmical ruler."

And when a Hartt graduate composition major, within earshot of the Maestro, dared to deride Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols for being so popular, VM turned, smiled and said, but with the sweetest sarcasm: 

"In your whole life may you write even one such a "popular" piece."

CELEBRATING the MAESTRO's 70th Birthday

At the Hartt School, July 1980, "Marijosius is 70." (l to r) Barbara Eckstadt, cellist, David Katz, composer, Carol Kennedy, soprano and Kenneth Nott, organist, celebrate Maestro Marijosius's 70th birthday with a private concert. The program included world premieres of works for organ, cello and voice written especially for the occasion by Katz and Nott. A special exhibit honoring the conductor, entitled Marijosius is 70, was on view in the Allen Memorial Library at the school throughout the month.