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March 3, 2006

CCNY MUSIC PROFESSOR JONATHAN PIESLAK TO RECEIVE FELLOWSHIP FROM AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

NEW YORK, March 2, 2006 – Jonathan Pieslak, Assistant Professor of Music at The City College of New York (CCNY), was chosen as one of two recipients of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Goddard Lieberson Fellowship for 2006. The Fellowship is presented to “mid-career composers of exceptional gifts” and carries a $15,000 stipend. It is one of 18 music awards announced by the Academy to be presented at its annual Ceremonial in May.

“This is an extraordinary recognition for Jonathan’s talents, and we at City College are proud that our students have the opportunity to study with musicians of his caliber at a public institution,” said Music Department Chair Professor Stephen Jablonsky.

Professor Pieslak, describing his music, said, “My music is influenced by the many musical genres that have shaped my life. As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Wilmington, Del., my first real pursuit of music came as an electric bassist, playing in jazz, Latin, and rock bands. 

“My formal academic training in composition came later during my undergraduate and graduate years, and as a composer I often felt tension between my love for contemporary classical music and my performance roots in the rhythmically-driven elements from rock and Latin music. I think that the music I compose is the product of the different styles that have remained an important part of my musical life.”

Professor Pieslak, who has taught at CCNY since 2003, has had his music performed and broadcast throughout the United States and internationally. He has collaborated with such organizations as the Kiev Philharmonic, Radio Resita (Romania), Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, North/South Consonance, and Oregon Bach Festival. In addition, he has been recognized with awards and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, National Federation of Music Clubs, MacDowell Colony and many others. His music can be heard at: www.myspace.com/jpieslak.

In addition to these compositional activities, Professor Pieslak is also an active theorist and performer. His research covers topics ranging from meta-theory to heavy metal analysis (including the music of Korn and the Swedish band, Meshuggah), to music and the war in Iraq. He has published numerous articles and presented papers at distinguished institutions and conferences including The Society for Music Theory, The Dublin International Conference on Music Analysis, The Music Theory Society of New York State, The International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) and others. As a performer, he is bassist in the band, half (www.halfmusic.com ).

Professor Pieslak holds Ph.D. and M.M. (Master of Music) degrees from University of Michigan and a B.A. from Davidson College.

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