Charles Mason Named Frost School of Music 2009 Distinguished Alumnus

Coral Gables (September 24, 2009) — Charles Norman Mason is recipient of the 2009 Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dean Shelton G. Berg will publicly recognize Mason’s achievement at the October 2nd, 2009 opening concert of Festival Miami 2009.

Mason has received many awards for his compositions, including the 2005 Samuel Barber Rome Prize Fellowship, the 1998 Premi Internacional de Composició Musical Ciutat de Tarragona Orchestra Music prize, and a 1994 National Endowment of the Arts Individual Composers Grant. Among the commissions he has received are from the Alabama Symphony, the Goliard Ensemble, the Corona Guitar Kvartet (Denmark), the Dale Warland Singers, Karen Bentley Pollick, Craig Hultgren, William DeVan, Mildred Allen, Scott Deal, Wagner Campos, Roderick Ferguson, Atlas Saxophone Quartet, Luna Nova Ensemble, Youth Opera Foundation, Fairbanks Symphony Association, and ONIX ensemble (Mexico). He has held residencies at the Hambidge Center, the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, the New Music Festival in Bulgaria, and was sponsored by the Seaside Institute as an "Escape To Create" composer-in-residence at Seaside, Florida.

Charles N. Mason was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and has lived in Miami, Indianapolis, and Champaign-Urbana (IL). Lately he has been composing and living in the city of Birmingham. He studied composition with many well-known composers including Don Erb, Ben Johnston, Salvatore Martirano, Dennis Kam, and John Melby.

A strong advocate of other composers and new music in general, Dr. Mason is executive director of Living Artist Foundation, an organization devoted to promoting new music. Mason was editor of the Living Music journal for fifteen years prior to taking over the Foundation in 1999. Mason is also co-founder of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, an organization whose primary purpose is to present concerts of new music in the Birmingham area. For six years, he was vice-president of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and is currently chairman of the Alabama Music Teachers Association Composition Commissioning program. In addition, Mason is founder and director of Living Artist Recordings, a non-profit recording company that is solely dedicated to new music. He teaches composition and theory at Birmingham-Southern College, a private liberal arts college in Birmingham, Alabama.

Associate Dean Dr. Nicholas DeCarbo said, “Charles is an outstanding composer, and one of which the entire Frost School of Music is proud. Congratulations, Charles Mason.”

Opening night of Festival Miami 2009, “Celebrating the German Romantic Tradition,” will feature the Frost Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Thomas Sleeper performing Schumann’s Overture to Faust, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor") with faculty soloist Tian Ying, and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

About Purchasing Festival Miami Tickets

The Festival Miami Advance Ticket Sales Office phone number is (305) 284-4940. Hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For a complete listing of concerts and to order tickets online visit or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for additional information. Tickets go on sale September 1. Gusman Concert Hall is located at the Frost School of Music, 1314 Miller Drive, on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables Campus. Clarke Recital Hall is located a short walk from Gusman Concert Hall along shore of Lake Osceola.


About the University of Miami Frost School of Music

Building on its foundation as a Conservatory of Music, the Frost School has pioneered new curricula and was the birst in the nation to offer professionally accredited bachelors and masters degrees in Music Business and Music Engineering Technology. The Frost School was also among the birst to offer degrees in Studio Music and Jazz, Music Therapy, and Accompanying and Chamber Music. In addition, the Frost School was the birst in a major university to develop a student‐run label, ‘Cane Records, and a publishing company, Category Five. The School’s innovative programs, combined with its traditional areas of concentration, offer its students one of the widest choices of career programs of any music school in the nation. More information about the University of Miami Frost School of Music can be found at

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