Contact:  Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Music student Leo R. Hurley has won the North Carolina Symphony’s String Quartet Composition Competition.

Hurley, a college senior from Rollinsford, N.H., won with his String Quartet No. 1.

The North Carolina Symphony required the submitted works be original and inspired by the music of American composer John Adams. “We were very impressed by the overall quality of the submissions, and making this decision was quite difficult for Music Director Grant Llewellyn and our artistic staff,” wrote Scott Freck, the North Carolina Symphony’s vice president for artistic operations and general manager.

Leo Hurley

Hurley’s composition will be premiered during a special pre-concert chamber music performance on Friday, March 25, at Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall prior to the North Carolina Symphony’s Classical Series concert that night, which will feature their John Adams Composer Portrait. Hurley will also get the chance to workshop his composition with the North Carolina Symphony musicians who will play its premiere, “thereby deepening the educational impact of this competition,” Freck noted.

 Leo Hurley has gained recognition with commissions and performances spanning the entire United States, as well as in Venice at the La Biennale Festival with Alonzo King's Lines Ballet and in Cortona, Italy, and Serbia as part of various young composers’ festivals. Hurley has had the pleasure of writing for Maya Angelou's 80th Birthday Celebration, Grammy Award-winner Pharoah Sanders, and the Winston-Salem Symphony. In 2010, he achieved the title of “Iron Composer” at the Cortona Session’s first annual Iron Composer Competition as well as winning the Winston-Salem Symphony Composition Competition for the second time, having his work “Mirror Mirror Overture” premiered during the Mary Starling Concert Series. In 2009, he was awarded the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer's Award for “Zydeco,” a saxophone quartet. Recently, Hurley assisted composer Carlisle Floyd on a production of Floyd’s opera Susannah in Bilbao, Spain, and continues a mentorship with him as he writes his first opera. Hurley studies with Dr. Lawrence Dillon in the School of Music at UNCSA. 

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.