Special Events

A.I. duPont Composer’s Award

Friday, September 28, 2018 at

Copeland Hall at The Grand Opera House

Join us on September 28th as we present the 2018 A.I. duPont Composer's Award to Robert Patterson and perform his composition Dark Mountains

About the Award

Alfred I. duPont (1864-1935) was a remarkable man. He was a businessman, musician, an inventor, a communicator, and a philanthropist. Of all his accomplishments, one of the greatest is evident today in the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. duPont had a great passion for music. He played four instruments and took great pleasure in composing music, mostly marches. His infectious enthusiasm enabled him to gather enough musicians to form an orchestra in Wilmington, which he rehearsed and conducted. At first, the group was referred to as “Al’s Band,” since there were few strings and the men marched in parades on national holidays. Mr. duPont, however, always referred to his ensemble as an orchestra.

In time, the group was dubbed the “Tankopanicum Orchestra” by Mr. duPont and was considered the most popular musical organization in Wilmington at the turn of the twentieth century. The word “Tankopanicum” is a traditional Native American name associated with the Brandywine Creek. It means “rushing waters of the Brandywine” and refers to the gorge that runs from the Bancroft Mill up to Rockland.

The first rehearsals were held in the DuPont Company’s machine shop. When a piano was needed, the musicians gathered in the parlor of the duPont family residence, Swamp Hall. By 1904, rehearsals were being held in the Hagley Community House at the foot of Breck’s Lane.

The orchestra was composed of many of the duPont powder mill workers as well as other local citizens. Some of the early members included the superintendent of a cotton mill, a family doctor, a millwright apprentice, a blacksmith, a machinist, a hardware store worker, and many members of the duPont family. Mr. duPont conducted and played first violin, clarinet, cornet, or the piano, depending on what was needed.

Mr. duPont continued with the “Tankopanicum Orchestra” until his hearing loss forced him to stop. The orchestra gradually changed and grew over the years, becoming “The Wilmington Orchestra,” “The Wilmington Symphony Club,” “The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra,” and finally, “The Delaware Symphony Orchestra.”

The A. I. duPont Composer’s Award is made possible by the Alfred I. duPont Foundation. It was instituted in 1985 by the DSO to honor him. This award recognizes a distinguished living American composer or conductor who has made a significant contribution in the field of contemporary classical music. Past winners are among the most celebrated composers of recent history, including Morton Gould, John Adams, Robert Ward, Phillip Glass, George Crumb, Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Kevin Puts, Christopher Theofanidis, and Andre Previn.

 

DSO Season

Winner

Links

1985-1986

William Howard Schuman
(1910-1992)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Schuman

1986-1987

George Rochberg
(1918-2005)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Rochberg

1987-1988

Morton Gould
(1913-1996)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Gould

1988-1989

John Corigliano
(b. 1938)

http://www.johncorigliano.com/

1989-1990

John Adams
(b. 1947)

https://www.earbox.com/

1990-1991

Ellen Zwilich
(b. 1939)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Taaffe_Zwilich

1991-1992

Stephen Albert
(1941-1992)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Albert

1992-1993

David Diamond
(1915-2005)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Diamond_(composer)

1993-1994

William Bolcom
(b. 1938)

https://williambolcom.com/

1994-1995

Robert Ward
(1917-2013)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ward_(composer)

1995-1996

Joseph Schwantner
(b. 1943)

http://www.schwantner.net/

1996-1997

Stephen Paulus
(1949-2014)

https://stephenpaulus.com/

1997-1998

Joan Tower
(b. 1938)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Tower

1998-1999

Lukas Foss
(1922-2009)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lukas_Foss

1999-2000

Richard Wernick
(b. 1934)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wernick

2000-2001

Christopher Rouse
(b. 1949)

http://www.christopherrouse.com/

2001-2002

George Walker
(1922-2018)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Walker_(composer)

2002-2003

Steve Reich
(b.1936)

http://www.stevereich.com/

2003-2004

David Lang
(b. 1957)

https://davidlangmusic.com/

2004-2005

Michael Torke
(b. 1961)

https://www.michaeltorke.com/

2005-2006

Gunther Schuller
(1925-2015)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunther_Schuller

2006-2007

Michael Daughterty
(b. 1954)

http://www.michaeldaugherty.net/

2007-2008

Elliott Carter
(1908-2012)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Carter

2008-2009

Phillip Glass
(b. 1937)

https://philipglass.com/

2009-2010

George Crumb
(b. 1929)

http://www.georgecrumb.net/

2010-2011

Libby Larsen
(b. 1950)

https://libbylarsen.com/

2011-2012

Jennifer Higdon
(b. 1962)

http://www.jenniferhigdon.com/

2012-2013

Presented 2014

Aaron Jay Kernis
(b. 1960)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Jay_Kernis

2014-15

Kevin Puts
(b. 1972)

http://www.kevinputs.com/

2015-2016

Christopher Theofanidis

http://www.theofanidismusic.com/

2016-2017

André Previn

http://www.andre-previn.com/

2017-2018

David Ludwig

http://www.davidludwigmusic.com/

2018-2019

Robert Paterson

http://robertpaterson.com

 

Alfred I. duPont

Robert Paterson, 2018-2019
A. I. duPont Award Winner