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VPA's Waggoner wins American Academy of Arts and Letters music award

March 12, 2009

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

Andrew Waggoner, associate professor of composition and theory in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), has won a 2009 Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges composers who have arrived at their own voice.

Waggoner, who is also chair of the Setnor School's composition and theory department, will receive a $7,500 award and an additional $7,500 toward the recording of one work.

Born in New Orleans, Waggoner studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), the Eastman School of Music and Cornell University. His awards include the Lee Ettelson Composer's Award from Composers Inc., a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Roger Sessions Memorial Bogliasco Fellowship in Music from the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy.

Waggoner's music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the St. Louis, Denver, Syracuse and Winnipeg symphonies; the Cassatt, Corigliano, Miro and Degas quartets; the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; the California E.A.R. Unit; pianist Gloria Cheng; violist Melia Watras; cellist Robert Burkhart; the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra of Zlin, Czech Republic; Sequitur; the Empyrean Ensemble; CELLO; Flexible Music; Ensemble Nordlys of Denmark; and Ensemble Accroche Note of France.

Waggoner is a founding director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music in Vinalhaven, Maine, and teaches regularly at NOCCA Riverfront. With his wife, cellist and Setnor faculty member Caroline Stinson, he formed Open End, which has given concerts in New York City; Syracuse; Strasbourg, France; and Florence, Italy.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to foster, assist and sustain an interest in literature, music and the fine arts. Each year, the academy honors more than 50 composers, artists, architects and writers with cash awards ranging from $2,500 to $75,000. Other activities of the academy include exhibitions of art, architecture and manuscripts; publications on the academy's history and events; and readings and performances of new musicals. For more information, visit

VPA is committed to the education of cultural leaders who will engage and inspire audiences through performance, visual art, design, scholarship and commentary. The college provides the tools for self-discovery and risk-taking in an environment that thrives on critical thought and action. Learn more at

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