Dr. Dániel Péter Biró, professor of composition and music theory with the School of Music, has received a prestigious Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University for the 2014/15 academic year—a first for UVic’s School of Music.

“They have invited 53 researchers from all disciplines for this next year,” says Biró. “It’s not every day you get something like this.”

The Radcliffe Fellowship is only the latest accolade for Biró, an internationally acclaimed, multiple award-winning composer, co-creator of the SALT New Music Festival and Symposium and co-editor of the Search Journal for New Music and Culture.

Dániel Péter Biró

Dániel Péter Biró

“Dr. Biró’s appointment as a fellow at Radcliffe College is a great achievement,” says Dr. Susan Lewis Hammond, director of the School of Music. “This is a high honour that reflects the status of his work and his international reputation in the fields of composition and new music. It is a mark of the quality of research and teaching happening in the School of Music. Our students will benefit greatly when Dr. Biró returns and transfers the knowledge and experience that he gains from Harvard to his classes.”

Biró’s tenure at Harvard will be spent not teaching but completing a seven-part, three-hour composition cycle he has been creating since 2003. “It’s called Mishpatim, which means ‘laws’. It’s all coming from an archaic Hebrew text, and will involve large ensemble, voice, piano and electronics,” he explains. “There’s also interaction between the live musicians and what’s being processed via computer and then coming out of the speakers to the audience.”

A movement of the Mishpatim cycle was commissioned by the German city of Darmstadt and performed by the ensemble recherche in 2006 while Biró was a featured composer and lecturer at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is defined by a program that provides one-year fellowships for projects in a variety of disciplines in an open intellectual atmosphere. The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program has awarded over 650 fellowships since its founding in 1999, and past Fellowship winners include Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, Poets Laureate, MacArthur fellows and leading international scientists, theatre directors and visual artists.