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Arts & Artists  

2007 Governors Arts Awardsgaa logo

Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award Recipient:
Marilyn Ziffrin, Bradford

In her lifetime, composer Marilyn J. Ziffrin has made considerable contributions to her art form and to the arts community as a teacher, an author, composer, performer and an active community member.

From 1967 to 1982 she was Associate Professor at New England College, where she founded the student Percussion Ensemble and Collegium Musicum, which performed at NEC and around the state. While there she was also part of the development of a comprehensive music program that was offered to all students. She also continues to teach private composition lessons at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, as she has since 1972.Living Treasure Award

Throughout her life she has received recognition and many awards including, ASCAP Awards through 2002, induction into the Moline IL High School Hall of Honors in 2002, she was honored by Friends of Chamber Music of Davenport, Iowa with a concert of the composer's music in 2001, she received Honorable Mention, MTNA Shepherd Competition in 1998, was named NHMTA Composer of the year in 1997, she has had six residencies at the MacDowell Colony.

She spent a year in Vermont doing research on Carl Ruggles, the distinguished American composer, painter and storyteller who was then a Vermont resident. Her biography of Ruggles was published by the University of Illinois Press in 1994.

She has written Solo compositions, plus Chamber music, choral works, works for Orchestra and band, including Cantata for Freedom, For Love of Cynthia, Two Songs for Bass-Baritone, Piano Sonata, Fantasy for Two Pianos, New England Epitaphs, Music for Handbells and Organ, Two Holiday Songs, and Yankee Hooray.

Locally she has contributed her talents by performing benefit concerts for the NH Bicentennial and for the Jimmy Fund at New London Barn Playhouse. She performed impetus and accompaniment for the Colby-Sawyer College production of the Medium by Giancarlo Menotti, currently serves on the Ted Letvin scholarship committee and continues working with the Bradford historical society.

Most recently Ziffrin has been asked to write a piano sonata for New Hampshire concert pianist Jayne Kelly, who has already performed and recorded Ziffrin’s Recurrences, which is soon to be released. For Love of Cynthia for baritone, violin, horn, and piano was introduced February 12, 2005, at Norris (TN) United Methodist Church. Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano was presented by Carol Neuleib, Theresa Hupp, and Gail Baldwin on April 10, Friends of Chamber Music concert, Christ United Methodist Church, Davenport, IA.


Four Pieces for Tuba (Nos. 3 and 4) were performed February 5, 2005, by Lloyd Farrar. Themes and Variations: In Memoriam for organ was presented February 12 at Norris (TN) United Methodist Church. Fantasia for Bassoon received several performances from Keith McClelland, including September 1 at the University of Georgia, Athens; and performances at Norris (TN) United Methodist Church and the University of Tennessee, at Knoxville.

Ziffrin’s Songs and Arias have been recorded by mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato, violist Liuh-Wen Ting, pianist/harpsichordist Max Lifchitz; N/S Recording 1041. Concertino for Piano and Strings , pianist Helen Lin, N/S Consonance Ensemble conducted by Max Lifchitz ; N/S Recording 1038.


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