Who’s Who?

Christopher Wilkins - Christopher Wilkins serves as Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Akron Symphony. Mr. Wilkins was appointed Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in the spring of 2011. Since then he has reaffirmed founder Charles Ansbacher's vision of making great music accessible to the whole community. The orchestra membership includes many of the finest professional musicians in the Boston area. In Akron, Mr. Wilkins has led the development of programs with an emphasis on inclusive programming and collaborative work. The orchestra's initiatives have recently been awarded a major grant from the Knight Foundation. That funding will support community-oriented programming and collaborative projects over a 5-year period. As a guest conductor, Mr. Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He has also appeared overseas, with regular concerts in New Zealand, Latin America, Spain and the UK. Previously he served as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony and the Colorado Springs Symphony, and is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. During his tenure in San Antonio, he and the orchestra received six programming awards from ASCAP, including the first-ever Morton Gould Award for creative programming. He also served as Resident Conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, assisting in the formation of the orchestra in its inaugural season, and leading it on tours throughout the Americas. Mr. Wilkins was winner of the Seaver/NEA Award in 1992. He served as associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assisting Joseph Silverstein; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood. Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1978. He studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and in 1979 attended the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.

Challenge Judges

Dan Crozier - Rollins College: Dan Crozier's compositions have been performed in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Syracuse, at Washington's Kennedy Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers' Symposium, and by the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, and have been recorded by MARK Records as well as for broadcast by the Belgian Radio and Television Network. He has received ASCAP Special Awards awards annually since 1996, an ASCAP Foundation Young Composer's Grant, and first prize in the National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition. Daniel Crozier has worked with Eliot Newsome, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and John Harbison. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and has served on the faculty at the Peabody Preparatory, Radford University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at Rollins College.

Keith Lay - Full Sail University: By the end of High School, Keith Lay had written works for symphonic band, piano, chorus and jazz orchestra. After earning a Master of Music Composition degree from the University of Akron he began a successful commercial composition career scoring jingles and commercials for broadcast, documentaries and short film. After joining the staff at Full Sail University in 1990 to teach digital production, Lay directed the Music History courses for 18 years and currently teaches in Full Sail's new Composition degree program. In 2004, his work "Children On the Playground" for Violin and String Orchestra was selected from over 7 years of Riverside International Competition winners for the competition's Grand Prize and a performance at Lincoln Center. "Earth Caoine", which was recorded by renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra was described as "unapologetically emotional" by a Gramophone magazine review in 2005. Lay is the recipient of a Florida Artist Fellowship, two United Arts of Central Florida Professional Development Grants, and a grant from the Margaret Fairbanks Jory Copy Assistance Program.

Alex Burtzos - University of Central Florida: Alex Burtzos is an Assistant Professor of Music and the Director of Composition Studies at the University of Central Florida. A composer and conductor whose music has been performed across four continents, Alex has collaborated with some of the world's foremost contemporary musicians and ensembles, including JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, loadbang, ETHEL, Jenny Lin, RighteousGIRLS, and many others. His work often incorporates elements of the 20th Century avant-garde, jazz, rock, metal, and hip-hop, alongside or against classical/preclassical structures and sounds, justifying these juxtapositions with a great depth of musical ideas and extra-musical knowledge. Alex's music takes as its basis and provides commentary on a diverse array of subject matter, from early colonial history to recent events, from Shakespeare's tragedies to naughty text messages. His unique approach has earned him accolades and awards from organizations around the world. Alex is the founder and Artistic Director of ICEBERG New Music, a New York-based composers' collective dedicated to increasing the stylistic and demographic diversity of contemporary classical music. He is also conductor of and composer-in-residence for ShoutHouse, a New York City chamber orchestra comprised of classical, hip-hop, and jazz musicians. With ShoutHouse, he has conducted over 30 world and regional premieres since 2014. Alex's research interests include recursive musical structure, cross-stylistic analysis, ear training pedagogy and American music in the 20th Century. Prior to joining the UCF faculty in 2018, he taught at Stevens Institute of Technology, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Manhattan School of Music.

Stephen Goldman studied music composition at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and in 1974 received a BS in Physics from the University of Florida. Mr. Goldman has composed many pieces in both popular and classical styles. In 1997 he received the Composers Guild's 1st place award for orchestral composition for Quicksilver's Salvitude. Mr. Goldman's compositions have been performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Güyr Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra. Goldman was CEO and founder of Distributed Processing Technology, a developer and manufacturer of intelligent storage controllers for the computer industry and developer of the world's first caching and RAID disk controllers. As a member of the American National Standards Institure (ANSI) Mr. Goldman was one of the designers of the SCSI interface standard. In 2000, Mr. Goldman retired from DPT to pursue philanthropic interests. He has served on the boards of the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, The Marin Symphony, the Festival of Orchestras, and as a Trustee of United Arts of Central Florida. Mr. Goldman also serves on the Dean's Advisory Councils for the University of Central Florida College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Sciences. Mr. Goldman is the creater of Why U, an internationally-renowned web-based educational resource.