The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) and the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado) announce that Sofía Rocha, a composition student at AMFS, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Hermitage Prize in Composition. Rocha is the ninth recipient of this annual award, which includes a residency at the Hermitage, along with a $1,000 cash stipend. Rocha was selected by a jury that includes Robert Spano, Music Director of the AMFS and the Atlanta Symphony and a past member of the Hermitage Curatorial Council; Alan Fletcher, AMFS President and CEO; and the composition faculty of the AMFS, including Hermitage Fellow Christopher Theofanidis.
Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg presented the award to Rocha at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Tent, alongside Fletcher, Spano, Theofanidis, and award-winning composer and Hermitage Fellow Nico Muhly. This unique initiative, launched in 2013 and now celebrating its tenth year, reflects an invaluable partnership between AMFS and the Hermitage, designed to champion new and original works and to recognize exceptional talent in the field of contemporary classical music. The idea for the prize was first conceived when Robert Spano was in residence at the Hermitage and shared with his colleagues in Aspen how beneficial the retreat had been for him and his work. The Hermitage Prize in Composition was created to offer the same experience to young, talented composers just beginning their professional careers.
Sofía Rocha is originally from Boulder, Colorado and grew up in Naples, Florida. Rocha writes music of uncompromising emotional intensity while exploring cognition, randomness, rhythm, and counterpoint within post-tonal frameworks. She writes for all manner of performing forces: instrumental, vocal, and electronic. Recent and upcoming projects include newly commissioned works for the 2022 Aspen Music Festival as a Composition Fellow, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Fifth House Ensemble as a Fromm Foundation Fellow at the 2020 Fresh Inc. Festival. Rocha’s first orchestral work, Replier, was chosen as the winner of the 2020 New England Philharmonic annual call-for-scores and premiered in May of 2022. Rocha has also received honors from ASCAP, OM/NI Composition Competition, and Tenebrae New Music Ensemble. Rocha is also an avid trombonist and conductor, having performed with numerous symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and jazz groups.