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Composer Jorge Liderman of UC Berkeley receives recording boost from academy

– The American Academy of Arts and Letters has awarded Jorge Liderman, a composer and professor of music at the University of California, Berkeley, a $15,000 award to be used for new recordings.

Liderman and 15 others were chosen for awards in music earlier this month by the 250-member academy based in New York City. Academy Awards in music were announced for Liderman and four other composers, each recognized for outstanding artistic achievement and finding their own voice. Awards will be formally presented in May.

"I am thinking of recording my piano music," said Liderman, who is on leave for the 2003-2004 school year and busy composing.

"I just finished 'Barcelonazo,' a 40-minute orchestral piece written in Barcelona, and 'In Black and White,' for two pianos," he said. In addition, he is writing an hour-long cycle of 46 Sephardic songs for violin and guitar that is called, "Aires de Sefarad."

He also has a CD of his chamber music, "Trompetas de Plata," coming out in April. Liderman said he is at work on the release of a CD of his guitar music and another of his "Song of Songs," music accompanying a new translation of the Hebrew Bible's famous love poem.

The native of Buenos Aires began writing music as a child and has performed around the world at festivals such as Tanglewood, Music of the Americas, London's Viva, Mexico's International Forum and Osaka's Expo 90.

Last year he was one of 37 artists, scholars and scientists to receive a Guggenheim Latin American and Caribbean Fellowship Award. He also has been awarded a Radio France award, the Argentine Tribune of Composers Prize, a BMW International Music Theater Prize, and the Raymond Hubell Music Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Liderman, 46, has been teaching music theory and composition since 1989 at UC Berkeley's music department in the College of Letters & Science.