Chuck Named Guggenheim Fellow!

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation named Chuck as one of its 2009 Fellows in Music Composition.  This prestigious award will provide release time (beginning in January of 2010) for Chuck to pursue the composition of a long-envisioned large-scale work – a Double Concerto for Saxophone, Guitar, & Orchestra.

USF Jazz Professor, Composer Named Guggenheim Fellow

 Chuck Owen, professor of Jazz Studies at the University of South Florida, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honor considered one of the most prestigious academic recognitions in the world. Owen is the only Guggenheim Fellow in 2009 from a Florida university.

 Owen is a Distinguished University Professor at USF and founding director of the USF Center for Jazz Composition. A committed and passionate educator, he is also recognized inside and outside of academia for his unique compositional voice. Grounded in the jazz tradition, Owen does not hesitate to mask a diverse array of musical influences – ranging from classical and world musics to hip-hop/funk, folk, and even country.  The result is a thoughtful and frequently playful, body of work that seems to celebrate the American spirit.

 The Guggenheim Fellowship will support Owen’s work to compose a “Double Concerto for Saxophone, Guitar, & Orchestra.” This large-scale work (presently envisioned as 5 movements) will seek, in part, to continue to blur the boundaries between jazz traditions and the contemporary symphony orchestra.  Following completion of the composition, Owen plan to record the work as part of a CD that will include other compositions and arrangements for orchestra.

“I am delighted to have been accorded this tremendous honor and relish the opportunity to dedicate my efforts to the realization of a work that I have long wanted to pursue,” said Owen. “Through this fellowship, I have a unique opportunity not only to explore new musical territory, but to reach out to new audiences as well.”

In addition to his outstanding composition accolades, Owen has also been honored with several awards for teaching and academic service, including a “President’s Award for Faculty Excellence.” Owen has served as president of the International Association for Jazz Education and governor of the Florida chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. A graduate of California State University, Northridge and the University of North Texas, he is the author of several articles and new music reviews for the Jazz Educators Journal. 

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 180 fellowships from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants of artists, scientists, and scholars from around the world. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment. The 2009 Guggenheim Fellows represent 62 disciplines and 68 academic institutions, while 56 fellows are unaffiliated or hold only adjunct or part-time positions at universities.

Since its establishment in 1925 the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $273 million in fellowships to nearly 16,700 individuals. Scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prizewinners grace the roll of fellows, including Ansel Adams, W. H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Philip Roth, Paul Samuelson, Wendy Wasserstein, Derek Walcott, James Watson, and Eudora Welty.

Link to Guggenheim release: