Dr Eugene Birman


貝臻雅博士

Date: 09 Apr 2018 (Monday)

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HKBU Music scholar receives distinguished Guggenheim Fellowship

浸大音樂學者獲古根漢姆基金獎殊榮

HKBU Department of Music Research Assistant Professor Dr Eugene Birman has been named a recipient of one of the world’s most prestigious academic prizes, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, for 2018. Dr Birman is among the youngest in the Fellowship’s history and is the only recipient from Hong Kong in recent years.

Created in 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowships (https://www.gf.org/), offered by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in USA, are awarded to those who have made impressive accomplishments in their respective fields and exhibit exceptional promise for the future. The Foundation receives nearly 3,000 applications each year. Many Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners are Guggenheim Fellowship recipients.

A distinguished composer, Dr Birman’s work has been performed on four continents and by many of the world’s leading orchestras, ensembles, and soloists, counting among them such names as the London Philharmonic, the violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov, and the BBC Singers. His highly public career in music, with appearances on CNN, BBC World TV, Radio France, and others, is characterised by a fearless focus on socially relevant large-scale compositions covering the financial crisis, the environment, and more.

“I’m honoured not only by the faith placed in me by the Guggenheim Foundation to create what I consider a breakthrough piece in my career, but also by HKBU, my home institution, for giving me the ideal environment to think, to teach, and to create,” Dr Birman said. “Particularly with a controversial project like this, I feel empowered in many ways to continue down this path of creating music that challenges, compels discussion, and seeks real answers through this universal language.” Being awarded the 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship will allow him to focus on a new commission for a leading British vocal ensemble on the topic of fake news and Russian foreign policy, in partnership with librettist Scott Diel.

A Fulbright scholar and DPhil recipient from the University of Oxford in the UK, Dr Birman also holds degrees from Columbia University, the Juilliard School in USA, and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Italy.

浸大音樂系研究助理教授貝臻雅博士,獲頒2018年古根漢姆基金獎,成為這項國際知名學術殊榮的得主之一。貝臻雅博士是其中一位最年輕的基金獎得主,也是近年唯一得獎的香港學者。

基金獎於1925年由美國古根漢姆基金會設立(https://www.gf.org/),旨在向不同領域取得矚目成就的傑出學者提供獎金,支持他們不斷研究探索,基金會每年均收到約3,000份申請。過去不少諾貝爾獎或普立茲獎得主,均曾獲古根漢姆基金獎。

貝臻雅博士是著名作曲家,音樂作品曾得到世界不少著名管弦樂隊、樂團和獨立表演者演繹,包括倫敦愛樂樂團、小提琴大師Maxim Vengerov和英國合唱團BBC Singers等。他的作品常出現於美國有線電視新聞網、英國廣播公司和法國廣播電台等新聞平台,音樂題材經常針砭時弊、觸及國際金融危機和環保等議題。

「得到基金會肯定令我深感榮幸,更為我的音樂生涯帶來一次突破。我要感謝浸大給予理想環境支持我充份發揮、思考和創作。」貝臻雅博士補充:「能夠以獨特的創作風格獲獎,讓我更有信心繼續以音樂這種國際語言去挑戰權威、引發討論和尋求答案。」今次得獎後,他將與歌劇作家Scott Diel合作,專注為英國一個著名聲樂團進行以假新聞和俄羅斯外交政策為主題的音樂創作。

貝臻雅博士同時是富布萊特訪問學人,他擁有英國牛津大學博士學位,以及美國哥倫比亞大學、茱莉亞學院和意大利Accademia Musicale Chigiana的學位。