Pierre Jalbert won the $44,000 Masterprize composing competition for new classical music. Jalbert, a 33-year-old music teacher at Rice University in Houston, was given a standing ovation from a packed

Pierre Jalbert won the $44,000 Masterprize composing competition for new classical music. Jalbert, a 33-year-old music teacher at Rice University in Houston, was given a standing ovation from a packed house at the Barbican arts center in London when his name was announced Wednesday.

The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, had performed Jalbert's entry -- "In aeternam" (Latin for eternity or forever) -- in a concert of the works of the five finalists.

Asked how he felt about winning, Jalbert replied: "Shocked. I loved all the pieces. We (the finalists) got to know each other in London and enjoyed listening to the rehearsals and hearing them live. For a composer it doesn't get any better than this."

He said he would use his prize to "pay off some bills. I have two small children and many debts."

The runners-up, who received $1,500 each, were two Americans from Michigan, Anthony Iannaccone of Ypsilanti and Carter Pann of Ann Arbor; Qigang Chen, a Chinese living in Paris, and Alastair King, a Briton.

This was the second Masterprize competition. It was founded by John McLaren, an investment specialist, for short works for symphony orchestra to bring composers and music lovers closer and to find new works with the potential to enter the standard orchestral repertoire. For more information, visit the official Masterprize Web site.


AP LogoCopyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.