Music student wins international ‘Volterra Project Composer Award’

Christian Cruz

Music composition student Christian Cruz, who will graduate with a master’s degree in music composition, has won the “Volterra Project Composer Award.” His piece, “Suite Homenajes,” written for three guitars, was inspired by J.S. Bach’s “Toccata for harpsichord.” It also references and intermingles music by some of Cruz’s favorite composers.

“I was very excited! I think this is probably my most elaborate piece for guitars and put a lot of effort into it,” said Cruz. 

Composer, guitarist, and juror Dusan Bogdanovic call the piece “an original, humorous maverick composition; it will both impress and make you smile.”

For winning top honors, Cruz will travel to Volterra, a mountaintop town in Italy, where his piece will be performed publicly for the first time at the Volterra Project Summer Guitar Institute. A professional audio and video recording will also be made of the composition. 

The Volterra Project was to be held in mid-July. However, the event has been canceled due to COVID-19, so Suite Homenajes will premiere next summer.

Cruz has been awarded multiple scholarships, including the Guitar Salon International CSU Summer Arts Scholarship, University of Southern California – Celedonio Romero Scholarship in Classical Guitar, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, California State University Northridge – Rose Augustine Memorial Scholarship, and The Dean’s Council Annual Fund.

Following graduation, Cruz plans to continue recording his music, teaching guitar, and pursuing composition projects.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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