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Crane School of Music Composer Awarded Prestigious Fromm Commission

February 14, 2024
Crane School of Music Faculty Member Ivette Herryman Rodriguez Honored with 2023 Commission from Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University 

Crane School of Music Associate Professor Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodriguez has been awarded a Fromm commission from the Fromm Institute at Harvard University.

Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodriguez, a faculty member at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, was recently named as a 2023 Commissioned Composer by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University 

An associate professor of music composition at Crane, Rodriguez was one of 14 composers from across the country chosen for the prestigious award, which will support her work in creating a new piece, as well as providing a subsidy to support the world premiere performance. 

“This is one of the highest honors I feel I have received up to this point as a composer. When I looked at the list of awardees for this year and for the grant’s history, I found many really important names, some that I studied with as a composition student. It is without a doubt a great honor to be one of the grantees,” Rodriguez said. “I also noticed in the list of former composers that have received a Fromm grant the names of three Cuban-born female composers that now reside in the United States; I am the fourth one to join them on this list. These are also composers I studied and have long admired. This makes this honor even more special for me.” 

The Fromm award adds to the Crane faculty member’s growing list of accomplishments. In 2022, she attended two momentous performances of her piece “Un Danzón a Mi Manera (A Danzón Done My Way),” conducted by the renowned music director Gustavo Dudamel—with one performance in the Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles as part of the League of the American Orchestras National Conference, and once in a two-concert series at the Hollywood Bowl, performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

With this new commission, Rodriguez will compose a piece for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, which she anticipates will be a work for voice and chamber ensemble, centered around the topic of resilience.  

“My composition work is very closely related to my teaching work here at Crane, not only teaching composition lessons and studio classes, but also theory, aural skills, instrumentation, Latin music at the keyboard, etc. I am always open to give my music to any student interested in performing it, and this new piece will not be an exception to that. I also have given many presentations and talks about pieces I have written and/or am working on, to talk about the composition process. I think about this as an opportunity for teaching as well, and any time that it seems relevant, I am happy to bring my music to the classroom,” Rodriguez said. 

About the composer: 

A native of Cuba, Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodríguez holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition from the Instituto Superior de Artes (Higher Institute of Arts) in Havana, a master’s in music composition from Baylor University, and both a master’s in music theory and a doctorate in music composition from Michigan State University. She studied composition with Juan Piñera, Scott McAllister, Ricardo Lorenz and Zhou Tian.  

Ivette’s music has been described as “absolutely exquisite” and “breathtakingly beautiful.” She is the composer of a bestseller piece for women’s choir, published by Walton Music. She is the winner of a Cubadisco Special Award, a Brandon Fradd Fellowship in Music Composition given by the CINTAS Foundation and the 2019 Illinois State Music Teachers Association Composer Commissioning program, among other awards.  

Her most recent commissions include new compositions for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Michigan State University’s Symphony Band, Illinois State Music Teachers Association 2019 Conference, Truman State University’s Wind Ensemble, percussionist Alex Smith, and the Aria Reed Trio from The Crane School of Music.  

Before joining Crane, Ivette taught music theory and composition at the Instituto Superior de Artes, the Opera of El Salvador, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Western Illinois University, where she also taught piano. To learn more, visit  

About The Crane School of Music: 

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution and was one of the first Yamaha Institutions of Excellence. For more information, please visit 

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