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Culture notes: Rapido winner relishes ASO commission; a lost mandolin finds its way home to Atlanta

Competiton winner gets $7,500 ASO commission
Charles Zoll, a 21-year-old University of Arizona student, won the third Rapido, a national competition for composers whose finals were held Jan. 20 at the Woodruff Arts Center.

Zoll’s winnings include a $7,500 commission for an original full orchestral work to be premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in May 2014.

The judges for the competition, at which the Atlanta Chamber Players performed the five national finalist works, were Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano and Atlanta School of Composers members Michael Gandolfi and Jennifer Higdon.

Spano, in a statement, called the proceedings “a wonderful competition that showcased remarkable talent” and said that he and the ASO “look forward to the music Charles will write in the next year.”

Zoll will expand his winning chamber piece into a 15-minute work to be premiered this fall by five chamber ensembles: Atlanta Chamber Players, Boston Musica Viva, Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago, Voices of Change of Dallas and San Francisco’s Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. He will also participate in a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts in Northeast Georgia.

“Winning Rapido is offering me experiences and exposure I never would have expected,” Zoll said. “I am incredibly excited to begin working to expand my chamber composition, and then write a new piece for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.” HOWARD POUSNER

Return of a wayfaring mandolin
Three years ago Atlanta patent attorney and bluegrass musician Mark Lehi Jones accidentally left a brand-new mandolin in the Hartsfield-Jackson terminal, before flying to Utah for his father’s birthday. Calls to the airport and pleas online failed to recover the instrument, a resophonic eight-string made by National that usually retail for more than $2,000.

Last week, out of the blue, he received an email from a California man, who confessed to picking up the instrument, and who had decided to come clean, after reading Jones’ blog posting on the errant mando.

Yes, the thief picked it up while enroute to California, and yes he used it for three years, but Jones, who had promised a reward, promptly sent off $100, after the mandolin arrived by parcel post.

“I decided I’m going to follow through on my part,” said Jones, 52, a banjo player with DejaBlue Grass Band. “I was grateful to the kid.” BO EMERSON

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