Baldwin Giang's Experience as Rome Prize Fellow Featured in UChicago News

Baldwin Giang headshot credit Stephan Brigidi


In 2023, PhD composer Baldwin Giang was awarded the Samuel Barber Rome Prize, granting him a year of "time and space to think and work" at the American Academy in Rome. Now midway through his time in Rome, Giang's composition projects and experiences as a fellow were highlighted in the UChicago News article "A UChicago composer finds inspiration in Rome."

Written by Tori Lee, the article highlights the interdisciplinary and community-centered nature of Giang's fellowship. Dinners with Giang's cohort at the Academy — two-hour affairs over plates of handmade pasta — foster conversations about artistic collaboration, such as Giang's work with novelist Katie Kitamura on a commission for the New York ensemble loadbang. 

“Reading Katie’s text lights up the words in a certain way, but then when I add my music, it lights it up in a totally different way,” Giang said. “That's the kind of collaboration that the Academy really tries to foster—people engaging each other from different disciplines and stepping outside of their comfort zone.”

One of Giang's major projects — a commission for the Brussels-based Extended Music Collective — draws inspiration from Roman architecture: the Basilica San Clemente. Giang chose this historic building because of the role it plays in the queer coming-of-age novel Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (a past Rome Prize winner). Giang expressed that the church's queer connotations were important to him, especially in light of the increasingly anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric of Italy’s right-wing government.

“It felt really important to me to do something that was openly queer as a way to engage with this issue in Italy, and find people who this piece could support."

To read the full UChicago News article by Tori Lee, click here