COMPOSERS

Krists Auznieks 

Krists Auznieks is a New York based Latvian composer. His quintet was featured in The New York Times among the week’s best classical music moments. His opera NeoArctic, co-written with British techno producer Andy Stott, won Danish Reumert Prize and had its US premiere at The Kennedy Center.

Recent commissions include works for Atlanta Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Cappella Amsterdam, Latvian Radio Choir, Contemporaneous, and Sinfonietta Riga. Auznieks’ music has been performed at The Lincoln Center, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Royal Danish Theatre, Beijing National Arts Centre, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, London’s Southbank Center and featured in Gaudeamus, MATA, World Cultures Festival (Hong Kong), and UNESCO International Rostrum in Finlad. Recognitions include Jacob Druckman Prize, Latvian Grand Music Award, fellowships from Aspen, Norfolk, Bennington, NEXT festivals, American Academy of Fontainebleau, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Serenbe Institute, and ACO Earshot. He has served on the faculty of Yale School of Music, Montclair State University, and has taught for NY Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program.

Alex Berko

Fascinated by the art of storytelling and capturing human expression, the music of composer/pianist Alex Berko (b. 1995) has been performed by Monterey Symphony, Cape Symphony, Bloomington Symphony, The Crossing, NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Del Sol String Quartet, and the Boston New Music Initiative among many others. His music has received national recognition from ASCAP/SCI, ACDA, The American Prize, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and more. Berko is graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, holding a BM in composition with an outside concentration in piano and a certificate in entrepreneurship. He is now pursuing his MM in composition at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Upcoming projects include choral works for Stare at the Sun, Constellation Men’s Ensemble, and Conspirare and a piano sonata for Seolyeong Jeong.

Theo Chandler

            Theo Chandler is a Houston-based composer, currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music. Chandler is a recipient of the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy of Arts and Letters, the Graduate Music Award from the Presser Foundation, and a Morton Gould Award from ASCAP. He was selected as a winner of Juilliard's Orchestra Competition, Juilliard's Gena Raps Competition, and the New Juilliard Ensemble Competition. Chandler has received commissions from the New York Youth Symphony First Music Program, Tanglewood Music Center, Utah Arts Festival, Les Délices, and others.
            Chandler has been a fellow at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Mizzou International Composers Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Copland House CULTIVATE, and Aspen Music Festival. He has been the  Young Artist Composer for Da Camera, Emerging Composer Fellow for Musiqa,  Young Composer in Residence for the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and participated in the I-Park Composer + Musicians Collaborative Residency with Akropolis Reed Quintet.
            Chandler received his previous degrees from The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory. His composition teachers include Shih-Hui Chen, Karim Al-Zand, Anthony Brandt, Melinda Wagner, Samuel Adler, Steven Stucky, Lewis Nielson, and Dan Tacke.

Tiffany Cuaresma

Captivated by music’s powerful ability to resonate with others, composer/vocalist Tiffany Cuaresma’s (b. 2001) music has received honors from the Texas Young Composers Competition with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, National YoungArts Foundation, National Young Composers Challenge, and the Emerging Young Composers Competition. Cuaresma is a Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Composition Program alumna and the Luna Composition Lab James Rosenfield Fellowship Recipient, in which her music received a performance by the International Contemporary Ensemble. She has also been invited to attend the upcoming Britt Festival Orchestra Fellowship. In addition to concert music, Cuaresma enjoys film scoring and was selected to participate in the NYU Summer Screen Scoring Orchestral Track. She has also composed and conducted an original opera production, The Promise. Cuaresma is currently pursuing a B.M. in music composition and studying business at Rice University. In her free time, she works with the San Diego Human Trafficking Prevention Committee to prevent human trafficking. Cuaresma’s goal is to combine her academic and musical interests to make a positive difference with her music.

Jack Frerer

Jack Frerer (b. 1995) is an Australian-American composer of music for concert, film and dance, as well as a producer and filmmaker based in Manhattan, currently pursuing a B.M. in Composition at The Juilliard School where he studies with John Corigliano and Robert Beaser. His work has been performed by a variety of ensembles around Australia, Europe, Asia and the US, and has won awards including a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Brian Israel Prize from the Society for New Music, and competitions including the Vincent C. LaGuardia Jr. Competition, Red Note, the Lake George Music Festival Competition, the Alba Rosa Viëtor Competition, and both the Juilliard Orchestra and Gena Raps Chamber Music competitions.  He is a Tanglewood composition fellow for 2019, and is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic.
 

As a filmmaker, Jack has created films for The Juilliard School and Quest Magazine, dancers Marcelo Gomes and Julie Kent, as well as music videos for bands and ensembles. He is a co-creator and producer of The Roof, a collaborative film and performance series he created with dancer Liana Kleinman which features New York–based choreographers and composers.

Michael Kropf

 

Michael Kropf is a composer whose work deals with hidden emotions and evocative places.  He has collaborated with Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Apple Hill String Quartet Quartet, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. 

 

Michael also teaches composition and musicianship, and has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College and the Academy of Art. He served as Co-Director of the Hot Air Music Festival, a daylong marathon of new music which takes place annually in San Francisco. He currently teaches composition at the Walden School Young Musicians Young Musician's Program in New Hampshire. 

 

Michael was born in Danbury, Connecticut and received his Bachelor of Music degree from New York University and his Master of Music Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory. He in currently working towards a doctoral degree in composition at the University of Michigan. His teachers have included Kristin Kuster, David Conte, and John Adams.

Ryan Lindveit

Ryan Lindveit is a composer who takes inspiration from literature, art, science, technology, and personal experience in order to craft colorful and emotionally vivid musical journeys. These works range from orchestral pieces premiered in Carnegie Hall and wind ensemble pieces performed at top universities to pieces for chamber ensembles, singers, electronics, and soloists. As a conductor, Ryan has premiered several of his own works as well as works by other living composers. He received a Bachelor of Music in Composition degree from the University of Southern California where he was named the outstanding graduate of the Thornton School of Music and salutatorian of his graduating class. In addition, he received M.M. and M.M.A. degrees from the Yale School of Music and will begin doctoral studies at the University of Michigan this fall. Recent and upcoming projects include a multitrack bass trombone piece for Zachary Haas, a solo cello piece for Ashley Bathgate, a solo guitar piece for Bokyung Byun, a Zoom-based dance collaboration with the choreographer Endalyn Taylor as part of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists, and a multitrack saxophone piece for Carrie Koffman.

Ben Morris

Ben Morris is a composer and pianist who lives equally in the worlds of jazz and contemporary classical music. He recently studied in Oslo, Norway on a Fulbright Grant, composing a work for big band and video inspired by his Norwegian heritage. His compositions have been performed by ensembles including the American Composers Orchestra, NOW Ensemble, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Trombonist Vincent Gardner, unassisted fold, Imani Winds, Living Earth Show, and the NDR Big Band.

 

Morris’s accolades include performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, attending the Aspen Music Festival, studying at the National Gugak Center in Korea, and receiving the ASCAP Morton Gould and Herb Alpert Awards, two Downbeat Awards, and commissions from the Washington National Opera, American Composers Orchestra Jazz Composers Institute, and New York Youth Symphony. Morris completed his
studies at Rice University and the University of Miami and is currently pursuing a DMA at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Paul Novak

Rejecting grandiose narratives, the music of Paul Novak (b. 1998) is driven by a love of small things: miniature forms, delicate soundscapes, and condensed ideas. His compositions, which explore the subtleties of instrumental color and draw influence from literature, art, and poetry, have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. His recent collaborators include the Austin Symphony, Orlando Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, NYO-USA, American Composers Orchestra, and Amaranth and Rosco Quartets.

 

Novak was recently selected as the recipient of the 2020 Underwood Commission for a new orchestral work that the American Composers Orchestra will premiere in Carnegie Hall, and he has also received commissions from KINETIC, ASCAP and Society of Composers, Inc., Boston New Music Initiative, and Texas New Music Ensemble, among others. His music has been selected for numerous awards, most recently from the ASCAP Foundation, Tribeca New Music, Webster University, Texas Young Composer Competition, and YoungArts Foundation.

 

Originally from Reno, NV, Novak recently graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and in the fall will begin his PhD at the University of Chicago.

Frances Pollock

Frances Pollock is a composer who is excited by all kinds of music. Her favorite music inspirations are Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Francis Poulenc, Joni Mitchell, Missy Elliot, Stephen Sondheim, Jonathan Dove, and Billy Joel. Known for her “bold and bracing” (Baltimore Sun) opera writing, Frances Pollock’s music “pulls no punches and never flinches.” (City Paper). 

 

Frances loves watching opera and writing opera. This coming season, Frances is writing for Opera Omaha, Bel Cantanti Opera, and Chautauqua Summer Festival. Frances’ first opera, Stinney, was workshopped in Baltimore in 2015 where it won a Johns Hopkins Diversity Grant and a Best of Baltimore award. It was presented again in workshop in the 2019 PROTOTYPE festival in New York City. It will have its world premiere in 2021 with Greenville Light Opera Works in Greenville, SC. Frances has since written opera’s for Washington National Opera (librettist Vanessa Moody) and Chicago Lyric/Seattle Opera (librettist Jessica Murphy Moo). She is currently developing a cross-disciplinary piece called Salt with librettist (and wife and best friend) Emily Roller. Salt was be presented in workshop at the 2020 YOST conference at Yale University. 

 

Frances holds a Bachelors of Music in theory and composition from Furman University and a Masters of Music in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory. She is currently completing her doctorate in composition at Yale University. 

Peter Shin

Peter S. Shin (b. 1991) is a composer whose music navigates issues of national belonging, the co-opting and intermingling of disparate musical vernaculars, and the liminality between the two halves of his second-generation Korean-U.S. American identity. The New York Times described him as “a composer to watch” and his music “entirely fresh and personal” following his premiere at Carnegie Hall.

Additional highlights include performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with Kaleidoscope for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Noon to Midnight” series, MASS MoCA for Roomful of Teeth’s 10th anniversary, and the Cabrillo Festival commissioned by John Adams.

In addition to being the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Sound Investment composer for the 2020/21 season, Peter has received fellowships, commissions, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation, the Fulbright Program, ASCAP, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, Minnesota Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, and the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals, among others.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Peter is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California, and the Yale School of Music. For more information, please visit: peter-shin.com.

Nicky Sohn

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional-orchestra, the wide-ranging talent of composer Nicky Sohn is sought after across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Characterized by her jazz-inspired, rhythmically driven themes, Sohn’s work has been described as “like John Adams’ ‘Short Ride in a Fast Machine’ on steroids” (YourObserver), “dynamic and full of vitality” (The Korea Defense Daily), and having “elegant wonder” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). As a result, Sohn has enjoyed commissions from the world’s preeminent performing arts institutions, including sold-out performances at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The National Orchestra of Korea, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

The 2019-20 season highlights consist of premieres and performances by the Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, Grammy-winning soprano Jessica Rivera at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy, and Misato Hanawa at Tokyo City Opera. She was recently commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Prior to this year, her music has been featured at renowned music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, Ars Nova with Unsuk Chin and the Seoul Philharmonic, and Chelsea Music Festival with Ken-David Masur, among others.

 

Nicky Sohn is currently pursuing a fully-funded doctoral degree at the The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University with Anthony Brandt and holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music. She is grateful to her pedagogues, which include Robert Beaser, Chris Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Richard Danielpour. 

Max Vinetz

Max Vinetz is a composer whose work has drawn inspiration from various intersections between traditional, popular, and improvisatory forms and aesthetics. Recent and upcoming projects are primarily concerned with the relationships between narrative, object, and artifact as they relate to music and other media, structures that circumvent linear narratives, and the relationships between virtuosity, drama, and failure. 

Max is a two-time recipient of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, in addition to the Paul and Christiane Cooper Prize. His works and have been performed and recorded by the Arditti Quartet, Music From Copland House, Miranda Cuckson, NUNC, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble for New Music Tallinn, Hear&Now, DeCoda, Mivos Quartet, unassisted fold, Yale Symphony Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, Icarus Duo, members of Yale Voxtet, and Yale Schola Cantorum, among others. His music has been featured at numerous festivals, such as Norfolk New Music Workshop, Fontainebleau (FR), New Music On the Point, Brevard Music Center, California Summer Music, Red Note New Music Festival, Nebula Ensemble Summer Festival, nief-norf , Valencia International Performance Academy, and highSCORE. He is also the founder of both New Music Cooperative at Yale College and Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra. 

Max was the 2019-2020 Emerging Composer Fellow for Musiqa, a chamber music organization based in Houston, Texas. He is a recent graduate student from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he taught theory and ear training as a Brown Foundation Fellow. This fall, he will begin his PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University. 

Miles Walter

Miles Walter is a musician from New Hampshire. He has a BA in Music from Yale College and an MM in Composition from the Yale School of Music. Miles is an able pianist, and a composer with varied stylistic interests and influences. Check out more of his music at https://soundcloud.com/mileswalter. Miles lives in New Haven, CT.

Sam Wu

Sam Wu's music deals with the beauty in blurred boundaries. From Melbourne, Australia, Sam (b. 1995) attended The Juilliard School for his M.M. in Composition, after receiving an A.B. in Music and East Asian Studies from Harvard University. His teachers include Tan Dun, Robert Beaser, Chaya Czernowin, Richard Beaudoin, and Derek Bermel.

Selected for the American Composers Orchestra's EarShot readings, winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, First Prize at the Harbin Competition, and a Society of Composers, Inc / ASCAP Commission, Sam Wu also received Harvard's Robert Levin Prize and Juilliard's Palmer Dixon Prize.

Sam’s collaborations span five continents, most notably with the Melbourne, China National, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Harbin Symphonies, Sarasota Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Asia Society, Chorus Austin, the Parker Quartet, violinist Miranda Cuckson, shēng virtuoso Wu Wei, and pipa master Wu Man.

Sam has been featured on the National Geographic Channel, Business Insider, Harvard Crimson, Sydney Morning Herald, Asahi Shimbun, People's Daily, CCTV, among others.

©2020 Sounding Board Project

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