Born in Oregon at the crossing of two river valleys near the Pacific Ocean, composer Aaron Helgeson began writing music at the age of 14. Influenced early in his career by contact with Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann, Helgeson’s work explores the poetic boundaries of musical perception and instrumental technique. Drawing on the diverse fields of phenomenology, acoustics, and cognitive science, his music has been described by critics as “nothing short of mesmerizing.” He holds degrees in composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and UC San Diego, where he studied with Chaya Czernowin and Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds. Rising rapidly to international recognition, Helgeson’s music has gone on to be championed by such acclaimed musicians as Grammy Award winning soprano Susan Narucki, the Arditti String Quartet, and acclaimed French chorus Les Cris de Paris. His music is performed regularly all over the world, with recent festival appearances at IRCAM’s ManiFeste 2012, the MOSA chamber music series in New York, and the Little William Theater Festival of New Music in Los Angeles. In 2005, he was honored by theater producer Hal Prince with the Saul Chaplin Award for his chamber opera The Crane Wife, an original adaptation of the popular Japanese folk tale of the same name. He has received additional prizes, grants, and accolades from numerous organizations such as ASCAP, the Fulbright Institute, and the American Composers Forum. A dedicated teacher, Helgeson returned to Oberlin Conservatory in 2010 as Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition. Recordings of his music can be found on Carrier Records, with a forthcoming portrait album entitled Never Thoughts: The Music of Aaron Helgeson.
A place toward other places (2012)
** Commissioned by Richard Hawkins
Nor eyes, nor thou, I know (2012)
men's chorus (TTBB)
** Written for Les Cris de Paris and IRCAM's Manifeste 2012
Through glimpses of unknowing (2011-2012)
**Commissioned by Brendan Nguyen