Seven Emerging Composers Chosen for 2013 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute
Seven Emerging Composers Chosen for 2013 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute
Seven emerging composers have been selected as participants in the Minnesota Orchestra’s 12th annual Composer Institute, Institute Director Aaron Jay Kernis announced today. Chosen from a pool of 165 candidates through a competitive process, the composers represent four nationalities and reside throughout the U.S. and Europe, and their works encompass a variety of musical styles. They will be in Minneapolis from January 7 to 11, 2013, for rehearsals, seminars and tutoring sessions, as well as a public “Future Classics” concert of their works on Friday, January 11, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä and held at Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus.
The Composer Institute participants are Canadian-born Kati Agócs of Boston, Massachusetts; Latvia native Eugene Birman of Oxford, England; South Korean-born Texu Kim of Bloomington, Indiana; Loren Loiacono of Ithaca, New York; Evan Meier of College Park, Maryland; North Dakota native Matthew Peterson of Stockholm, Sweden; and Michael Schachter of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“I am absolutely delighted to say that the competition for the seven top spots was fierce, with many more imaginative and innovative pieces than would be possible to program on the upcoming season’s single Composer Institute concert,” says Kernis, who chaired the selection panel. “Our jury noted that the number of works of excellent quality made the final choices of composers and works extremely difficult.” Other panel members included composers Augusta Read Thomas, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts, Minnesota Orchestra Principal Conductor of Pops and Presentations Sarah Hicks and Sean Shepherd, the latter of whom is a 2006 Composer Institute alumnus.
Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute: Acclaimed program enters 12th year
The Composer Institute, widely recognized as a leading professional training program for emerging symphonic composers, is presented by the Minnesota Orchestra and the American Composers Forum, in cooperation with New Music USA. Directed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Kernis, the Institute is an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched during the 1995-96 season. Many of the 106 composers who have previously taken part in Perfect Pitch and the Composer Institute have gone on to receive major commissions, awards, grants and additional performances of their works. Continuing a partnership that began with the 2012 Composer Institute, Subito Music Corporation will aid the composers in producing performance materials and will offer a one-year fellowship to one selected Composer Institute participant.
More on the 2013 Composer Institute participants
Kati Agócs’ music has been commissioned and performed by such ensembles as the Toronto Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble and Eighth Blackbird. She has been awarded the Charles Ives Fellowship and the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, and her music was the Audience Choice Winner at New York’s SONiC Festival. She holds a doctoral degree from the Juilliard School and now serves on the composition faculty of the New England Conservatory. Born in Canada of Hungarian and American ancestry, she maintains a work studio in Newfoundland. Her website is agocsmusic.com. The Orchestra will perform her Perpetual Summer.
Eugene Birman has written in various genres for a range of ensembles and performers, and his music has been performed across the U.S., Europe and Asia. The first prize winner of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Lavagnino 2007,” he has received commissions from the Latvian Radio Choir, Estate Musicale Chigiana and Estonian Music Days, and he has been a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America, Radio Classica and ERR Klassikaraadio. A graduate of the Columbia-Juilliard joint B.A.-M.M. program, and a former Fulbright scholar, he is currently pursuing a doctorate in music at University of Oxford, Christ Church. His website is eugenebirman.com. The Orchestra will perform his Tomorrow, at Dawn.
Texu Kim’s music has earned awards and honors from the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Isang Yun International Composition Prize and Joong-Ang Music Concours. He has been commissioned by Ensemble Modern and Ensemble TIMF, and his works have been performed by Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, among other groups. He holds composition degrees from Seoul National University, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry; he is now pursuing a doctorate at Indiana University. In 1998 he was a silver medal winner at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Melbourne, Australia. The Orchestra will perform his Splash!
Loren Loiacono’s works have been performed by such ensembles as the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony Orchestra, 5th House Ensemble and Argento Ensemble, and her music has been featured on National Public Radio. She is pursuing a doctorate in composition at Cornell University; she previously earned degrees from Yale University, where she was the recipient of the 2012 Woods Chandler Memorial Prize and the 2009 Abraham Beekman Cox Composition Prize. This summer she will be a fellow at both the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Her website is lorenloiacono.com. The Orchestra will perform her Stalks, Hounds.
Evan Meier’s music has been performed in the U.S. and abroad by such ensembles as the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Nimbus Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble and Calyx Quartet. His one-act chamber opera, The Last Act of Revolution, will be presented this fall by New York City Opera’s VOX 2012; it was premiered earlier by the University of Maryland Opera Studio. He holds degrees from Chapman University, Cal State Northridge and the University of Maryland, and he has attended several major festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Music11, the Fontainebleau American Conservatory and Opera From Scratch. His website is evanmeier.com. The Orchestra will perform his Fire Music.
Matthew Peterson has received commissions from musicians and ensembles in the U.S., England and Sweden, and his works have been performed across North America and Europe. His output includes two chamber operas and six orchestral scores; choral works; pieces for soloists, chamber ensembles and electronic media; and post-rock songs for his band in Sweden. He has received many honors including the Fulbright Grant. He studied composition at St. Olaf College, Indiana University and the Gotlands Tonsättarskola,and served on the faculty of the Gotland School of Music and was an associate instructor at Indiana University. His website is matthew-peterson.com. The Orchestra will perform his Hyperborea.
Michael Schachter’s background includes studies in both composition and piano. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, he traveled to Chennai, India, on a John Knowles Paine Fellowship, and studied Karnatic music. He recently completed his master’s degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied with Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers; he will begin pursuing a doctorate there in the fall. He maintains a private piano and composition studio in Ann Arbor, and he has taught “Composition for Non-Majors” at the University of Michigan under Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty. His website is michaelschachter.com. The Orchestra will perform his Freylekhe Tanzen.
In addition to the seven composers chosen to participate in the Composer Institute, the panel named the following composers as alternates: Alexandra Bryant, Saad Haddad, Michael Lee, Nicholas Pavkovic and Chris Rogerson. In addition, these composers were designated as runners-up: Adam Zahller Brown, Hermes Camacho, Daniel Davis, Stephen Feigenbaum, Gregg Kallor, Jordan Kuspa, Tonia Ko, Yuan-Chen Li, Douglas Pew, Benjamin Sabey, Daniel Swilley and Justin Tierney. Cited for honorable mention are: Brian Baxter, Joshua Bornfield, Alican Camci, Stefan Cwik, Paul Dooley, Michael Djupstrom, Joshua Groffman, Mark Jacobs, Nicolai Jacobsen, Ji Young Kim, Grant Luhmann, Kenji Oh, Jim Peterman, Sidney Richardson, Leanna Sterio-Primiani, Phil Taylor and Fay Wang.