Du Yun Awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prize

Du Yun
11 April 2017
Congratulations to Du Yun, named the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera Angel's Bone which received its world premiere as part of the 2016 Prototype Festival in New York. The Pulitzer board wrote that the work "integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world". With a libretto by Royce Vavrek, the opera tells the story of two fallen angels who are taken in by a couple that seeks fame. What follows is misery. The New York Times, in its rave review, stated: It's an appallingly good work when you consider that it takes on the subject of child trafficking and mixes in elements of magic realism and a musical cocktail of Renaissance polyphony, electronica, Modernism, punk rock and cabaret".

Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York, is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, and activist for new music, working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theater, cabaret, pop music, oral tradition, visual arts, electronics, and noise. Chameleonic in her protean artistic outputs, Yun's music is championed by some of today's finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations, including the BAM Next Wave Festival, the Seattle Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, Matt Haimovitz, and Claire Chase. In addition, she has also made works in the art world, including the 4th Guangzhou Art Triennial, Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Auckland Triennial, Istanbul Biennial, and the inaugural Shanghai Project under the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and Youngwoo Lee. She is a member of the composition faculty at SUNY-Purchase, was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), currently serves as the Artistic Director of MATA, a pioneering organization dedicated to commissioning and championing young composers from around the world, and she is a member of the Board of Advisors of Composers Now. She was one of three highlighted composers, with Esperanza Spalding and Margaret Brouwer, on a Dialogues evening, a co-presentation between Composers Now and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, late in 2016.

Learn more:

Mayor's Proclamation Honors Composers Now

14 February 2017

At the 2017 Festival Opening Event on February 1, 2017, Composers Now was honored with a Proclamation presented by Kathleen Hughes, Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, on behalf of Mayor Bill de Blasio:

"I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 in the City of New York as: Composers Now Festival Day."

In addition to featuring performances of works by living composers, Composers Now honored three individuals with the Composers Now Visionary Award: Muhal Richard Abrams, Thomas Buckner, and Pauline Oliveros (posthumously). The Opening Event also included video screenings featuring Composers Now 2016 Creative Residents Tonia Ko, Yasuno Miyauchi, Sasha Zamler-Carhart and Ngô Thanh Phu'o'ng. See their videos  on the Composers Now YouTube channel.

Opening Event - Proclamation & Visionary Awardees

2017 Composers Now Festival Opening Event

Wednesday, February 1 at 7:30pm at Cary Hall, DiMenna Center
An evening-length event celebrating living composers

2 January 2017

The Opening Event of the seventh annual Composers Now Festival will feature a vibrant program of music by living composers hosted by Composers Now founder and artistic director, Tania León. This event will also include the second annual Composers Now Visionary Awards ceremony honoring Muhal Richard Abrams, Thomas Buckner, and Pauline Oliveros (posthumously).

Jessie Montgomery Nkeiru Okoye         Tonia Ko
Muhal Richard Abrams Tyshawn SoreyEdmar Castenada
Sasha Zamler-Carhart       Ngô Thanh Phu'o'ng Yasuno Miyauchi

In Memory of Pauline Oliveros

14 December 2016

Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros' memory lives on in the minds and hearts of the Composers Now team. We encourage you to listen to Deep Listening, the 1988 album that initiated Oliveros' influential "Deep Listening" philosophy and practice. Oliveros, a member of the Composers Now Distinguished Mentors Council, was one of the festival's earliest advocates. Oliveros died at her home in Kingston, NY on November 28, 2016 at the age of 84.

Tribute to Pauline Oliveros
Courtesy of Frank Oteri and Ed Harsh of New Music Box and New Music USA

"Pauline Oliveros, Composer Who Championed 'Deep Listening,' Dies at 84"
New York Times

Composers Now and The Baryshnikov Arts Center Co-Present Dialogues with Margaret Brouwer, Du Yun
and Esperanza Spalding

Hosted by Tania León, founder of Composers Now
Tuesday, 1 November 2016 at 7:30PM

26 July 2016

Margaret Brouwer Du Yun Esperanza Spalding

In an evening of performance and conversation, Margaret Brouwer, Du Yun and Esperanza Spalding share their music and discuss their creative process as part of a series designed to showcase the diversity of living composers and create a forum for meaningful exchange among composers, performers, and audiences. Composers Now board members Felipe Lara, Miya Masaoka, Milica Paranosic and Jeffrey Scott will act as conversation catalysts.

BAC Salon is a series of concerts performed in an intimate salon setting.

Composers Now Creative Residencies: Civitella Ranieri Fellowship 2016

19 September 2016

"There are no words to express how deeply appreciative I am for this time, this magic place, this gift of integrity. The sounds, the textures, the light, the flavors, the camaraderie filled my days with a new sense of hope that we can all support each other's artistic vision to create a more harmonious world for all."
- Jane Rigler, 2016 Composers Now Creative Residencies/Civitella Ranieri Fellow

Composers Now is proud to announce that Jane Rigler and Darcy James Argue are the first awardees of Composers Now Creative Residences in partnership with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Each composer receives a six-week fellowship at the Foundation's center in the Umbria region of Italy in addition to travel, room and board. Residencies take place in 2016 and 2017.

The jury were members of the Composers Now Board of Advisors and Distinguished Mentors Council Eve BeglarianGustavo Casenave and Donal Fox.

Read more on the Creative Residencies page.

Announcing 2016 Creative Residencies in Partnership with the Pocantico Center

25 August 2016

Tonia Ko

Tonia Ko

Sasha Zamler-Carhart

Sasha Zamler-Carhart

Yasuno Miyauchi

Yasuno Miyauchi

Thanh Phuong Ngo

Thanh Phuong Ngo

Composers Now is pleased to announce that composers Tonia Ko and Sasha Zamler-Carhart have been selected for the 2016 Composers Now Creative Residencies in partnership with the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Continuing the collaborative focus introduced in last year's residency cycle, both of the 2016 Creative Residency awardees will be partnered with artistic collaborators through the Asian Cultural Council. Tonia Ko will collaborate with composer Yasuno Miyauchi, and Sasha Zamler-Carhart will work with choreographer Thanh Phuong Ngo.

Composers Now Creative Residencies provide selected composers and collaborators with a week-long residency at the Pocantico Center culminating in an on-site artist salon. Creative Residents are also offered the opportunity to appear in the Composers Now Festival opening event.

This year's alternates are Carlos Johns-Davila and Miya Masaoka. The jury were members of the Composers Now Board of Advisors and Distinguished Mentors Council, Steven Burke, Rufus Reid and Dalit Warshaw.

Learn more on the Creative Residencies page.

Asian Cultural Council Logo


Rockefeller Brothers Fund Logo

Henry Threadgill Awarded 2016 Pulitzer Prize

21 April 2016

Henry Threadgill, Composer

Congratulations to Henry Threadgill, named the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for "distinguished musical composition by an American." The composition is Threadgill's In for a Penny, In for a Pound, released by Pi Recordings. In making the award, the Prize Committee stated that it is "a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life."

Henry Threadgill has enjoyed a music career spanning more than forty years as a composer, lead and multi-instrumentalist. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He co-majored in piano and flute, along with composition. Threadgill is a member of the board of directors of Composers Now and was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Learn more:

New York Times on the 2016 Composers Now Festival

4 March 2016

... For a fabulous 2016 Composers Now Festival that included nearly 100 events featuring living composers throughout the month of February.

"This worthy festival showcases an eclectic range of composers..."

"...plenty of alluring offerings..."

"This festival celebrating contemporary music in myriad forms and styles continues to bring innovative programs to performance spaces all over the city."

Composers Now 2016 Festival Opening Event:
An Evening of Composers and Music

Saturday, January 30 at 7:30 pm at Tenri Cultural Institute

24 January 2016

Peter Van Zandt Lane Jeff Scott Steve Mackey Jin Hi Kim
Polina Nazaykinskaya Gustavo Casenave Alexis Cuadrado

Meet and hear music by extraordinary living composers including Peter Van Zandt Lane, Jeff Scott, Steve Mackey, Polina Nazaykinskaya, Alexis Cuadrado, Gustavo Casenave and Jin Hi Kim. Hosted by Tania León, artistic director of Composers Now, the evening includes tributes to John Duffy and Frances Richard, both named as recipients of the Composers Now 2016 Visionary Award. For Mr. Duffy, it is a posthumous tribute (see below). Ms. Richard will attend the event.

For more information, visit the Opening Event page.