Announcing 2017 Pocantico Center Residencies
6 September 2017
Composers Now is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Creative Residencies in partnership with The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Asian Cultural Council. This year's awards pair composer/saxophonist Erica Lindsay with choreographer/dance artist Wangjia Zhaxi and composer/pianist Žibuoklė Martinaitytė with vocalist/cross-media artist Ami Yamasaki in weeklong residencies to take place this November. Each residency provides space and time for creative collaboration across disciplines at the historic Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, New York. Please visit our Creative Residencies page for more information.
Composers Now welcomes Mary G. Madigan as Director of Programs
20 June 2017
Composers Now is delighted to announce the appointment of Mary G. Madigan as the new Director of Programs. On June 16 Madigan joined Composers Now bringing over 20 years of experience with artists and repertoire, music nonprofits, major music institutions, and grassroots organizations of the classical/post-classical music field. As Director of Programs, Madigan will lead the organization to expand its reach and impact through creative programming on a national scope.
Madigan states, "I'm excited to join Composers Now and to work together with the many people affiliated with the growing organization to empower composers as essential members of arts and civic communities. With thanks to Amy Frawley, the organization's first administrative leader, for establishing a solid foundation, and to Artistic Director Tania León for her deep commitment to composers and performers, I appreciate the opportunity to lead and collaborate on this important endeavor."
Mary Madigan has led the advancement of music performance, artists, and post-classical repertoire from positions at Boosey & Hawkes, Meet The Composer, Concert Artists Guild, The New School, the Vermont Mozart Festival, and her own business Madigan New Music. She is a colleague of many of new music's creators, performers, and presenters throughout North America and Europe.
Mary's attendance of the performing arts traverses genres and continents from the Bang On A Can Marathon in NYC, to the Settembre Musica festival in Turin; from the experimental theater of NYC's Elevator Repair Service, to Luciano Chessa's avant-garde Vietnamese dan bao performance in an old Hollywood silent movie house; from the Pascal Dusapin premiere of Faustus, the Last Night at the Opéra de Lyon, to the John Luther Adams premiere of Become Ocean at Carnegie Hall. The MATA Festival, Opera America, and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music have hosted Mary to serve on discussion and grant panels, and last summer she led a public conversation with Syrian composer/clarinetist Kinan Azmeh at The Watermill Center on Eastern Long Island.
A former choral singer and trumpeter, Mary performs with the ensemble Gamelan Dharma Swara, for whom she recently led a successful fundraising campaign to acquire a new set of instruments from Bali. Mary holds a graduate certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies, and this year she completed graduate studies at Wesleyan University's Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance.
Madigan's work with Composers Now will complement her work on behalf of composers and performers via Madigan New Music.
Encompass New Opera Theater & Composers Now Collaborate on PARADIGM SHIFTS Music & Film Festival
31 May 2017
The PARADIGM SHIFTS Festival celebrates true stories of courageous people from around the world who are preserving and protecting our planet, oceans, wildlife, and sacred lands. Each event begins with a performance featuring music from the culture explored in the film. After the screening, a Q&A and reception conclude the evening. Both events are at Union Theological Seminary at Broadway and 121st Street.
Thursday, 15 June, 7 pm, composer/percussionist Valerie Naranjo performs traditional music of Benin and Haiti before the screening of the documentary "Father Joseph," written and directed by Jeffry Kaufman, that explores the life and work of the priest who established Haiti's largest micro-credit bank (Fonkoze), with the special mission of empowering hundreds of thousands of women and their families through literacy classes, small business training, and community building loans.
Read more about Valerie Naranjo:
Friday, 16 June, 7 pm, composer/kora player Salieu Suso performs before the screening of "Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai" by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton. The story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathi whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy.
Read more about Salieu Suso:
For more info and to purchase tickets: http://www.encompassopera.org/paradigmShifts.html
Eve Beglarian Awarded 2017 Alpert Award in Music
29 May 2017
The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts annually recognizes five risk-taking artists in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre, and the visual arts. Eve Beglarian is the 2017 music recipient "for her prolific, engaging, and surprising body of work, her deep engagement with different communities, her dedication to continuing to make experimental work outside the canon, and her risk taking in both music and life with no separation between these spheres."
According to the Los Angeles Times, composer and performer Eve Beglarian "is a humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist." Her current projects include Lighten Up, a multimedia song cycle about visionary visual artists in America; the long-term undertaking A Book of Days, text/music/visuals, one for each day of the year; and Brim, the ensemble and repertoire she has created in response to her 2009 journey down the Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle.
Ms. Beglarian's has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Maya Beiser, and Sarah Cahill, among others. Her work in music theater includes music for Mabou Mines' Obie-winning Dollhouse and the China National Beijing Opera Theater's production of The Bacchae. She has collaborated with choreographers Ann Carlson and Susan Marshall and visual and video artists Cory Arcangel and Barbara Hammer, among others.
For Eve Beglarian, "Collaborating is my natural state of working," and her creative work is, "simply to 'pay attention.'" Ms. Beglarian is a member of the Composers Now Distinguished Mentors Council.
Suzanne Farrin Awarded 2017 Rome Prize
27 April 2017
Suzanne Farrin has been awarded a 2017 Rome Prize. Her music explores the interior worlds of instruments and the visceral potentialities of sound. Her monodrama, Dolce la morte, based on the love poetry of Michelangelo, was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble, was premiered by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at the Vélez Blanco Courtyard at the MET Museum in April 2016 and returns to the Met Museum in late 2017.
Other artists and ensembles who have interpreted her music include the American Composers Orchestra, the League of Composers Orchestra, the Arditti Quartet, So Percussion, Derek Bermel and Antoine Tamestit. Venues and festivals include The Gothenburg Art Biennial, BAM NextWave, Theaterforum (Germany), Town Hall Seattle, Mostly Mozart, Carnegie's Weill Hall, Symphony Space, The Stone, Joe's Pub and the Walker Art Center.
In addition to composing, Ms. Farrin is a performer of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument created by the engineer Maurice Martenot in France in the 1920s as a response to the simultaneous destruction and technological advances of WWI. She was recently featured as an ondes soloist in an episode of Mozart in the Jungle
with Gael Bernal that was directed by Roman Coppola.
Suzanne Farrin is Professor and Chair of Music at Hunter College and Professor of Composition at The CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a doctorate in composition from Yale University. Corpo di Terra (New Focus Recordings) is devoted entirely to her music, which may also be heard on the VAI, Signum Classics, Tundra and Albany Records labels. Ms. Farrin is a member of the Composers Now Board of Advisors
Claire Chase Awarded 2017 Avery Fisher Prize
27 April 2017
The Avery Fisher Prize recognizes extraordinary musical excellence and leadership. Claire Chase is the first flutist to receive this honor.
Ms. Chase is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator and advocate for new and experimental music. Her performance schedule has taken her throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and she has more than one hundred premieres of new works to her credit. She launched Density 2036, a 22-year commissioning project to create an entirely new body of repertory between the year of its inception, 2014, and 2036, the centenary of Edgard Varèse's groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. PAN, a collaboration with the composer Marcos Balter and the director Doug Fitch, will have its world premiere during the 2017-2018 season in New York. Chase has released three celebrated solo albums, Aliento (2010), Terrestre (2012) and Density (2013).
Claire Chase founded the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2001, with an innovative artist-driven organizational model, and is an active ensemble member in ICE projects throughout the world.
Her other honors include the 2015 American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award, being named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and she was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Ms. Chase is a member of the Composers Now Board of Advisors.
Du Yun Awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prize
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.
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.
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).
In Memory of Pauline Oliveros
14 December 2016
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
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 Beglarian, Gustavo Casenave and Donal Fox.
Read more on the Creative Residencies page.