Composers, now is the time to share positive thoughts, suggestions, and insights into how we are all coping during these difficult times. We are posting personal, inspirational, and informative messages of solidarity, and you can help by sending a casual, uplifting, short video (cell phone quality is fine, even just 30 seconds) with a message for the Composers Now community to firstname.lastname@example.org. These videos will be uploaded or linked to our YouTube playlist Composers Now in Harmony and shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our website.
Additionally, please send video links to recent performances of your work, as well as upcoming streaming events, and we will disseminate them on our social media platforms, including our YouTube Playlist Sound/Visions. It's a small gesture with great resonance during this crisis.
Be healthy, be safe.
-The Composers Now Team
Dear Composers Now family,
While social distancing may keep us physically apart, music still brings us together. Through the COVID-19 crisis, Composers Now is committed to sharing resources that help composers and their audiences stay connected. Please let us know if you are adapting to a streaming format, and we will gladly share links to your performances. We are also re-envisioning our communications and welcome your input as our community weathers this storm. Be safe and take care of yourself and each other during this unprecedented time.
- Tania León, Founder and Artistic Director, and the Composers Now Family
Celebrating the 2020 Festival
Composers Interviewing Composers
Composers Interviewing Composers enlivens the music of living composers through an interactive dialogue about themselves and their music. Each year during the Festival, events are selected for this program and is fully-funded by Composers Now. This year, the two Composers Interviewing Composers events were:
BMCC Composers: Compositions in Diverse Styles
Sunday, February 23
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Marcus Balter leads a conversation with Joyce Solomon Moorman and Douglas Anderson.
Lay By: a chamber cantata
Saturday, February 29
Church Street School for Music and Art
Dalit Warshaw leads a conversation with Edgar David Grana
Celebrating The 2020 Festival Opening Event
Part II: The Conversations
Photos by Nan Melville
A Composer Puts Her Life in Music, Beyond Labels
A New York Times Profile of Tania León
Leonard Bernstein and Tania León
Photo by Jon Roemer, via Tania León
In advance of Tania León's premiere of "Stride" by the New York Philharmonic as part of their Project 19 initiative (February 13, 15, 18), the New York Times printed an inspiring profile. With too many impactful quotes to post here, please read the article.
Composers Now 2020 Festival Opening Event:
An Evening of Composers and Music
Friday, January 31, 7:00 pm
National Opera Center: Marc A. Scorca Hall
330 7th Avenue, 7th Floor
(between 28th and 29th Streets)
For more information, please visit the Opening Event page.
Civitella XXV #24: Dialogues No. 5
Co-Presented with Civitella Ranieri
Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 7:30 pm at Marc A. Scorca Hall At National Opera Center
Composers Now and Civitella Ranieri co-presented Dialogues. This evening featured Civitellian composers who have been awarded affiliated fellowships with Composers Now: Jane Rigler (CRF 2016), Darcy James Argue (CRF 2017), Pauchi Sasaki (CRF 2018), and Missy Mazzoli (CRF 2019). The program ran from 7:30 to 9:45, with a post-concert reception.
National Opera Center | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 7:30 pm
330 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Composers Now's annual Dialogues event gives equal time to performance and conversation. Following performances of the featured composers' music, Artistic Director Tania León leads an audience-inclusive conversation in an exchange of inquiry and insights between artists and audience members.
ABOUT CIVITELLA RANIERI FOUNDATION
Civitella Ranieri is a residency program that has hosted over 900 Fellows and Director's Guests at its 15th-century castle in Umbria. 2019 marks Civitella's 25th year of providing a safe haven, hospitality, and sustenance for international artists, composers, and writers.
Ursula Corning established the Civitella Ranieri Foundation to carry on her tradition of hospitality and support for the arts. We invite you to celebrate this milestone by joining us at any or all of the 25 worldwide and online events planned for 2019.
2019 Composers Interviewing Composers Series
Friday, February 1, Fresh Squeezed Opera:
The Female Gaze
Composers Interviewing Composers at 8:00pm
A conversation with composers Whitney George, Gabrielle Herbst and Gemma Peacocke.
Saturday, February 9, Astoria Music Project: New York State of Mind
Composers Interviewing Composers at 7:30pm
Art House Astoria (Queens)
A conversation with composers David T. Bridges, Rachel Devore Fogarty and Brian Mark.
Sunday, February 17, NowNet Arts Festival
Composers Interviewing Composers at 2:00pm
DiMenna Center (Manhattan)
Composer Sarah Weaver will lead a conversation with composers Mark Dresser, Ng Chor Guan, Denman Maroney and Matthias Ziegler.
Thursday, February 28, Musical Ecologies: Pamela Z
Composers Interviewing Composers at 8:00pm
The Old Stone House (Brooklyn)
Series curator Dan Joseph will lead a conversation with composer Pamela Z.
For more information about Composers Interviewing Composers, click here
Dialogues No. 4:
A scintillating evening of music and conversation
Friday, 30 November 2018, 7:30pm at Steinway Hall
Composers Now, Steinway, ASCAP, and The ASCAP Foundation co-present Dialogues, an evening of performance and town hall-style conversation between composers and audience. The November 30th event features composers Courtney Bryan (New Orleans, US), Felipe Lara (Brazil, US), and Žibuoklė Martinaitytė (Lithuania, US) hosted by Composers Now Founder/Artistic Director Tania León.
FREE with RSVP
Steinway Hall | Friday, November 30, 2018 | 7pm
1133 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Photo credits: Elizabeth Leitzell, Rolex/Hugo Glendinning, Lina Aiduke
Courtney Bryan, a native of New Orleans, La, is "a pianist and composer of panoramic interests" (New York Times). Her music is in conversation with various musical genres, including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals, and hymns. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Bryan's compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM), and Columbia University (DMA) with advisor George Lewis, and completed an appointment as Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Bryan is an Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University's Newcomb Department of Music, and serves as a board member of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans (MASNO), Composers Now, and New Music USA.
Bryan's work has been presented in a wide range of venues, including Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Symphony Space, The Stone, Roulette Intermedium, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery, Bethany and Abyssinian Baptist Churches, and Ojai Music Festival. Upcoming commissions include compositions for the Jacksonville Symphony, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, Aperture Duo, Davóne Tines, and collaborations with writers Sharan Strange and Ashon Crawley, and artists Amy Bryan, Alma Bryan Powell, and Tiona McClodden. She has two independent recordings, "Quest for Freedom" (2007) and "This Little Light of Mine" (2010).
Praised by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist" whose works are "brilliantly realized," "technically formidable, wildly varied," and possess "voluptuous, elemental lyrics," Felipe Lara's work—which includes orchestral, chamber, vocal, film, electroacoustic, and popular music—has been commissioned by leading soloists, ensembles, and institutions such as the Arditti Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Claire Chase, Conrad Tao, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Duo Diorama, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Modern, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and also performed by the Ensemble Recherche, Ilan Volkov, JACK Quartet, KNM Berlin, Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Peter Eötvös, Steven Schick, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.
His compositions have been presented by Aspen Music Festival, Centre Acanthes (France), Acht Brücken Festival (Germany), Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK), Ars Musica (Belgium), Art Institute of Chicago, Aspekte Festival (Austria), Budapest Music Center, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Darmstadt, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Frankfurt Musikfest, Huddersfield, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart, Philharmonie de Paris, and Tanglewood's Festival for Contemporary Music, TimeSpans, to name a few.
Lara holds a B.M. in music composition and film scoring from Berklee College of Music, an M.M. in composition from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. from New York University. Lara was also a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is Associate Professor at Boston Conservatory, Faculty at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute, and Lecturer at Harvard's Department of Music.
Described by WQXR as a "textural magician", Žibuoklė Martinaitytė is a New York-based Lithuanian composer whose works explore the tensions and longings of identity and place. She creates sonic environments where musical gestures emerge and disappear within transparencies and densities of sound layers. It's music that slides on the very blades of emotions.
Ms. Martinaitytė's A Thousand Doors To The World was commissioned by the Lithuanian Radio to celebrate Vilnius being named the Culture Capital of Europe in 2009. The premiere was broadcast by Euroradio to an audience of 4 million.
Her US commissions include the MATA, Look+Listen and Other Minds festivals as well as the Barlow Endowment. Žibuoklė has received residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Aaron Copland House, the Millay Colony, Harvestworks, Djerassi and the Cité des Arts (Paris).
Her recent projects include an hour-long multimedia piece "In Search of Lost Beauty," scored for piano trio, electronics, and video projections to be released on Starkland in 2019 and a solo CD "Horizons" of orchestral and large ensemble works, released in 2017 by LMIC.
ABOUT THE ASCAP FOUNDATION
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org
Composers Now 2018 Festival Opening Event:
An Evening of Composers and Music
Tuesday, January 30, 7:30 pm at The Jazz Gallery
For more information, visit the Opening Event page.
Composers Now Creative Residencies: Civitella Ranieri Fellowships 2018 & 2019
Pauchi Sasaki Missy Mazzoli
Congratulations to our recent Creative Residencies awardees in partnership with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation: composers Pauchi Sasaki and Missy Mazzoli. Pauchi will be in residence in 2018. Missy will be in residence in 2019. There they will meet a dozen other artists of myriad disciplines and have protected time to explore and create. Congratulations, Pauchi and Missy!
Read more on the Creative Residencies page.
Composers Now and the Americas Society Co-Present Dialogues with Zosha Di Castri, Pauchi Sasaki and Miguel Zenón
Hosted by Tania León, founder of Composers Now
Wednesday, 6 December 2017 at 7:00 PM
Please join us for an enjoyable and scintillating evening of performance and town hall style conversation between composers and audience. The event features composers Zosha Di Castri (Canada), Pauchi Sasaki (Peru, Japan), and Miguel Zenón (Puerto Rico).
Pocantico Salon with Erica Lindsay & Zhaxi Wangjia
Join us at the Pocantico Center on Friday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. for a Salon with resident artists Erica Lindsay and Zhaxi Wangjia from Composers Now and Asian Cultural Council. A reception will immediately follow.
Erica Lindsay, composer and tenor saxophonist, she teaches jazz composition and arranging at Bard College and is an active performer, arranger and composer. A San Francisco native, Lindsay spent her early years in Europe where she studied with pianist Mal Waldron. She returned to the US to study at Berklee College of Music and then headed back to Europe where she performed with her own quintet and had guest performances with Frank Zappa and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. She composed and performed with such ensembles as the Unique Munich Saxophone Choir and the NDR Radio Big Band.
Zhaxi Wangjia is a dance artist, choreographer, and dance educator from Tibet. Currently based in Beijing, Mr. Wangjia was trained in Tibetan and Chinese traditional dance at Minzu University of China, where he received his bachelor's degree in 2009. In the same year, he joined Beijing LDTX, one of China's most innovative modern dance companies. Mr. Wangjia began making his own choreography in 2012 when he created the work Quiet Place for Beijing LDTX. His artistic inspiration stems from his deep sense of nostalgia for his homeland, his reflections on his own identity, and his belief in an innate connection between humans and nature. Mr. Wangjia is currently living in New York on a five-month fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council.
For further information, contact Susanne Pandich.
Location: The Pocantico Center, 200 Lake Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Directions: Click HERE
Announcing 2017 Pocantico Center Residencies
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.
Encompass New Opera Theater & Composers Now Collaborate on PARADIGM SHIFTS Music & Film Festival
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Photos by Nan Melville