2013-2014 Composers

Each year The New Music Conflagration, Inc. holds an open call for scores. This year we received over 250 submissions from composers of over 30 different countries across the globe. After great consideration the work of the following composers was chosen to be featured on the 2014 New Music Concert Series.
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Andrew SiglerAndrew Sigler
Andrew Sigler’s music has been performed by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Lydian String Quartet, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, and has been featured at a number of festivals and venues including the 2010 NACUSA national festival. Sigler has been a composer fellow at the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center as well as the 2012 Seasons Festival and has been commissioned by both organizations. Andrew is a regional editor for NewMusicBox and his music is published by Editions Musica-Ferrum. His work in the commercial field includes composition and sound design for video games, advertising, and animation for a number of clients including Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Andrew is the Texas Performing Arts Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches courses in theory and ear training while completing his doctorate in composition.

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headshot1 (1)Bekah Simms
Bekah Simms is a composer, flutist, poet, and improviser hailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Drawing influences from a variety of sources, Bekah’s music deals largely with a sense of wonder in the universe and human emotion. Many works are derived from literary themes, especially those of the Southern Gothic. Others take musical cues from her favourite genres of music, including heavy metal, folk, and video game soundtracks. Her music has been heard across Atlantic Canada, in the United States, and most recently in Italy. She has a B.Mus in Theory/Composition from Memorial University where she studied with Dr. Andrew Staniland, and is currently pursuing a M.Mus in Composition at the University of Toronto with Dr. Norbert Palej.

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Bernd Schumann Hamburg 1Bernd Schumann
Bernd Schumann has studied Sound Engineering at the Tonmeister Department of the University of Music in Detmold; Composition with Prof. Martin Christoph Redel at the University of Music in Detmold, electronic composition with Joachim Heintz at the University of Arts in Bremen, courses in video art and installation at the University of Arts in Hamburg. Schumann has also been the recipient of numerous awards including: the 2011 Prize at the Counterpoint Composition Competition in Lucca, Italy; 2008 1st prize at the Innova Musica Competition of Modern Music in Andorra; 2000 Prize at the German National Young Composer’s Competition.

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portraitLowBill Robinson
Bill Robinson was born in Denton, Texas in 1955. He started piano lessons at age three and violin at ten. He moved to Massachusetts in 1961. Composition started in 1972 at Phillips Academy, Andover. After that came a year at Eastman School of Music, then many years at UNT in Denton Texas, earning a BM in composition in 1984. Bill came to North Carolina in 1987. Bill moved to Raleigh in 2001 to study physics at NCSU, and earned a BS in 2004, and a PhD in 2010. He has constructed a novel plasma confinement experiment and is now on the physics faculty at NCSU. Bill has recorded nine CDs, and has a website at billrobinsonmusic.com that has all his scores and recordings.

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ledroit med res

Christien Ledroit
In school I learned to appreciate the beauty of the creation and inner machinations of music. Outside of school I learned to appreciate the beauty of sound and passion. My favourite music to listen to is punk rock, Beethoven, Debussy, Ligeti, George Crumb, Murray Schafer and the new minimalists (in particular David Lang). Through that I’ve also discovered a wealth of really great film music, particularly historical Disney stuff; I’d be lying to myself if I said that hadn’t had at least some influence on me. I grew up playing violin, and picked up guitar and drums along the way. I play guitar in a rock band. If you want just the facts, I was born in 1975 in London, Ontario. I have a Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University in Kinston, Ontario, and a Master of Music in Composition from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. I now live in Hamilton, Ontario, just outside Toronto.

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Diego Jiménez Tamame
Nowadays studying Composition at Superior Music Conservatory of Aragón (CSMA), in Zaragoza, with teachers Agustí Charles Soler, José María Sánchez Verdú, Eneko Vadillo Pérez, Josep Sanz i Quintana, Arnau Bataller or Nacho de Paz, among others. Attended to Composition masterclasses and conferences with composers like Jesús Rueda, José Manuel López López, Luis de Pablo, Salvatore Sciarrino, Philippe Hurell, Fabián Panisello, Sofia Gobaidulina or Alberto Posadas, among others. Viola studies at the Profesional Conservatory of Music of Salamanca “Tahonas Viejas” (1998-2011) with teachers Juan Mesana and Pedro San Martín, among others. Also attended to Composition lessons at this center with teacher Enrique Blanco Rodríguez (2006-2011). Viola Masterclasses with teachers like José Manuel Román, David Quiggle or Marc Charpentier, among others. Part of Youth Symphony Orchestra of Castilla and León (JOSCYL) since 2010. Former member of Youth Symphony Orchestra “City of Salamanca” (JOSCS) from 2006 to 2009, with conductor Ignacio García Vidal.

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Egemen-Kesikli-558x900Egemen Kesikli
Egemen Kesikli (b. 1989) is an emerging Turkish composer honored with numerous performances around the United States, as well as Canada, Austria, Greece, and his home-country Turkey. His music has been performed by ensembles, including but not limited to, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, St. Olaf Band, UT New Music Ensemble, Dissonart Ensemble, and the Luna Nova Ensemble. He is the recipient of many awards including the “Minnesota Collegiate Composer of the Year Award” in 2011. Egemen received his Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College with Departmental Distinction, and is currently seeking his Master’s at the University of Texas at Austin – Butler School of Music, studying with Dan Welcher and Yevgeniy Sharlat.

 

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Emma-Ruth headshotEmma-Ruth Richards
Emma-Ruth’s music has been commissioned and performed by Opera North, London Philharmonia, BBC NOW Chamber Players, Håkan Hardenberger, Colin Currie, Nicholas Daniel, Paul Silverthorne, The Rhodes Piano Trio, Ebor Singers, Navarra Quartet, Dudok Quartet, Ligeti Quartet, Aurora Percussion Duo, HM Royal Marines Windband, Camerata Pacifica, Manchester Camerata, and The Absolution Saxophone Quartet amongst others. She is a Royal Northern Gold Medal composer and has featured in festivals including Music of Today 2009, James MacMillan 2009, RNCM Chamberfest 2011, Sounds New Canterbury 2010, HCMF 2011, Queen’s Belfast 2012, North West 2012, St. Magnus 2012, IC Hong Kong 2012, Internationaal Kamermuziekfestival Den Haag 2012, Banff 2012 and Aldeburgh 2013. Emma-Ruth is a member of the LSO’s composer soundhub; the composer in residence with Milton Keynes City Orchestra and London Arte Chamber Orchestra; a co-director of Collectives and Curiosities; and a member of the Chetham’s International Summer School Faculty

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Gilad Cohen - headshotGilad Cohen
Praised by the 2010 Israeli Prime Minister Award Committee for “creating a personal language fusion that has a unique dimension” in music that is “fascinating, vibrant and drawing the ear as well as the heart”, Israeli musician Gilad Cohen (b. 1980) is an active composer and performer in different musical genres including concert music, rock and music for theatre. Gilad’s music was performed at venues in the US, Europe, Asia and Israel including Merkin Hall, Morgan Library & Museum, Bargemusic (New York), the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, The Royal Conservatory of the Hague (the Netherlands), Kolarac Hall (Belgrade) and the Jerusalem Theatre (Israel). Recent awards include the Whiting Fellowship for Humanities, the top prizes in the American Harp Society in Dallas’ Composition Competition, the 1stLin Yao Ji International Competition for Composition (Beijing), the 2012 Franz Josef Reinl Composition Contest (Vienna) and the International Bicentennial Composition Competition of the American Liszt Society, as well as the Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum. A graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Mannes College of Music, Gilad is currently a PhD candidate in Composition at Princeton University. Visit www.giladcohen.com for more info.

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gregsteinke210-07Greg A. Steinke
Dr. Greg A Steinke is retired, former Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair of Music/Art and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon; Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); served as the National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (1988–97). Composer of chamber and symphonic music and author with published/recorded works and performances across the U. S. and internationally; speaker on interdisciplinary arts, and oboist specializing in contemporary music.

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Hadas - photoHadas Goldschmidt – Halfon
Mrs. Halfon has graduated from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance with an Artist Diploma and B.A.Mus in composition. She was studying with Prof. Haim Permont and Prof. Yinam Leef. She continued her studies in Northwestern University School of Music – Illinoise from which she graduated with M.mus in composition. Among her teachers were Prof. Alan Stout and Prof. Amnon Wollman. She has received Grants and Scolarships from Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance and Northwestern University School of Music.  Hadas has received the Prime Minister Award for Composers 2012, as well as The Rabinovich fund and the Research Authority fund – the Open University of Israel. Her compositions have been performed with the L.A. Jewish Symphony Orchestra, The Israel Chamber Orchestra, The Israel Sinfonietta, Symphonet Raanana, Musica Nova Ensemble, Caprisma Ensemble, Mr. Chen Zimbalista, Amber Trio, Mr. Ralph Van Raat, Concertante Ensemble, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Among her compositions are two Concerti for Marimba, Percussion and Orchestra, Guitar Concerto, “Prelude” for Symphony Orchestra, “Criss cross” for chamber orchestra, “Stills” for chamber orchestra, Piano Trio, Clarinet Trio, Oud Trio, String Quartet, Oboe Quartet, Brass Quartet, Duo for Clarinet and Piano, “Echoes” for Piano and more.

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vilnai2Jay (Yair) Vilnai
Vilnai’s musical journey owes to a unique heritage as a Russian-Romanian descendant raised in Jerusalem around a mix of contemporary and traditional music. He completed a BFA in jazz at the New School and an MM in composition at Brooklyn College where he received the John Cage Award for Excellence in Composition. He has been commissioned by ai ensemble, trombonist Jen Baker, Metro Chamber Orchestra, New York Trombone Consort and others, and his compositions have been performed around the country, most notably by CUNY’s CME, OMNI Ensemble and Mivos quartet. As a guitarist, Vilnai has shared the stage with diverse figures such as Frank London, balafon player Famoro Dioubate and the Phoenix Symphony. Vilnai leads Vampire Suit, an ensemble that examines the intersection of Balkan, jazz and chamber music. The ensemble has released two recordings to positive reviews, being called ‘spirited and enjoyable’ (Time Out NY) and said to have ‘enduring beauty’ (Cadence Magazine). His 2011 release ‘Shakespeare Songs’, featuring the MIVOS quartet and singer Gelsey Bell was said by Lucid Culture to possess ‘creepy otherworldliness’, and ‘ghostly ambience’.

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Jose Mora-Jimenez cerca 1José Mora-Jiménez
José Mora-Jiménez was born in San José, Costa Rica. He studied Classical Guitar and Music Composition at the University of Costa Rica. In 2005 he graduated from both bachelor degrees. In 2006 he moves to the Netherlands to continue his studies. He completed his composition studies at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague under the guidance of Gilius van Bergeijk and Cornelis de Bondt. He also followed the master’s degree Cultural Economics and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam where he graduated Cum Laude in 2010. He has won several awards including: second place at the Boston Guitar Festival Composition Contest (2008) with his piece “Tientos” for viola ang guitar, winner of the Calefax Reed Quintet Composition Competition (2011) with his work “Mobile#3: Schizos” and the Vrieden van het lied Composition Competition, organized for their 50th anniversary (2011) with the piece “Meere Stille” for baritone and piano.
His music has been published by Berben Edizioni Musicali in Italy and Diapason d’Or in Canada and is regularly performed in different countries around the world.

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Jovana_B_photoJovana Backovic
Jovana Backovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia where she graduated composition from the Faculty of Music Art in 2006. She founded, composed for, organized and led the band ‘Arhai’ in Belgrade from 1998 and their debut album ‘Mysterion’ was released in 2006 on the national label PGP . In its Belgrade incarnation Arhai was a ten-piece electro-folk orchestra that developed a fusion of traditional music from the Balkan region with ambient sounds and jazz-influenced improvisation, using classical flute, ‘cello, piano, electric guitar, bass and percussion, along with a quartet of female singers. As a UK resident Jovana continued to create music under the name Arhai, moving toward solo performance using live electronics. When she moved in UK to complete her PhD thesis, she began her collaboration with British folk guitarist and tambura-player Adrian Lever and developed the current format of live multilayered vocals combined with tambura, tarabuka and electronics. This collaborative work was generously supported by Arts Council of England. Jovana also composes music for feature and documentary movies and her current interest lies within the field of electro-acoustic music and live improvisational performance – exploring the process of the creation and development of individual music identity through improvisation and the use of technology, which is the main subject of her PhD thesis.

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Mark Zuckerman
Mark Zuckerman (b. 1948) has written extensively for virtuoso soloists, chamber ensembles, a cappella choir (including an internationally-recognized collection of Yiddish choral arrangements), wind ensemble, and string orchestra, with work acclaimed as “intriguing music of deceptive simplicity … subtle, persuasive and, quite simply, beautiful” and “highly accessible … quite moving.” A Princeton Ph.D. in composition, he taught at Princeton and Columbia and published numerous articles and a book drawn from his popular jazz survey course. He also played saxophone in stage bands; clarinet, sax and keyboards in rock bands; washtub bass in bluegrass and jug bands; and sang in several Yiddish choirs. He recently made his opera debut internationally in Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent. His music is available from a number of commercial music publishers and CD labels and has been performed and recorded by a variety of prestigious soloists and ensembles on four continents. Zuckerman has made his home in Roosevelt, NJ, for more than 35 years.

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headshotMatthew Browne
Matthew Browne (b.1988) holds an MM in Music Composition from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a BM from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His music draws upon eclectic styles of composers such as Gustav Mahler, Dmitri Shostakovich, György Ligeti, and John Corigliano. He has written for many diverse ensembles, large and small, including the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Tesla String Quartet, and the Donald Sinta’s Saxophone Studio. His music has been performed for, and given masterclasses by such renowned artists as Otis Murphy, George Crumb, and the Kronos String Quartet. In 2007, Matthew received 3rd place for his Symphony for Concert Band an honorable mention for his Ostinato for Saxophone Quartet in the 13th annual Pikes Peak Young Composer’s Competition. In 2008, he was the recipient of the University of Colorado College of Music Dean’s Undergraduate Commission prize for his Variations on a Theme by Johannes Brahms for octet. He is currently pursuing his DMA in Music Composition from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Previous teachers include Daniel Kellogg, Carter Pann, Kristin Kuster, and Michael Daugherty.

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Matthew headshot smallMatthew Peterson
Matthew Peterson (b. 1984, Grand Forks, ND) writes music that explores frontiers of sound and expression. A composer of “considerable imagination and individuality” (Houston Chronicle), his music is “fresh and passionate…beautiful, challenging” (BBC Berkshire). It is also diverse, ranging from songs of criminals and outcasts, to modern settings of sacred texts, to stunning orchestral soundscapes. Matthew has received commissions from musicians and ensembles in the United States, England, and Sweden, and fifty of his works have been performed across North America and Europe. His broad output includes two chamber operas, seven orchestral scores, an oratorio, numerous choral works, pieces for soloists, chamber ensembles, and electronic media, and post-rock songs for his band in Sweden. He has received the Fulbright Grant, and prestigious awards from BMI, ASCAP, Manhattan Beach Music, Third Angle ensemble, New Lens concert series, Opera Vista, Indiana University, the Boston Choral Ensemble, the National Opera Association, Vocal Essence, ensemble Chanticleer, and others. Matthew lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He studied composition at the Gotland tonsättarskola (Visby, Sweden), Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and St. Olaf College. He has previously served on the faculty of the Gotland School of Music Composition (Visby, Sweden) and as an Associate Instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
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Mike  001Michael Betteridge
Michael studied at both the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). His music has won various awards and has been performed at numerous venues nationally including The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Town Hall in Birmingham and LSO St Luke’s in London. He is musical director for ‘New Space Productions’ with whom his musical Indigestion has had performances at The Lowry in Salford Quays and tete a tete opera festival in London. Recently the company was commissioned to create a new site-specific work for the Manchester Metrolink tram network. Elsewhere he works alongside composers Emma-Ruth Richards and Jacob Thompson-Bell as ‘Collectives & Curiosities’. The group is currently working on a project with LSO Soundhub. Michael also practises as an animateur and teacher having worked for the LSO, BCMG, BBC Philharmonic and Opera North. He is musical director for Cantare Ladies Choir and the Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir (GMPMVC).

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headshot1Nat Evans
Seattle Composer Nat Evans writes concert music for various mixed chamber ensembles, distinctive electro-acoustic music, and site-specific music events that fuse nature, community and subjectivity of experience. His music is regularly presented across the United States and has also been performed in Europe, South America, Australia and China. Evanshas received numerous commissions including the Seattle Percussion Collective, the Harrison Center for the Arts, ODEONQUARTET, Seattle Pacific University Men’s Choir and Percussion Ensemble, Beta Test Ensemble, The Box Is Empty, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others. His music has been featured on a number of radio stations in the United States, as well as BBC3, and in the 2011 Music Issue of The Believer. He studied music at Butler University with Michael Schelle and Frank Felice.

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LongPatrick Long
An active composer and percussionist, Patrick Long (b. 1968) is a graduate of Syracuse University (B.M Composition/Percussion 1991) and the Eastman School of Music (MM 1993, DMA 1996 in composition).  He has completed over 70 premiered compositions to date for a wide variety of performing forces, including solo, chamber, orchestra, choir, band and fixed media. In particular, he is known for his works that combine live performers with interactive electronics and video.  He is currently an associate professor of music at Susquehanna University, where he teaches composition,theory, music history and music technology.

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IMG_0970Peter Dayton
Peter Dayton (b. 1990) graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Composition in 2012. His works have been performed across the United States and internationally. With an interest in crossing the fields of visual and aural art, his interdisciplinary works have been met with praise by internationally acclaimed artists such as Fernando de Szyszlo and John Hitchens.  He has had the fortune of working with faculty at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Musikhögskolan in Malmö, Sweden as well as participating in the Rocky Ridge Music Festival in Estes Park, CO and HighSCORE Music Festival in Pavia, Italy. He currently resides in Nashville, TN.

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Rain Worthington
Rain Worthington has a distinct voice within the field of contemporary music. As critic, Kyle Gann noted in Chamber Music magazine, her musictake(s) ideas of American musical style to a new place – like a walk in a familiar, yet very different park… And isn’t afraid to come up with its own startling conclusions. Using the palette of chamber and orchestra instrumentations, Rain Worthington’s work touches the human heart with emotionally evocative music that is nuanced, delicate, powerful and transporting. World music, minimalism and romanticism have influenced Rain’s compositional style. Her music has been performed in a wide variety of venues from loft performance spaces and dance clubs in New York City, to orchestra recordings in Eastern Europe and chamber concerts in Spain, India and Israel.

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RobertFLRobert Fleisher
Robert Fleisher is professor and coordinator of music theory and composition at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb). He attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City, graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His work has been supported by artist residencies in the United States and abroad, and by the Ruttenberg Arts Foundation, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He recently received his seventh grant from the Illinois Arts Council. The author of Twenty Israeli Composers (1997), he is also a contributing composer and essayist in Theresa Sauer’s Notations 21 (2009). His music has been heard in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, the U.K., throughout the U.S., and worldwide via online webcasts. Recordings are available on Centaur, Capstone, and SEAMUS labels.

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S Griffin photoSteven Griffin
Steven Griffin is from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.  He studied Music at Oxford University where he was a choral scholar at Magdalen College.  He has enjoyed a varied career as a music teacher, singer, bass guitarist and, latterly, a composer.  His music has been described as “alluring” by Kenneth Walton in The Scotsman and “superb” by Graham Lack in the International Choral Bulletin.  Most of his music has been written for choirs and is tonal/modal, but he often enjoys working with more avant-garde techniques and idioms when writing for instruments.  In 2012 he won the inaugural Carol for Christmas competition and his setting of A Hymn to the Virgin was premiered by The King’s Singers, broadcast on Classic FM and is due to be published by Novello at the time of writing.  His “day job” is Assistant Director of Music at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh where he specialises in directing choirs and teaching Advanced Higher and A-level classes.

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WT-headshotnewWaddy Thompson
Waddy Thompson’s works have been performed at the Spoleto Festival  U.S.A., St. Louis Spring Festival, Chicago Festival of New Music, Florida New Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Symphony Space, and at other venues. His works have received awards from the Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus , The American Prize, and the Florida Festival of New Music, and he has received grants from Meet The Composer and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Described as “atmospheric” (Winter Morning by a Lake) and “engagingly antic” (Aria and Parody) by The New York Times, his works speak with a harmonic language all their own, very occasionally drifting into tonality, while always relishing melody. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music (B.M., 1975), where he was a student of Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner. Of equal influence were Douglass Green, author of Form in Tonal Music and his horn teacher, Milan Yancich. Having decided that opera was his calling, he attended graduate school at Florida State University to study with Carlisle Floyd and subsequently with Allen Sapp, earning a M.M. in 1976 and D.M. in 1979. After 20 years of self-imposed compositional silence, be began writing again in 2008, atypically with a Christmas carol, “Embrace the Grace,” which was recently published by Sound Music Publications. He currently is executive director of InterSchool Orchestras of New York, which provides an after-school program with six orchestras and a band for NYC students 6 to 19. He is a member of BMI.

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WGeorgeWhitney George
George’s music, performance art, and installations have had both international and domestic premieres in England and the east and west coasts of the US by ensembles such as the Mivos Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Transit Ensemble, Fulcrum Point Quartet, CME, Curiosity Cabinet, and Vigil Ensemble. Her masters thesis and operatic work, The Yellow Wallpaper, was awarded the Lehman Engel Award. George was also named as a John Duffy Composers Institute Fellow for two years running in 2010 and 2011 for her staged works The Yellow Wallpaper and And Thus the Whirligig of Time Brings in His Revenges. George was given the Robert Starer award for her orchestral work The Anatomy of the Curiosity Cabinet in 2011.George is the artistic director and conductor of ‘The Curiosity Cabinet’, a chamber orchestra whose members were culled from a network of close collaborators. Since its creation in 2009, the ensemble has participated in the inaugural CUNY New Music Festival and was invited as the ensemble-in-residence at the Hartford Women Composers Festival in 2012. For more information, visit www.whitneygeorge.com .

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