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Announcing Our 2011-2012 Composers (Pt. 1)

This season, Wild Rumpus has commissioned seven emerging composers to write for the ensemble so far. We’ll announce the rest of our collaborators (composers chosen through our Commissioning Project) in mid-October, but we’re so excited about these guys that we couldn’t wait until then to tell you about them. Here’s a little bit about each of them, to get you started:

Travis Alford

Travis Alford

Travis Alford is a composer, trumpet player, and improviser currently living in the Boston area. His music has been performed at venues including the June in Buffalo Festival, the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, and the ACA Summer Music Festival at Symphony Space in NY, by groups such as the Meridian Arts Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet, Second Instrumental Unit, and members of the New York New Music Ensemble. Last year, he was awarded an ASCAP Young Composers Award for his composition, Breathing Room. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and East Carolina University, and is working toward a PhD in composition at Brandeis University.

Nomi Epstein

Nomi Epstein

The music of Nomi Epstein, a Chicago based composer, curator and performer of experimental music, and music educator, has been performed throughout the US and Europe. In her music, she is interested in finding the space between static and dynamic art, examining subtlety, and sometimes working in the realm of acoustic sound sculpture.

Florent Ghys

Florent Ghys

Florent Ghys is a French composer and upright bass player from Bordeaux, France. He writes mainly acoustic music for himself and friends. He uses notes, hair dryers, blinkers, weather reports, numbers, and enjoys controlling randomness. The label Cantaloupe Music released a 5-track EP in January 2010 and a full length album called “Baroque Tardif” in September 2011.

Jenny Olivia Johnson

Jenny Olivia Johnson

Jenny Olivia Johnson is a composer and music studies scholar from Santa Monica, California. She studied composition and theory at Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and NYU (Ph.D. 2009), and is currently an assistant professor of music at Wellesley College. Her academic and artistic interests include musical perception, synaesthesia, multi-media art, and the impact of audio technology on musical memory and sensation.

Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark is a composer of contemporary classical music deeply rooted in the American West. Having spent his formative years in rural western Montana, his music is always seeking to capture the expansive energy of this quintessential American landscape.

Yao Chen

Yao Chen

The music of Yao Chen strikes audiences with its innovative ways of bringing the musical traditions of East and West together and its poetic telling of the composer’s innermost thoughts. His many works not only manifest his talent in navigating wide expressional and dramaturgical elements in music writing, but also shine his versatility in structuring musical forms that embrace mixed instruments, musical languages and styles.

Yuan Peiying

Yuan Peiying

Peiying Yuan is a young Singaporean composer who is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Cornell University. Her music has been performed most notably by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Argento Ensemble, and the ensemble at Wellesley College Composers Conference. This summer, she has enjoyed exploring music from a sociological perspective while composing a piece for mixed traditional Chinese instruments.

We’re very, very honored to be working with these composers. Writing a piece is always a huge investment of energy and time, and writing a piece for a brand new ensemble is an act of faith to which we hope we’ll do justice. Over the next few months, as they work on their pieces with us, we’ll tell you more about these artists and hear from some of them as well. Stay tuned!


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