The 2011 Commissioning Project Results!

Picture this: hundreds of hours, shameful amounts of soda, and a couple Korean dinners after we received 215 submissions to our Commissioning Project, we were still struggling with finalizing our results. The reason was a great problem to have: we had too many strong composers to choose from, and we wanted pieces from all of them. Letting anybody go was a real wrench because we wanted to work with them so much. Eventually, Dan (I think?) had the Plan. We didn’t have many plans yet (programming-wise) for next season. So why not ask all our finalists if they’d write for us, too?

So we’re so thrilled to announce the winners and finalists of our Commissioning Project, all of whom we will commission for new works, and who will comprise much of our programming for next season:

Congratulations to all and thanks to everyone who applied—it really was an incredibly difficult choice!

Julian Day

Julian Day is a composer and sound artist based in Sydney, Australia. Described as “an epic and intimate formalist”, he creates evocative works through simple yet often lateral means. His work inhabits a lush and frequently dark world of slowed down sounds, broken patterns and basic geometries, influenced by conceptual art, cracked media and pop culture. Recent works include Ascent for 100 flutes, Totem for skipping CDs and Ceremony for multiple spatialized synthesizers. Much of his work is site-specific and collaborative, taking place in spaces as varied as railway sheds, former meat markets and even on New York’s Central Park lake.

Day has worked with Lisa Moore and Mark Stewart (Bang On A Can All Stars), TILT Brass, Mark Dancigers (NOW Ensemble), David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), ExhAUST and DuoSolo. His work has featured at New York’s MATA festival, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, ISCM World New Music Days, Whitechapel Gallery (London), Het Nutshuis (The Hague), Liquid Architecture Festival and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. He directs the keyboard ensemble An Infinity Room (A.I.R) and co-directs Super Critical Mass, a large-scale performance project for massed identical instruments.

Day studied at the Queensland Conservatorium and Sydney College of the Arts, undertaking lessons and masterclasses with Louis Andriessen, Martin Bresnick, Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe among others. He won the British Council’s Realize Your Dream Award and The Australian Voices Young Composer of the Year. Julian is also a writer and new music broadcaster, having appeared on BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM. His interviewees include Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, Terry Riley, Laurie Anderson and John Cale.

Ruben Naeff

Educated in both mathematics and music and recently employed as an economist, Dutch composer Ruben Naeff (1981) finds himself in an attempt to comprehend the world and set it to music.  His broad interest led to many interdisciplinary pieces like De Bètacanon (about the hard sciences), The Dancing Dollar (about the current financial crisis), and the YouOpera (about our lives online). Currently, he is a recipient of the HSP Huygens Talent Scholarship from the Dutch government to study composition with Michael Gordon in a master’s program at New York University.

Ruben has collaborated with numerous people and organizations from a wide range of disciplines, reaching from national newspaper de Volkskrant to the debate & fine arts festival happyChaos. He is co-founder of the West 4th New Music Collective, which promotes the work of emerging composers in New York. He has written for renowned ensembles as the Deviant Septet, JACK Quartet, Vigil Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Los Angeles based duo Meyerson & Valitutto, and the Dutch Erasmus Kamerkoor and Quatre Bouches, and for festivals as the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Music11, and the UNL Chamber Music Institute. His music has been performed in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Latvia, and various states across the USA (NY, CA, MA, CT, TX, NE). He has joined forces with such public figures as NRC Handelsblad economics editor Maarten Schinkel, scientists and (former) presidents of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences Robbert Dijkgraaf and Frits van Oostrom, and the Dutch Fokke & Sukke cartoonist Jean-Marc van Tol.

Andrea La Rose

Named by NPR as one of 100 composers under 40 you should know, flutist and composer Andrea La Rose is making waves in the New York music scene and beyond. Her pride and joy since 2002 has been her work as a flutist/composer/board member with the punk-classical antagonists known as Anti-Social Music, most recently (late 2010) touring the Ukraine and contributing to an album of remixes of songwriter Franz Nicolay. She has also been musically involved with thingNY, baj, Lone Wolf Tribe, and Mohair Timewarp. Print and online publications from Chamber Music America, to New Music Connoisseur, to Dusted have said lovely things about her fluting and composing prowess. Funding for her musical endeavors have been generously provided by the American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Since August 2009, she has been contributing her talents as a Music Teacher at the Franconian International School in Erlangen, Germany. When she is not making music in some fashion, she is quaffing beer and whipping up culinary magic in her kitchen.

“Prolific and an expert performer, she’s bouncing among a dozen good ideas, and wherever she lands will doubtless cause merriment, consternation, insight, and possibly the End of Civilization As We Know It.”
— Kyle Gann,

Elizabeth Lim

Elizabeth Lim is a second-year doctoral candidate at the Juilliard School, where she is studying composition with Dr. Robert Beaser. Noted for its unique expressiveness and verve, Elizabeth’s music has been widely performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and she has received honors and recognition from ASCAP, BMI, the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), the National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA), the New England Philharmonic, and the Society for New Music, among others.

Elizabeth completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, where she was awarded the Hugh F. MacColl Prize in composition, the John Green Fellowship in composition, the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts, and during her senior year, she was named one of the Class of 2008’s “Most Outstanding Seniors in the Arts.” She has been a composer-in-residence with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra as part of the Under Construction concert series, and other accomplishments include commissions and awards from the Alabama Orchestra Association, the Palo Alto Youth-to-Youth Commissioning Project, Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Composers Competition, as well as from the first national Iron Composer Competition, hosted by the University of Nebraska’s Artsaha. Additionally, Elizabeth was named winner of the annual Juilliard Orchestra Composition Competition, and her work for orchestra, Paranoia, was conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky for performance in the Alice Tully Hall in April 2009; more recently she has also participated as a student composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony as part of the Composer to Center Stage program.

Nicole Murphy

Australian composer Nicole Murphy completed her Masters of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2011, under the tutelage of Dr. Gerardo Dirié. During her undergraduate degree, she studied under composer Gerard Brophy, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with First Class Honours.

Nicole is the recipient of various awards, including the A.G. Francis Prize for Composition (2001), the Alan Lane Award for Composition (2004), and the Collusion/QCGU Composition Prize, for her setting of Australian writer John Tranter’s work The Moment of Waking (2004). She has written orchestral works for the Symphony Services Australia Young Composers Development Program (2010), TSO Australian Composer’s School (2010) and the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer Development Program (2011).

Nicole has been commissioned by eminent arts organisations, including the Australian Ballet (2007), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2008) and Orchestra Victoria (2010), and has had her music performed by ensembles such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Tasmania), Chronology Arts (Sydney), Halcyon (Sydney) and Ars Nova (Dallas). She is currently working on a new piece for the Definiens Project (Los Angeles) and holds the position of Composer-in-Residence at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries.

Jonathan Russell

Jonathan Russell is a composer, clarinetist, conductor, and educator who is active in a wide variety of music, from classical to experimental to klezmer to church music. Especially known for his innovative bass clarinet and clarinet ensemble compositions, his works for bass clarinet duo, bass clarinet quartet, bass clarinet soloists, and clarinet ensembles have been performed around the world and are radically expanding the technical and stylistic possibilities of these genres. He has received commissions from ensembles such as the San Francisco Symphony, Empyrean Ensemble, ADORNO Ensemble, Classical Revolution, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Imani Winds, and DZ4, and performances from numerous other ensembles and performers, including the Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, the BluePrint Project, the Great Noise Ensemble, the new music bands FIREWORKS, Capital M, and Oogog, pianist-percussionist Danny Holt, and pianists Sarah Cahill, Lisa Moore, Lara Downes, and Matthew McCright. Upcoming projects include compositions for So Percussion, the guitar-percussion duo The Living Earth Show, the new music ensemble REDSHIFT, and a new Bass Clarinet Concerto commissioned by the Bass Clarinet Commissioning Collective. His works are published by Potenza Music and BCP Music, and have been commercially recorded by the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo and pianist Jeffrey Jacob.

An avid performer on clarinet and bass clarinet, Jonathan is a member of the heavy metal-inspired Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet and the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo, which has commissioned numerous new works and released two CDs of new American bass clarinet duets. He has also music directed two dance productions with choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, and is co-director of the Switchboard Music Festival, an annual eight-hour marathon concert that brings together the San Francisco Bay Area’s most creative and innovative composers and performers. He has served on the Music Theory Faculty at San Francisco Conservatory and on the Composition Faculty at the Conservatory’s Adult Extension and Preparatory Divisions. He has a B.A. in Music from Harvard University and an M.M. in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His composition teachers have included Paul Lansky, Dmitri Tymoczko, Dan Becker, Elinor Armer, Eric Sawyer, John Stewart, and Eric Ewazen. He is currently a student in the Composition PhD program at Princeton University.

Jeffrey Treviño

Jeff Treviño’s recent projects include a one-act musical theater adaptation of Anthony Ha’s award-winning science-fiction story, Orbiting, a set of solo percussion frames for recordings of Alice Notley reading her poems, four two-minute duos for for a two-seat theatre in the Hammer Museum’s coat closet, a series of abstract animations for Golden Parachutes gallery’s Total Vivid Presence, and a year-long series of fluxus performances with his Berlin-based ensemble, the Institute for Intermediate Studies. Notable mentors include Mark Applebaum, Brian Ferneyhough, Max Mathews, Rand Steiger, Miller Puckette, Tom Erbe, Walter Zimmermann, Pauline Oliveros, Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, and Steven Takasugi.

Treviño has received commissions from the University of California at Berkeley Graduate Program in Media Studies, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music at the University of California at Santa Barbara, bass clarinetist Anthony Burr, percussionist Ross Karre, pianist Rei Nakamura, contrabassist James Ilgenfritz, violinist Batya MacAdam-Somer, and the Arditti String Quartet, with notable premieres at the International Computer Music Conference (Miami, 2004, and New Orleans, 2006), the Oberlin Conservatory Percussion Institute (2006), New York City’s Symphony Space, Germany’s Akademie Schloss Solitude Summer Residencies, South Korea’s Seoul International Computer Music Festival (2007), Mexico’s Visiones Sonoras (2007), SIGGRAPH (2007), the International Conference of the Society for Improvised Music (Chicago, 2007), the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik, June in Buffalo (2008), Portugal’s Vila Real Conservatory, New York City’s Miguel Abreu Gallery, the Carlsbad Music Festival (2008), Freiburg im Breisgau’s E-Werk (2009), and Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Akademie (2009).

An accomplished pianist and tubist, Treviño has performed in world class venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Sydney Opera House. He is currently studying John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano with pianist Aleck Karis.

Treviño researches the ways composers think when they write computer programs, and his doctoral work at the University of California at San Diego is supported by the university’s San Diego Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the university’s Center for Latin-American Studies.

Nicolas Tzortzis

Born in Athens, Greece in May 1978, Nicolas Tzortzis has been living in Paris, France, since 2002. He studied instrumental and electronic composition with Philippe Leroux at the CRD de Blanc Mesnil, musical theatre composition with Georges Aperghis at the Hochschule der Kunste in Bern, Switzerland and Computer Aided Composition at the University of Paris 8 under the direction of Horacio Vaggione and José Manuel Lopez-Lopez. In 2009-2010 he attended the CURSUS 1 of composition and computer music at the IRCAM and he has been selected to do the CURSUS 2 for the years 2010-2012, where he will present a large-scale work for piano and live electronics. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Montreal, under the supervision of Philippe Leroux.

He has taken part in master classes with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer and François Paris, as well as computer music seminars at the IRCAM.  In 2010, he was selected for the 6th New Composers Forum of the Ensemble Aleph. His music has been performed in France, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Argentina, Peru, South Korea and Australia, and has been selected and awarded in competitions worldwide (USA, South Korea, Germany, France, Austria, Greece, Italy, Great Britain, Argentina).

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