Alex Mincek has been appointed assistant professor in the composition and music technology program at the Bienen School of Music, effective September 1, 2016.
Mincek is a composer, performer, and co-director of the New York-based Wet Ink Ensemble. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alpert Award, and multiple awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has also been recognized through commissions and awards from arts institutions such as the French Ministry of Culture, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, MATA, Radio France, and the Barlow Endowment.
Mincek’s music has been programmed at venues and international festivals including Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, Wigmore Hall, Strasbourg Musica, Darmstadt (IMD), Ultraschall Berlin, Festival Archipel Geneve, the Contempuls Festival in Prague, and the Ostrava New Music Days. He has collaborated with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Linea, Talea, Dal Niente, Yarn/Wire, Mivos and the JACK Quartet.
Mincek’s compositional thinking is primarily concerned with creating musical contexts in which diverse sound worlds seamlessly coexist – from raw to highly refined timbres, from rhythmic vitality to abrupt stasis, and from mechanical-like repetition to sinuous continuity. By connecting, combining and alternating seemingly disparate states, he attempts to create a sense of interconnectivity that reveals underlying qualities of coherence and unity. His music frequently explores novel approaches to microtonal harmony by integrating methods often regarded as incompatible. Mincek’s musical thinking is also concerned with how the cognition of physical shape, movement and color can be used as a model for organizing musical sound and structure in relation to psychoacoustics and musical perception more generally.
Mincek received his MA from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Nils Vigeland, and his DMA from Columbia University, where he studied with Tristan Murail and Fred Lerdahl.
Hans Thomalla, Bienen School associate professor of composition and director of the Institute for New Music, says he looks forward to Mincek joining the composition faculty.
“[Mincek] is not just a composer with a highly unique voice, built on a wide range of influences – spectralism and its fusion of timbre and harmony; jazz and improvisation with its sense of gesture, physicality, and rhythmic ingenuity; and a progressive avant-garde with its exploration of extended techniques – he is also a true musician in the widest sense of the term: a composer, intellectual, entrepreneur, and a performing musician,” said Thomalla.