Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern University has canceled all public events through April 27, including NUNC! 4.

The Institute for New Music will explore rescheduling NUNC! to April 2021. More information will be announced at a later date.

NUNC! 4

NUNC! 4 New Music Conference and Festival

April 24-26, 2020

From April 24-26, 2020, the Institute for New Music will present NUNC!—the Northwestern University New-Music conference and festival—for the fourth time. Guests include the renowned Arditti Quartet, as well as composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Jennifer Walshe, and Katherine Young, who curated the first call for improvisers. In addition to a wide array of concerts by our guest performers, composers, and Bienen School ensembles, NUNC! 4 will present new works, new papers, and new performances from several calls. All NUNC events are open to the public. 


Call Results Top

Call for Scores – Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, Donald Nally, conductor

Jaco Wong – Psithaura
Kevin Zhang – Torso, air

Call for Scores – Taimur Sullivan Saxophone Studio

Jessie Cox – My History
Sarah Grace Graves – Yttrium
Edward Hamel – Butchered and Consumed by the Facets of Extension
Yunfei Li – The Shape of Water
Robert Rankin – Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Call for Scores – Arditti Quartet

Yun-Chun Chien – Trio
Onur Dülger – Barzakh
Yuko Ohara – Birefringence II for string quartet
Dimitri Papageorgiou – Quasi (ébauch)
Ruud Roelofsen – on intimacy III
Max Vinetz – maintaining

Call for Improvisers

Josh Berman, Ben Lamar Gay and Jason Roebke
Ray Evanoff
Fat Pigeon
Etienne Nillesen
Wilfrido Terrazas

Call for Presentations

Sergio Cote Barco – The (Un)Avoidable Force of Knowledge: Repetition, canon formation, and ideology in Alvin Lucier’s Music For Solo Performer and Marina Abramovic’s Seven Easy Pieces
Elaine Fitz Gibbon – Coney Island’s Strange Doubling: Music, Theater, and Uncanny Bodies in Steven Takasugi’s "Sideshow"
Irine Røsnes – Theatre of Transformations: an artistic research on performance practice of mixed music for violin and electronics
Daniel Tacke – Expressive Performance Practice in Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s "Shades of Silence”
Benjamin Zucker – im in ur discipline, making u music: Jennifer Walshe’s Composition Of The Digital Everyday

Call for Electronics

David S. Carter – Plateau
Michael Flynn – Tourmaline
Molly Jones – After Heaven Static
Piyawat Louilarpprasert – Breeze for amplified trombone and electronics
Wei Yang – panta rhei

Call for Performers

Kyle Armburst – Partita for sola viola by Jorge Grossman
Chicago Wind Project – Ezra's Nursery by Aaron Holloway-Nahum
deaf rabbit – Glass Shards by Oswald Huynh
Else, if Else – Ebb Tide by Molly Herron
Émilie Fortin – Laki by Olga Neuwirth
|| – November Witch
Jorge Grossmann, Kyle Armbrust – Partita for solo viola by Jorge Grossmann
Adam Marks – Radical Divisions of an Un-tolled Bell by Jessie Marino
Osnat Netzer, Phil Pierick – Pillars by Osnat Netzer
Ruud Roelofsen – For flute or piano or mandolin or percussion or...... by Bart de Vrees
Spectrum Ensemble – Ah yes, the three genders by Alex Temple
Thomas Snydacker – Tethergrowl by Carolyn O'Brien
Xin – La quemadura es el lenguaje con que juro, manos abiertas sobre el hielo by Andrés Guadarrama
Viola Yip, Etienne Niellesen – black and white by Viola Yip


Schedule Top

April 24

Arditti Quartet

Friday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.
Galvin Recital Hall, $20/5
Irvine Arditti and Ashot Sarkissjan, violin; Ralf Ehlers, viola; Lucas Fels, cello

The Arditti Quartet has garnered international acclaim for its spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary music. Since its founding in 1974, the group has given world premieres of quartets by such composers as Thomas Adès, Benjamin Britten, John Cage, Brian Ferneyhough, Sofia Gubaidulina, Toshio Hosokawa, and György Kurtág. The ensemble’s over 200 recordings include multiple Deutsche Schallplatten Preis and Gramophone Award winners. To date, the Arditti Quartet is the only ensemble to receive the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, awarded in 1999 for its “lifetime achievement” in music.
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Call for Improvisers Concert

Friday, April 24, 10 p.m.
McClintock Choral and Recital Room, free

Improvisatory performances by invited NUNC! 4 soloists and ensembles, including bassist Jason Roebke with cornetists Josh Berman and Ben LaMar Gay; percussionist Etienne Nillesen; flutist Wilfrido Terrazas; percussionist Ray Evanoff; and ensemble Fat Pigeon.
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April 25

Musicology Roundtable

Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m.
McClintock Choral and Recital Room, free

Musicologist and percussionist Kerry O’Brien (University of Washington) and musicologist and musician Ted Gordon (Columbia University) discuss their research.
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Call for Scores Saxophone Concert

Saturday, April 25, noon
Regenstein Master Class Room, free
Performances of new compositions for saxophone.
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Guest Composer Talks

Saturday, April 25, 2 p.m.
Regenstein Master Class Room, free

Bienen professor of composition and music technology Hans Thomalla moderates a discussion between composers Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Jennifer Walshe, and Katherine Young.
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Arditti Quartet Call for Scores Performance

Saturday, April 25, 5 p.m.
McClintock Choral and Recital Room, free
The quartet performs selected works from the NUNC! 4 call for scores.
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Contemporary Music Ensemble

Saturday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Galvin Recital Hall, $6/4
Ben Bolter, conductor; Nicholas Koo, graduate assistant conductor
Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Aequilibria
Matthew Arrellin, new work
Alex Mincek, music from Chimeras
Jennifer Walshe, Hygiene
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April 26

Call for Presentations

Sunday, April 26, 8:30 a.m.
Regenstein Master Class Room, free
Presentations by invited NUNC! 4 scholars Elaine Fitz Gibbon, Benjamin Zucker,  Irine Røsnes, Daniel Tacke, and Sergio Cote Barco.
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Call for Performers Concert

Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m.
McClintock Choral and Recital Room, free
Performances by invited NUNC! 4 soloists and ensembles.
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Call for Electronics Concert

Sunday, April 26, 5 p.m.
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, free
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Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Arditti Quartet

Sunday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Galvin Recital Hall, free
BCE and the Arditti Quartet team up for two works of great contrast and profound impact. In composing the national anthems, David Lang set out to identify commonalities of hope and inspiration in national anthems; what he found was a universal fear of war and of loss of freedom. Simultaneously terrifying and calm, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Ad genua (To the Knees) considers “the other” through humility and a longing for beauty in the face of pain. The program also includes selections and artists from the NUNC! calls for scores and performers
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Special Guests & Faculty

See Full Bio

Arditti Quartet

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The Arditti Quartet enjoys a world-wide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Many hundreds of string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. Many of these works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music History. World premieres of quartets by composers such as Abrahamsen, aAdes, Andriessen, Aperghis, Birtwistle, Britten, Cage, Carter, Denisov, Dillon, Dufourt, Dusapin, Fedele, Ferneyhough, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Guerrero, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtag,e show the wide range of music in the Arditti Quartet's repertoire.

The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to work with every composer it plays. The players' commitment to educational work is indicated by their masterclasses and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world.

The Arditti Quartet's extensive discography now features over 200 CDs. 42 CD's were released as part of the ensemble's series on Naive Montaigne. This series set the trend, by presenting numerous contemporary composer features, recorded in their presence as well as the first digital recordings of the complete Second Viennese School's chamber music for strings. The quartet has recorded for more than 20 other CD labels and together this CD collection is the most extensive available of quartet literature in the last 40 years. To name just a few, Berio, Cage, Carter, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nono, Rihm, the complete chamber music of Xenakis and Stockhausen's infamous Helicopter Quartet.Some of the most recent releases with the French company Aeon include profiles of Birtwistle, Gerhard, Ferneyhough Paredes and Dusapin, and with Winter and Winter Abrahamsen. 

Over the past 30 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) in 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle) and in 2018 (Pascal Dusapin). In 2004 they were awarded the 'Coup de Coeur' prize by the Academie Charles Cros in France for their exceptional contribution to the dissemination of contemporary music. The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for 'lifetime achievement' in music. They remain to this day, the only ensemble ever to receive it.
The complete archive of the Arditti quartet is housed in the Sacher Foundation in Basle, Switzerland.

Website

See Full Bio

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

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Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) is an Icelandic composer whose “seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and “striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). “Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke “a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive “combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). It is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, her “confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) has garnered her the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award, and Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award and Martin E. Segal Award.

Anna’s music is frequently performed internationally and has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Yarn/Wire, The Crossing, the Bavarian Radio Choir, Münchener Kammerorchester, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Avanti Chamber Ensemble, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, CAPUT Ensemble, Oslo Philharmonic, and Either/Or Ensemble. In April 2018, Esa-Pekka Salonen lead the New York Philharmonic in the premiere of Anna’s work METACOSMOS, which was commissioned by the orchestra, and the work received its European premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by Alan Gilbert. METACOSMOS received its UK premiere at the BBC Proms 2019. Anna’s latest orchestral work - the large-scale AION - was commissioned by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and premiered in May 2019, conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing. Anna is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

Her music has been featured at several major venues and music festivals, including portrait concerts at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC's Miller Theatre, the Leading International Composers series at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Big Ears Festival, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn's National Sawdust, London's Spitalfields Music Festival, Münchener Kammerorchester's Nachtmusic der Moderne series, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra's Point Festival. Other venues include the BBC Proms, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Lucerne Summer Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, Helsinki's Musica Nova Festival, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Anna holds a PhD (2011) from the University of California in San Diego. She regularly teaches and gives presentations on composition, in academic settings, as part of residencies, and in private lessons. In spring 2019, she was Composer-in-Residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is currently based in the London area.

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Jennifer Walshe

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Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. She studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Kevin Volans in Dublin and graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in June 2002. Her chief teachers at Northwestern were Amnon Wolman and Michael Pisaro. In 2000 Jennifer won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. In 2003-2004 Jennifer was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; during 2004-2005 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. From 2006 to 2008 she was the composer-in-residence in South Dublin County for In Context 3. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York. In 2008 she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize for Composition by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur. In 2009 she lived in Venice, Italy as a guest of the Fondazione Claudio Buziol. In 2016 she was awarded the BASCA British Composer Award for Innovation. She is currently Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart.

Jennifer’s work has been performed and broadcast all over the world by ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Klangforum Wien, Alter Ego, ensemble récherche, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro La Fenice, Nadar Ensemble, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, ensemble Intégrales, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Plus Minus, Schlagquartett Köln, Crash Ensemble, Con Tempo Quartet, ensemble ascolta, Champ d’Action, ensemble laboratorium, ensemble ]h[iatus, ensemble surplus, trio nexus, the Rilke Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, Bozzini Quartet, Callino Quartet, Ensemble 2000, Concorde, Kaleidoscop, Black Hair, Continuum, Ensemble Musica Nova, ensemble chronophonie, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Quintet, the Hebrides Ensemble, Psappha, and Q-02 among others. Walshe has written many operas, ranging from XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!! (2003) for Barbie dolls and ensemble to Die Taktik, an opera commissioned by the Junge Oper Stuttgart, which Walshe also directed – the work received 14 performances in Stuttgart in 2012.

In addition to her activities as a composer, Jennifer frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques. Many of her compositions are commissioned for her voice either as a soloist or in conjunction with other instruments, and her works have been performed by her and others at festivals such as Liquid Architecture (Australia), Cycle (Iceland), Soundshapes (Italy), Ostrava New Music Days (Czech Republic), RTÉ Living Music (Dublin), Båstad Kammarmusik Festival (Sweden), Maerzmuzik (Berlin), Wundergrund (Copenhagen), Ultraschall (Berlin), Transit (Leuven), Ars Musica (Brussels), Sonorités (Montpellier), Ultima (Norway), Borealis (Norway), Experimental Intermedia (New York), November Music (Holland), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Steirischer Herbst, Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Donaueschinger Musiktagen, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Late Music Festival (York), Hamburger Klangwerktage, Gaida (Lithuania), BMIC Cutting Edge, Composer’s Choice (Dublin), SoundField (Chicago) the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Stockholm New Music, BELEF (Belgrade), Traiettorie (Parma), Cut & Splice (London), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), SPOR (Denmark), Frau Musica Nova (Cologne), Performa (New York), Electric Eclectics (Canada), Dresdener Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik, Reihe 0 (Austria), Stimme+ (ZKM, Karlsruhe) and MATA (New York). Jennifer is also active as an improviser, performing regularly with musicians in Europe and the U.S., and in her duos Ma La Pert with Tony Conrad, PUTIF with Tomomi Adachi and Ghikas & Walshe with Panos Ghikas. Other collaborators include film-maker Vivienne Dick, artist Alice Maher and Drew Daniel’s The Soft Pink Truth.

Website

See Full Bio

Katherine Young

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The curious timbres, expressive noises, and kinetic structures of Katherine Young’s electroacoustic music explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and associations with the familiar and the strange. The LAPhil's Green Umbrella series, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente,

Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, Nico Couck / Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Fonema Consort, and others have commissioned her work. Her music has been described by the New York Times as “raw, wailing, coloristic,” and New Music Box has noted “her visceral approach to sound…her attentiveness to the smallest details of timbre; her adventurousness in using instruments in unexpected ways.” Katherine is excited about coming-soon (and soon-to-be recent) projects with Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, WasteLAnd and RAGE, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Ensemble, and Yarn/Wire. In 2018-2019 she will release new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Wet Ink, and Amy Cimini as Architeuthis Walks on Land.

As a bassoonist and improviser, Katherine amplifies her instrument and employs a flexible electronics setup. Her debut solo album garnered praise in The Wire (“Bassoon colossus”) and Downbeat (“seriously bold leaps for the bassoon”). Collaboration is central to her practice, and she has documented such work on numerous recordings, including three releases with her duo with violist Amy Cimini, her quartet Pretty Monsters’s self-titled debut, several recordings with Anthony Braxton, and her installation-performance piece Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight created with violinist Austin Wulliman (out on Parlour Tapes+ as a stereo recording and do-it-yourself cassette installation box set). She performs regularly as a soloist, in ad hoc improvised groups, and with long-standing ensembles Pretty Monsters, Architeuthis Walks on Land, and Till by Turning.

Katherine’s dissertation - Nothing Is as It Appears: Anthony Braxton's Trillium J— completed for the DMA in composition at Northwestern University—documents and analyzes Anthony Braxton’s operatic project. Katherine is based in Chicago where she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Website

Arditti Quartet

Close

The Arditti Quartet enjoys a world-wide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Many hundreds of string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. Many of these works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music History. World premieres of quartets by composers such as Abrahamsen, aAdes, Andriessen, Aperghis, Birtwistle, Britten, Cage, Carter, Denisov, Dillon, Dufourt, Dusapin, Fedele, Ferneyhough, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Guerrero, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtag,e show the wide range of music in the Arditti Quartet's repertoire.

The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to work with every composer it plays. The players' commitment to educational work is indicated by their masterclasses and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world.

The Arditti Quartet's extensive discography now features over 200 CDs. 42 CD's were released as part of the ensemble's series on Naive Montaigne. This series set the trend, by presenting numerous contemporary composer features, recorded in their presence as well as the first digital recordings of the complete Second Viennese School's chamber music for strings. The quartet has recorded for more than 20 other CD labels and together this CD collection is the most extensive available of quartet literature in the last 40 years. To name just a few, Berio, Cage, Carter, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nono, Rihm, the complete chamber music of Xenakis and Stockhausen's infamous Helicopter Quartet.Some of the most recent releases with the French company Aeon include profiles of Birtwistle, Gerhard, Ferneyhough Paredes and Dusapin, and with Winter and Winter Abrahamsen. 

Over the past 30 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) in 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle) and in 2018 (Pascal Dusapin). In 2004 they were awarded the 'Coup de Coeur' prize by the Academie Charles Cros in France for their exceptional contribution to the dissemination of contemporary music. The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for 'lifetime achievement' in music. They remain to this day, the only ensemble ever to receive it.
The complete archive of the Arditti quartet is housed in the Sacher Foundation in Basle, Switzerland.

Website

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Close

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) is an Icelandic composer whose “seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and “striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). “Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke “a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive “combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). It is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, her “confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) has garnered her the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award, and Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award and Martin E. Segal Award.

Anna’s music is frequently performed internationally and has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Yarn/Wire, The Crossing, the Bavarian Radio Choir, Münchener Kammerorchester, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Avanti Chamber Ensemble, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, CAPUT Ensemble, Oslo Philharmonic, and Either/Or Ensemble. In April 2018, Esa-Pekka Salonen lead the New York Philharmonic in the premiere of Anna’s work METACOSMOS, which was commissioned by the orchestra, and the work received its European premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by Alan Gilbert. METACOSMOS received its UK premiere at the BBC Proms 2019. Anna’s latest orchestral work - the large-scale AION - was commissioned by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and premiered in May 2019, conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing. Anna is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

Her music has been featured at several major venues and music festivals, including portrait concerts at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC's Miller Theatre, the Leading International Composers series at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Big Ears Festival, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn's National Sawdust, London's Spitalfields Music Festival, Münchener Kammerorchester's Nachtmusic der Moderne series, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra's Point Festival. Other venues include the BBC Proms, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Lucerne Summer Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, Helsinki's Musica Nova Festival, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Anna holds a PhD (2011) from the University of California in San Diego. She regularly teaches and gives presentations on composition, in academic settings, as part of residencies, and in private lessons. In spring 2019, she was Composer-in-Residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is currently based in the London area.

Website

Jennifer Walshe

Close

Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. She studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Kevin Volans in Dublin and graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in June 2002. Her chief teachers at Northwestern were Amnon Wolman and Michael Pisaro. In 2000 Jennifer won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. In 2003-2004 Jennifer was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; during 2004-2005 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. From 2006 to 2008 she was the composer-in-residence in South Dublin County for In Context 3. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York. In 2008 she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize for Composition by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur. In 2009 she lived in Venice, Italy as a guest of the Fondazione Claudio Buziol. In 2016 she was awarded the BASCA British Composer Award for Innovation. She is currently Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart.

Jennifer’s work has been performed and broadcast all over the world by ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Klangforum Wien, Alter Ego, ensemble récherche, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro La Fenice, Nadar Ensemble, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, ensemble Intégrales, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Plus Minus, Schlagquartett Köln, Crash Ensemble, Con Tempo Quartet, ensemble ascolta, Champ d’Action, ensemble laboratorium, ensemble ]h[iatus, ensemble surplus, trio nexus, the Rilke Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, Bozzini Quartet, Callino Quartet, Ensemble 2000, Concorde, Kaleidoscop, Black Hair, Continuum, Ensemble Musica Nova, ensemble chronophonie, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Quintet, the Hebrides Ensemble, Psappha, and Q-02 among others. Walshe has written many operas, ranging from XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!! (2003) for Barbie dolls and ensemble to Die Taktik, an opera commissioned by the Junge Oper Stuttgart, which Walshe also directed – the work received 14 performances in Stuttgart in 2012.

In addition to her activities as a composer, Jennifer frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques. Many of her compositions are commissioned for her voice either as a soloist or in conjunction with other instruments, and her works have been performed by her and others at festivals such as Liquid Architecture (Australia), Cycle (Iceland), Soundshapes (Italy), Ostrava New Music Days (Czech Republic), RTÉ Living Music (Dublin), Båstad Kammarmusik Festival (Sweden), Maerzmuzik (Berlin), Wundergrund (Copenhagen), Ultraschall (Berlin), Transit (Leuven), Ars Musica (Brussels), Sonorités (Montpellier), Ultima (Norway), Borealis (Norway), Experimental Intermedia (New York), November Music (Holland), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Steirischer Herbst, Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Donaueschinger Musiktagen, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Late Music Festival (York), Hamburger Klangwerktage, Gaida (Lithuania), BMIC Cutting Edge, Composer’s Choice (Dublin), SoundField (Chicago) the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Stockholm New Music, BELEF (Belgrade), Traiettorie (Parma), Cut & Splice (London), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), SPOR (Denmark), Frau Musica Nova (Cologne), Performa (New York), Electric Eclectics (Canada), Dresdener Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik, Reihe 0 (Austria), Stimme+ (ZKM, Karlsruhe) and MATA (New York). Jennifer is also active as an improviser, performing regularly with musicians in Europe and the U.S., and in her duos Ma La Pert with Tony Conrad, PUTIF with Tomomi Adachi and Ghikas & Walshe with Panos Ghikas. Other collaborators include film-maker Vivienne Dick, artist Alice Maher and Drew Daniel’s The Soft Pink Truth.

Website

Katherine Young

Close

The curious timbres, expressive noises, and kinetic structures of Katherine Young’s electroacoustic music explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and associations with the familiar and the strange. The LAPhil's Green Umbrella series, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente,

Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, Nico Couck / Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Fonema Consort, and others have commissioned her work. Her music has been described by the New York Times as “raw, wailing, coloristic,” and New Music Box has noted “her visceral approach to sound…her attentiveness to the smallest details of timbre; her adventurousness in using instruments in unexpected ways.” Katherine is excited about coming-soon (and soon-to-be recent) projects with Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, WasteLAnd and RAGE, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Ensemble, and Yarn/Wire. In 2018-2019 she will release new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Wet Ink, and Amy Cimini as Architeuthis Walks on Land.

As a bassoonist and improviser, Katherine amplifies her instrument and employs a flexible electronics setup. Her debut solo album garnered praise in The Wire (“Bassoon colossus”) and Downbeat (“seriously bold leaps for the bassoon”). Collaboration is central to her practice, and she has documented such work on numerous recordings, including three releases with her duo with violist Amy Cimini, her quartet Pretty Monsters’s self-titled debut, several recordings with Anthony Braxton, and her installation-performance piece Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight created with violinist Austin Wulliman (out on Parlour Tapes+ as a stereo recording and do-it-yourself cassette installation box set). She performs regularly as a soloist, in ad hoc improvised groups, and with long-standing ensembles Pretty Monsters, Architeuthis Walks on Land, and Till by Turning.

Katherine’s dissertation - Nothing Is as It Appears: Anthony Braxton's Trillium J— completed for the DMA in composition at Northwestern University—documents and analyzes Anthony Braxton’s operatic project. Katherine is based in Chicago where she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Associate Director, Institute for New Music

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Ben Bolter

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Associate Director, Institute for New Music

Ben Bolter made his orchestral conducting debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at age 25, with the Washington Post praising his performance: “Bolter spotlighted the showiest aspects...and made it look easy.” As part of Chicago's acclaimed Ear Taxi Festival, his world premiere of Drew Baker's NOX was named Chicago's Best Classical Music Performance of 2016 by the Third Coast Review. John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune remarked: "[Drew Baker's] NOX made an altogether striking close to an absorbing, eclectic program, quite the best of the Ear Taxi events..."  Bolter has also served as an assistant conductor with the Indianapolis Symphony and has been a frequent guest at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. 

Bolter is a regular conductor and collaborator with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He has also worked with contemporary groups and soloists including Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Square Peg Round Hole, Claire Chase, and Tony Arnold. In fall 2018, he led the Grossman Ensemble in their inaugural performance as part of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at University of Chicago and gave world premieres by composers Shulamit Ran, Sam Pluta, Tonia Ko, and David Rakowski. He has also given premieres by acclaimed composers Marcos Balter, Anthony Cheung, Drew Baker, Matthew Peterson, and Clint Needham among others and has worked closely with composers such as Steve Reich, John Luther Adams, David Lang, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ashley Fure, Hans Thomalla ,and Andrew Norman.

Bolter has also been recognized for his work with youth orchestras. For six years, he served as Music Director of the Conservatory Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, where his Philharmonic Orchestra was regularly featured live on WFMT and in Chicago Symphony Center. He is also the former Artistic Director of The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras and former Music Director of the New England Conservatory Youth Festival Orchestra. Additionally, he has worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's annual Chicago Youth in Music Festival, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Oakland Youth Orchestras, and the 2014 MMEA Senior District Orchestra Festival in Boston. 

Bolter holds a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance from the New England Conservatory. He received a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from Indiana University, where he also served as adjunct faculty for four years. In addition to his work as a conductor, he is also an active keyboardist and songwriter and has performed in original and cover bands throughout the Midwest.

Musicology

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Ryan Dohoney

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Musicology

I am a scholar of U.S. and European modernism and experimentalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My research documents the relationships produced by musical performance and artistic collaboration within interdisciplinary artistic communities. I draw upon insights from ethnomusicology, microhistory, affect theory, religious studies, and phenomenology and combine these interdisciplinary methods with rigorous archival research.

My work has explored matters of music, collectivity, and friendship through the artistic world of Morton Feldman (1926–1987), a central figure of postwar musical modernism. My first monograph, Saving Abstraction: Morton Feldman, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel (Oxford, 2019), takes on the conflicted history of Morton Feldman’s most important collaboration—his work with Dominique and John de Menil on music for the Rothko Chapel in Houston. The book is a microhistorical analysis of the premiere of Morton Feldman’s music for the Rothko Chapel in Houston on April 9, 1972. In it, I reconstruct the network of artists, musicians, and patrons who collaborated on the event: composer Feldman, painter Mark Rothko, violist Karen Philips, and the patrons Dominique and John de Menil. These collaborators struggled over fundamental questions about the emotional efficacy of artistic practice and its potential translation into religious feeling. At the center of this study is the question of ecumenism—that is, in what terms can religious encounters be staged for fruitful dialog to take place? This was a dilemma for Feldman, whose music sought to produce sublime “abstract experience,” as well as the de Menils, who envisioned the Rothko Chapel as a space for ritual intervention into late modernity. I develop two central concepts in the book: abstract ecumenism and agonistic universalism. Abstract ecumenism characterizes a broad spiritual orientation within postwar musical modernism and experimentalism that aspired to altered states of ego-loss This offered a renewed religious sensibility achieved through artistic practice. Agonistic universalism describes the particular religious form that Feldman’s music achieves both within Rothko Chapel. It is an ascetic mode of existence that endures with hope the aporia of postwar modernization’s destructiveness and modernism’s failure to effectively counter it.

The research and writing on this book were supported by a number of awards from the Paul Sacher Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and a Faculty Research Grant from the Graduate School at Northwestern.

My second monograph, Morton Feldman: Friendship and Mourning in the New York Avant-Garde, is expected in 2021 from Bloomsbury and will consist of expanded versions of four previously published essays on Feldman’s relationships with John Cage, Merle Marsicano, Frank O’Hara, Earle Brown and Charlotte Moorman. It will feature a new chapter on Feldman’s troubled friendship with painter Philip Guston. I also contribute a wide-ranging methodological introduction on modernism and the historiography of friendship and mourning. Intimate bonds produced more than an “underlying network of awareness” that painter Robert Motherwell intuited as the glue holding together the New York avant-garde; friendship itself is the answer to his question of “what exactly constitutes the basis of our community?” To show this, I position Feldman as a relational center of a social word and advocate for scholarly attention to the affective and epistemological conditions of friendship. I show how poems, films, compositions, and recordings register the tensions and attachments of this community.

Beyond my writing on Feldman and his world, I have written on the life and music of Julius Eastman as well as essays in music and philosophy. I am currently involved in long-term ethnographic work on the experimental music community Wandelweiser. A list of recent publications can be accessed here.

I advise a wide range of PhD students and am particularly interested to work with researchers investigating musical modernism (broadly construed), experimental music, music philosophy, LGBTQ topics, critical race studies, and science/technology studies. I work closely with my students to develop both research and professional skills and am particularly keen to help them develop non-pathological writing habits. My advisees’ current research includes experimental music as interpretive labor, the re-mediation of U.S. musicals from film to radio, the affects and semiotics of Japanese popular music, the soundscapes of spiritualism and early media technology, and transatlantic networks of gay modernists and their intimate publics.

In addition to my work in Bienen’s music studies department, I work closely with the Institute for New Music and am affiliated faculty with the interdisciplinary clusters in Critical Theory, Global Avant-Garde and Modernist Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.

 

Composition and Music Technology

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Alex Mincek

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Composition and Music Technology

Alex Mincek, Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the Bienen School of Music, 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, the Barlow Endowment, and the Fromm Music Foundation.

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.

Director of Choral Organizations

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Donald Nally

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Director of Choral Organizations

Grammy-winning conductor Donald Nally is Professor of Conducting and Ensembles and Director of Choral Organizations at the Bienen School of Music, where he holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music. He is also responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing. Donald has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has also served as music director of Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble, chorus master at The Chicago Bach Project, and guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States, most notably with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, the Philharmonia Chorus (London), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Latvian State Choir (Riga).

Donald, with The Crossing, was the American Composers Forum 2017 Champion of New Music; he received the 2017 Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America. He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music: in 2002 with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and in 2015 with The Crossing. Collaborations have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, the Barnes Foundation, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, and The Big Sky Conservatory in Montana where The Crossing holds an annual residency. 

In addition to his work with The Crossing, Donald has recently been visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory, music director of David Lang's 1000-voice Mile Long Opera on the High Line in Manhattan, and chorus master for the New York Philharmonic for world premieres of Julia Wolfe and David Lang. He has worked closely with Lang and Allora & Calzadilla on projects in Osaka, London, Edmonton, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.

Ben Bolter

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Associate Director, Institute for New Music

Ben Bolter made his orchestral conducting debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at age 25, with the Washington Post praising his performance: “Bolter spotlighted the showiest aspects...and made it look easy.” As part of Chicago's acclaimed Ear Taxi Festival, his world premiere of Drew Baker's NOX was named Chicago's Best Classical Music Performance of 2016 by the Third Coast Review. John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune remarked: "[Drew Baker's] NOX made an altogether striking close to an absorbing, eclectic program, quite the best of the Ear Taxi events..."  Bolter has also served as an assistant conductor with the Indianapolis Symphony and has been a frequent guest at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. 

Bolter is a regular conductor and collaborator with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He has also worked with contemporary groups and soloists including Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Square Peg Round Hole, Claire Chase, and Tony Arnold. In fall 2018, he led the Grossman Ensemble in their inaugural performance as part of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at University of Chicago and gave world premieres by composers Shulamit Ran, Sam Pluta, Tonia Ko, and David Rakowski. He has also given premieres by acclaimed composers Marcos Balter, Anthony Cheung, Drew Baker, Matthew Peterson, and Clint Needham among others and has worked closely with composers such as Steve Reich, John Luther Adams, David Lang, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ashley Fure, Hans Thomalla ,and Andrew Norman.

Bolter has also been recognized for his work with youth orchestras. For six years, he served as Music Director of the Conservatory Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, where his Philharmonic Orchestra was regularly featured live on WFMT and in Chicago Symphony Center. He is also the former Artistic Director of The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras and former Music Director of the New England Conservatory Youth Festival Orchestra. Additionally, he has worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's annual Chicago Youth in Music Festival, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Oakland Youth Orchestras, and the 2014 MMEA Senior District Orchestra Festival in Boston. 

Bolter holds a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance from the New England Conservatory. He received a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from Indiana University, where he also served as adjunct faculty for four years. In addition to his work as a conductor, he is also an active keyboardist and songwriter and has performed in original and cover bands throughout the Midwest.

Ryan Dohoney

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Musicology

I am a scholar of U.S. and European modernism and experimentalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My research documents the relationships produced by musical performance and artistic collaboration within interdisciplinary artistic communities. I draw upon insights from ethnomusicology, microhistory, affect theory, religious studies, and phenomenology and combine these interdisciplinary methods with rigorous archival research.

My work has explored matters of music, collectivity, and friendship through the artistic world of Morton Feldman (1926–1987), a central figure of postwar musical modernism. My first monograph, Saving Abstraction: Morton Feldman, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel (Oxford, 2019), takes on the conflicted history of Morton Feldman’s most important collaboration—his work with Dominique and John de Menil on music for the Rothko Chapel in Houston. The book is a microhistorical analysis of the premiere of Morton Feldman’s music for the Rothko Chapel in Houston on April 9, 1972. In it, I reconstruct the network of artists, musicians, and patrons who collaborated on the event: composer Feldman, painter Mark Rothko, violist Karen Philips, and the patrons Dominique and John de Menil. These collaborators struggled over fundamental questions about the emotional efficacy of artistic practice and its potential translation into religious feeling. At the center of this study is the question of ecumenism—that is, in what terms can religious encounters be staged for fruitful dialog to take place? This was a dilemma for Feldman, whose music sought to produce sublime “abstract experience,” as well as the de Menils, who envisioned the Rothko Chapel as a space for ritual intervention into late modernity. I develop two central concepts in the book: abstract ecumenism and agonistic universalism. Abstract ecumenism characterizes a broad spiritual orientation within postwar musical modernism and experimentalism that aspired to altered states of ego-loss This offered a renewed religious sensibility achieved through artistic practice. Agonistic universalism describes the particular religious form that Feldman’s music achieves both within Rothko Chapel. It is an ascetic mode of existence that endures with hope the aporia of postwar modernization’s destructiveness and modernism’s failure to effectively counter it.

The research and writing on this book were supported by a number of awards from the Paul Sacher Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and a Faculty Research Grant from the Graduate School at Northwestern.

My second monograph, Morton Feldman: Friendship and Mourning in the New York Avant-Garde, is expected in 2021 from Bloomsbury and will consist of expanded versions of four previously published essays on Feldman’s relationships with John Cage, Merle Marsicano, Frank O’Hara, Earle Brown and Charlotte Moorman. It will feature a new chapter on Feldman’s troubled friendship with painter Philip Guston. I also contribute a wide-ranging methodological introduction on modernism and the historiography of friendship and mourning. Intimate bonds produced more than an “underlying network of awareness” that painter Robert Motherwell intuited as the glue holding together the New York avant-garde; friendship itself is the answer to his question of “what exactly constitutes the basis of our community?” To show this, I position Feldman as a relational center of a social word and advocate for scholarly attention to the affective and epistemological conditions of friendship. I show how poems, films, compositions, and recordings register the tensions and attachments of this community.

Beyond my writing on Feldman and his world, I have written on the life and music of Julius Eastman as well as essays in music and philosophy. I am currently involved in long-term ethnographic work on the experimental music community Wandelweiser. A list of recent publications can be accessed here.

I advise a wide range of PhD students and am particularly interested to work with researchers investigating musical modernism (broadly construed), experimental music, music philosophy, LGBTQ topics, critical race studies, and science/technology studies. I work closely with my students to develop both research and professional skills and am particularly keen to help them develop non-pathological writing habits. My advisees’ current research includes experimental music as interpretive labor, the re-mediation of U.S. musicals from film to radio, the affects and semiotics of Japanese popular music, the soundscapes of spiritualism and early media technology, and transatlantic networks of gay modernists and their intimate publics.

In addition to my work in Bienen’s music studies department, I work closely with the Institute for New Music and am affiliated faculty with the interdisciplinary clusters in Critical Theory, Global Avant-Garde and Modernist Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.

 

Alex Mincek

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Composition and Music Technology

Alex Mincek, Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the Bienen School of Music, 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, the Barlow Endowment, and the Fromm Music Foundation.

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.

Donald Nally

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Director of Choral Organizations

Grammy-winning conductor Donald Nally is Professor of Conducting and Ensembles and Director of Choral Organizations at the Bienen School of Music, where he holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music. He is also responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing. Donald has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has also served as music director of Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble, chorus master at The Chicago Bach Project, and guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States, most notably with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, the Philharmonia Chorus (London), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Latvian State Choir (Riga).

Donald, with The Crossing, was the American Composers Forum 2017 Champion of New Music; he received the 2017 Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America. He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music: in 2002 with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and in 2015 with The Crossing. Collaborations have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, the Barnes Foundation, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, and The Big Sky Conservatory in Montana where The Crossing holds an annual residency. 

In addition to his work with The Crossing, Donald has recently been visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory, music director of David Lang's 1000-voice Mile Long Opera on the High Line in Manhattan, and chorus master for the New York Philharmonic for world premieres of Julia Wolfe and David Lang. He has worked closely with Lang and Allora & Calzadilla on projects in Osaka, London, Edmonton, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.

Co-director, Contemporary Music Ensemble

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Alan Pierson

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Co-director, Contemporary Music Ensemble

Alan Pierson is Lecturer of Conducting and Ensembles at the Bienen School of Music. He has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times, "a young conductor of monstrous skill" by Newsday, "gifted and electrifying" by the Boston Globe, and "one of the most exciting figures in new music today" by Fanfare. He is the artistic director and conductor of acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound, which has been called "the future of classical music" by the New York Times and "a sensational force" with "powerful ideas about how to renovate the concert experience" by the New Yorker. Pierson  served as the artistic director and conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times called Pierson's leadership at the Philharmonic "truly inspiring," and the New Yorker's Alex Ross described it as "remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary."

Pierson has also appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Steve Reich Ensemble, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. He is principal conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble and has been a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. He regularly collaborates with major composers and performers, including Yo-Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Donnacha Dennehy, La Monte Young, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, and Elliot Feld.

Pierson has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD.  For more information, visit his personal website.

Saxophone

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Taimur Sullivan

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Saxophone

Taimur Sullivan is Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northwestern University, and a member of the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. His performances have taken him from the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Knitting Factory, to engagements in Russia, China, England, Germany, and throughout Latin America. He has garnered critical praise as "outstanding...his melodies phrased as if this were an old and cherished classic, his virtuosity supreme" (New York Times), and as a player of "dazzling proficiency" (American Record Guide). 

Mr. Sullivan has dedicated much of his career to commissioning new repertoire for the saxophone, and has given the world premieres of over 250 solo and chamber works by composers including William Bolcom, Alvin Lucier, Gavin Bryars, Julia Wolfe, Lee Hyla, Zhou Long, Olga Neuwirth, John Harbison, Chen Yi, Martin Bresnick, Jennifer Higdon, James Aikman, Donnacha Dennehy, and many others. He has also presented the American premieres of compositions by important European figures such as Gerard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Philippe Hurel, Michael Finnissy, Giya Kancheli, and Jean-Claude Risset. In honor of his distinguished record of promoting and presenting new works for the saxophone, the New York-based arts-advocacy organization Meet the Composer named him one of eight "Soloist Champions" in the United States.

As a member of the PRISM Quartet for 21 years, Mr. Sullivan has performed concertos with orchestras nationwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University, and Princeton University. His recent work with PRISM has crossed over into collaborations with noted jazz artists Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Miguel Zenón, David Liebman and Rudresh Mahanthappa, with Sō Percussion and Partch Percussion Ensemble, and with traditional Chinese instrumentalists.

During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Sullivan is performing John Adams' Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of the conductor, two concerti at the Festival of Palaces in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is presenting concerts and master classes around the United States including at Yale University, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, the Hartt School, National Sawdust, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brandeis University, Big Ears Festival, and at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge with jazz great Joe Lovano.

Prior to arriving at Northwestern University, Mr. Sullivan served on the performance faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Columbia University. He appears on over 30 recordings, and performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.

For more information, please visit www.taimursullivan.com

Director, Institute for New Music

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Hans Thomalla

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Director, Institute for New Music

Hans Thomalla, born in Bonn, Germany, is a Chicago-based composer and Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the Bienen School of Music. His works explore the double-bind character of music as acoustic reality as well as culturally and historically formed expression, constantly following materials transform from one form of musical experience to the other. He has written chamber music as well as orchestral works, and a particular focus of his activity lies in composing for the stage: his opera Fremd for soloists, choir, large orchestra and electronics, premiered at the main stage of the Stuttgart Opera in July 2011. His second operatic work, Kaspar Hauser, explores the titular character’s mysterious story and premiered at the Theater Freiburg in April 2016. Hans Thomalla studied composition at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and at Stanford University. He has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, among others the Composers' Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, the Christoph-Delz-Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. For more information, visit Hans Thomalla's personal website.

Alan Pierson

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Co-director, Contemporary Music Ensemble

Alan Pierson is Lecturer of Conducting and Ensembles at the Bienen School of Music. He has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times, "a young conductor of monstrous skill" by Newsday, "gifted and electrifying" by the Boston Globe, and "one of the most exciting figures in new music today" by Fanfare. He is the artistic director and conductor of acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound, which has been called "the future of classical music" by the New York Times and "a sensational force" with "powerful ideas about how to renovate the concert experience" by the New Yorker. Pierson  served as the artistic director and conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times called Pierson's leadership at the Philharmonic "truly inspiring," and the New Yorker's Alex Ross described it as "remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary."

Pierson has also appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Steve Reich Ensemble, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. He is principal conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble and has been a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. He regularly collaborates with major composers and performers, including Yo-Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Donnacha Dennehy, La Monte Young, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, and Elliot Feld.

Pierson has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD.  For more information, visit his personal website.

Taimur Sullivan

Close

Saxophone

Taimur Sullivan is Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northwestern University, and a member of the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. His performances have taken him from the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Knitting Factory, to engagements in Russia, China, England, Germany, and throughout Latin America. He has garnered critical praise as "outstanding...his melodies phrased as if this were an old and cherished classic, his virtuosity supreme" (New York Times), and as a player of "dazzling proficiency" (American Record Guide). 

Mr. Sullivan has dedicated much of his career to commissioning new repertoire for the saxophone, and has given the world premieres of over 250 solo and chamber works by composers including William Bolcom, Alvin Lucier, Gavin Bryars, Julia Wolfe, Lee Hyla, Zhou Long, Olga Neuwirth, John Harbison, Chen Yi, Martin Bresnick, Jennifer Higdon, James Aikman, Donnacha Dennehy, and many others. He has also presented the American premieres of compositions by important European figures such as Gerard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Philippe Hurel, Michael Finnissy, Giya Kancheli, and Jean-Claude Risset. In honor of his distinguished record of promoting and presenting new works for the saxophone, the New York-based arts-advocacy organization Meet the Composer named him one of eight "Soloist Champions" in the United States.

As a member of the PRISM Quartet for 21 years, Mr. Sullivan has performed concertos with orchestras nationwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University, and Princeton University. His recent work with PRISM has crossed over into collaborations with noted jazz artists Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Miguel Zenón, David Liebman and Rudresh Mahanthappa, with Sō Percussion and Partch Percussion Ensemble, and with traditional Chinese instrumentalists.

During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Sullivan is performing John Adams' Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of the conductor, two concerti at the Festival of Palaces in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is presenting concerts and master classes around the United States including at Yale University, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, the Hartt School, National Sawdust, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brandeis University, Big Ears Festival, and at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge with jazz great Joe Lovano.

Prior to arriving at Northwestern University, Mr. Sullivan served on the performance faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Columbia University. He appears on over 30 recordings, and performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.

For more information, please visit www.taimursullivan.com

Hans Thomalla

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Director, Institute for New Music

Hans Thomalla, born in Bonn, Germany, is a Chicago-based composer and Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the Bienen School of Music. His works explore the double-bind character of music as acoustic reality as well as culturally and historically formed expression, constantly following materials transform from one form of musical experience to the other. He has written chamber music as well as orchestral works, and a particular focus of his activity lies in composing for the stage: his opera Fremd for soloists, choir, large orchestra and electronics, premiered at the main stage of the Stuttgart Opera in July 2011. His second operatic work, Kaspar Hauser, explores the titular character’s mysterious story and premiered at the Theater Freiburg in April 2016. Hans Thomalla studied composition at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and at Stanford University. He has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, among others the Composers' Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, the Christoph-Delz-Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. For more information, visit Hans Thomalla's personal website.