Read the interview with Courtney Bryan (DMA, Composition, 2014) about the première of "The Dream Unfinished."
Columbia Composition DMA student Stylianos Dimou's piece "my grounding | surrounding [it]_self / h_I. v.2" (2015-2016) for one percussionist and electronics has been awarded First Prize at the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Amici della Musica di Cagliari” 2016. The piece will be performed in Cagliari on the 28th of September.
DMA alumnus Jeff Talman has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in Music and Sound. Less than 4% of applicants to the award receive it - congratulations for this very prestigious fellowship, Dr. Talman! More information can be found on NYFA's website, here.
The Mivos Quartet will premiere Carl C. Bettendorf's (DMA, Composition, 2009 & current adjunct professor) String Quartet No. 2, Yggdrasil (commissioned by the Ralph Kaminsky Fund for New Music) and Kate Soper's (DMA, Composition) Nadja on Tuesday, June 7 (tomorrow!) at 6 p.m in Miller Theater.
Admission is free and on a first come, first served basis. Check out more information about the concert here on Miller Theater's website.
This summer, pieces by Mary Kouyoumdjian, current DMA student in composition, will be premiered and/or performed by a number of ensembles, including Hotel Elefant, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and the Kronos Quartet.
On June 9 at 7pm, her work Become Who I Am, presented by the New York Philharmonic, will be performed at Lincoln Center by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus along with the contemporary ensemble Hotel Elefant. Later this summer, Mary will be in residence at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, where the ensemble Alarm Will Sound will premiere her work Paper Pianos.
Also taking place this summer: the Kronos Quartet will perform Mary's piece Bombs of Beirut in Poland and will give the Bay Area premiere of Silent Cranes at Cal Performances. This spring, the Kronos Quartet performed Bombs of Beirut and an arrangement of Mary's piece Groung [Crane] in the UK and Canada, receiving a very favorable review by The Guardian.
Mary has also received support from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus' MAP Fund, and a piece of hers will be featured in the Chorus' 25th anniversary season in 2016-2017.
Professor Zosha Di Castri's piece "Patina" for solo violin, commissioned by Jenny Koh for the concert "Shared Madness" that took place at the National Sawdust on May 31, was reviewed by Corinna da Fonseca-Wallheim for the New York Times: "Zosha Di Castri's 'Patina' wove contemporary preoccupations -- with microtonal shadings and the relation of music to noise -- in a score tense with wild fluctuations in temperament."
Here is the full text of the review.
Maja Cerar will be a featured performer in the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at the National Sawdust in June 2016. NYCEMF 2016 will showcase electroacoustic music and video art from around the world, and Professor Cerar will perform Tania León's Axon, Ken Ueno's Vedananupassana, Elizabeth Hoffman's Fastenings (world premiere), Liubo Borissov/Maja Cerar's Autopoiesis and Paolo Gatti's Poltergeist.
For more information, please see the NYCEMF's webpage.
David Bird (DMA, Composition) was named a winner in the 64th annual BMI Student Composer Awards, one of the world's foremost talent competitions for young classical artists, for his composition Dropfor string octet, strobe lights, electronic sounds.
The awards were presented at a private ceremony held on May 16, 2016, at the J. W. Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City. More information about the award, the ceremony, and David are available in the BMI Foundation's press release. Congratulations, David!
The Department of Music warmly congratulates DMA candidate Christopher Trapani who has been awarded a 2016-17 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.
The Rome Prize is "awarded to about thirty emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their working lives." Mr. Trapani is the second Columbia DMA student to win the Rome Prize in as many years.
Learn more about Mr. Trapani and his music at:
A composer with a genuine international trajectory, Christopher Trapani maintains an active career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Continental Europe. Commissions have come from the BBC, the JACK Quartet, and Radio France, and his works have been recently heard at Carnegie Hall, the Southbank Centre, IRCAM, and Wigmore Hall.
Christopher’s music synthesizes disparate influences, weaving both American and European stylistic strands into a personal aesthetic that defies easy classification. Snippets of Delta Blues, Appalachian folk, dance band foxtrots, and Turkish makam can be heard alongside spectral swells and meandering canons. As in Christopher’s hometown of New Orleans, diverse traditions coexist and intermingle, swirled into a rich melting pot. Consonance is a central preoccupation; microtonality and just intonation are often employed. Timbral explorations are also manifold, from experiments with a wide range of mutes and preparations to an unusual instrumentarium, with scorings that call for electric guitar, dulcimer, qanûn, stroh violin, and retuned autoharps. Several of Christopher’s compositions bear the mark of his training in literature, influenced by novelists and poets including Thomas Pynchon, Geoff Dyer, and C. P. Cavafy. Many recent works also incorporate an idiosyncratic use of electronics, expanding the possibilities of color, pitch, and timing beyond the acoustic realm.
Christopher was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where he studied composition with Bernard Rands and poetry under Helen Vendler. He spent most of his twenties overseas: a year in London, working on a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson; a year in Istanbul, studying microtonality in Ottoman music on a Fulbright grant; and seven years in Paris, where he studied with Philippe Leroux and worked at IRCAM, both on the composition cursus and later on a musical research residency.
Christopher is currently based in New York City, where he has worked on a doctorate at Columbia University, studying with Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, and George Lewis.
Christopher is the winner of the 2016 Rome Prize, as well as the 2007 Gaudeamus Prize, the first American in over 30 years to win the international young composers’ award. Other recent honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015), a nomination for a British Composers Award (2014), and a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) towards a new piece for ICE and Ensemble L’Itinéraire. He has also won the Julius F. Ježek Prize (2013), three Morton Gould Young Composers Awards from ASCAP (2005, 2006, and the Leo Kaplan Award in 2009), and a BMI Student Composer Award (2006). His scores have been performed by ICTUS, Ensemble Modern, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Ensemble L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ensemble Mosaik, Talea Ensemble, Argento Ensemble, Wet Ink, Earplay, Yarn/Wire, Atlas Ensemble, pianists Sergey Schepkin and Marilyn Nonken, and the American Composers Orchestra.
tIn March 2011, Christopher was featured in a portrait concert on the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series at the Royal Festival Hall in London. His music has also been programmed in international festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, Musica Nova Helsinki, and IRCAM’s festival Agora. He has held residencies at Copland House (New York), Récollets (Paris), and Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), and was a 2013-15 fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart).
Recent and upcoming projects include a commission for the Quatuor Béla and GRAME in Lyon, a new orchestral work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a commission for orchestra and electronics (IRCAM) for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Festival Présences 2015, and a new work for Ensemble Modern for the 2015 cresc… Biennial for Modern Music in Frankfurt.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 175 Fellowships this year, three of whom are Composition DMA alumni from our very own department:
Edmund Campion (DMA, Composition, 1993)
Anthony Cheung (DMA, Composition, 2010)
Bryan Jacobs (DMA, Composition, 2015)
Congratulations to all three composers on their well-deserved fellowships!
Coming up: the Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show and the Spring Exhibition of Sound Arts MFA First-Years' Works. More information below:
Continuing Effect: Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show
Saturday, April 23–Saturday, May 7, 2016
Closing Reception: May 7, 2016, 5–7 pm
Basilica Hudson Back Gallery
110 S. Front Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Installed in Basilica’s Back Gallery, this special exhibition presents thesis works from the Sound Arts MFA program. Alice Emily Baird, Cameron Fraser, Chatori Shimizu, and Frank Spigner formally and conceptually address concepts relating to reverberation through interactive, responsive, and kinetic sculpture and installation. Continuing Effect is curated by Wave Farm.
Spring Exhibition: First-Year Works from the 2016 Columbia University School of the Arts Sound Arts MFA Program
Friday, April 22, 2016, 6-8 pm
Central Booking Offline
21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002
April 23–May 2, 2016
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12–6 pm
Please join us for the Opening Reception. Works by Ashley Grier, Dani Dobkin, Geronimo Mercado.
On April 7, Professor Zosha Di Castri's piece "Near Mute Force," a setting of an adapted text by Rivka Galchen, for two sopranos, viola, piano, and drumset, commissioned by the Women's Musical Club of Toronto, will be premiered in Dannthology, a concert featuring violist Steven Dann taking place in Toronto. Read the Toronto Star's write-up about the upcoming concert here.
Courtney Bryan (DMA Composition 2014) will be participating in a number of performances this spring. More detailed information below -- if you're in the area, check these concerts out!
Friday, March 25, 10:30am/11:45am
Relation: A Performance Residency by Vijay Iyer
I. "Songs of Laughing, Smiling, and Crying" for solo piano and recorded sound
II. Courtney Bryan and Brandee Younger, originals and music of Alice Coltrane
The MET Breuer Lobby Gallery of The Metropolitan Museum of New York
Friday, March 25, 7:30pm
Counterpoint: Classical Music and Nina Simone
Courtney Bryan and Eun Lee
Online concert and discussion
Fundraiser for #SingHerName concert, see link:
Thursday, March 31, 8:00pm event (with 7:00pm reception)
HER (in honor of): a performance and discussion
Paul Robeson Center for the Arts
102 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
HER (in honor of): a performance and discussion, co-sponsored by the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton University Department of African American Studies and Princeton University Department of Music, will include a live performance byHER (in honor of) -- vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, harpist Brandee Younger, pianist Courtney Bryan, bassist Mimi Jones, and drummer Kimberly Thompson -- and a discussion with the musicians on the history of women in jazz and related contemporary issues, to be moderated by journalist, Rajul Punjabi.
Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8 at 7:30pm/9:00pm
(Courtney will perform April 8 at 9:00pm, "A Presence" for solo piano and recorded sound)
Fromm Players at Harvard University
Creative Music Convergences, curated by Vijay Iyer
John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Department of Music
Harvard University, Cambridge MA
FREE and OPEN TO ALL! No tickets required. First come, first seated.