25-year-old American composer Katherine Balch has been announced as the 2017-2018 Young Concert Artists Composer-in-Residence, the 11th composer to receive this honor. Ms. Balch will receive a commission to write for YCA flutist Anthony Trionfo, who will premiere the work twice on the YCA Series, in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center on March 20, 2018 and at Merkin Hall in New York in the Michaels Award Concert on March 28, 2018. She will receive a second commission for another YCA artist, to be premiered in the 2018-19 season. As a YCA Composer, Ms. Balch joins the roster of Young Concert Artists, which provides management services, publicity, and seeks out performance and commissioning opportunities.
Ms. Balch was also recently named the 2017-2020 Young American Composer-in-Residence for the California Symphony. Born in San Diego, California Ms. Balch completed her B.A. and B.M. degrees in the Tufts University / New England Conservatory joint degree program. She earned her masters at the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Aaron Kernis, Chris Theofanidis, and David Lang. She is currently pursuing her D.M.A. at Columbia University, with Georg Haas and Fred Lerdahl.
The panel of Young Concert Artists Alumni who considered the scores and recordings sent by applicants to the program included clarinetist Todd Palmer, violinist Eugene Drucker, composer Kevin Puts, and pianists Anthony de Mare, Ursula Oppens and Vassily Primakov. Young composers are nominated to apply to the YCA program by alumni and current artists of Young Concert Artists, composers and conductors on the program's National Composer Recommendation Panel, ASCAP, and BMI. Katherine Balch was nominated by the composer Fred Lerdahl.
Ms. Balch's music has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Paris' Ensemble Intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), FLUX Quartet, Yale Philharmonia, American Modern Ensemble, and others. Performances this season include those by Contemporaneous, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (Suntory Hall Summer Arts Festival), and violinist Christophe Desjardins as composer-in-residence with the MANCA festival in Nice, France.
Ms. Balch has also been recognized with fellowships from the IRCAM Manifeste, Fontainebleau, Aspen and Norfolk Music Festivals, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Scholarship, several ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, New England Conservatory's Donald Martino Prize, Yale's Alumni Association Prize and the Woods Chandler Memorial Prize.
The Young Concert Artists Composer Program, established in 1994 as an incentive of the YCA Alumni Association, has begun the careers of composers Mason Bates, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Kenji Bunch, Dan Coleman, David Hertzberg, Daniel Kellogg, Tonia Ko, Andrew Norman, Kevin Puts, and Chris Rogerson. The Program receives support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the William B. Butz Memorial Fund, and the Alumni musicians of Young Concert Artists.