George Lewis, composer

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award …

Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros, composer, performer and humanitarian is an important pioneer in American Music. Acclaimed internationally, for four decades she has explored sound — forging new ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she has created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly effects those …

Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. Born in Helsinki in 1952, she studied at the Sibelius Academy there with the pioneering modernist Paavo Heininen and, with Magnus Lindberg and others, she founded the progressive ‘Ears Open’ group. She …

Mark Applebaum

Mark Applebaum (b. 1967, Chicago) is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Stanford University where he served as John Philip Coghlan Fellow and received the 2003 Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied principally with Brian …

Carlos Chávez

Born 13 June 1899 in Mexico City, Carlos Chávez was a renowned composer, conductor, and educator whose distinctive, often highly percussive music synthesized elements of Mexican, Indian, and Spanish-Mexican influence. A prolific writer of music and music criticism, Chávez’s oeuvre includes five ballets, seven symphonies, four concertos, a cantata and opera, and innumerable pieces for …

Mario Diaz de Leon

Mario Diaz de Leon has written a body of modern classical works focused on acoustic / electronic hybrids, often expressed as hypnotic walls and gestures of shimmering sound. His influences include the composers Scelsi, Ligeti, Dumitrescu, and Xenakis, free improvisation, underground metal, a wide range of electronic music, and noise / industrial music.

Du Yun

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, currently based in NYC, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist. Her music exists at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, theatre, opera, orchestral, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise. Hailed by The New York Times as a leading figure in China’s new generation of composers, …

Tan Dun

The conceptual and multifaceted composer/conductor Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today’s most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award for classical composition and Musical …

Julio Estrada

Born in Mexico City in 1943, Julio Estrada’s family was exiled from Spain in 1941. A composer, theoretician, historian, pedagogue, and interpreter, he began his musical studies in Mexico (1953-65), where he studied composition with Julián Orbón. In Paris (1965-69) he studied with Nadia Boulanger, Messiaen and attended courses and lectures of Xenakis. In Germany …

Mohammed Fairouz

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” Fairouz integrates Middle-Eastern modes into Western structures, to deeply …

Suzanne Farrin

Suzanne Farrin’s music explores the interior worlds of instruments and the visceral potentialities of sound. Her music has been performed by some of the great musicians of today on stages across Europe and North and South America. Tim Page, the former classical music critic of the Washington Post wrote: “If you can imagine the dense, …

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. Just like Cage, a close friend, he was an American composer – an American artist – an American in the true sense of the word. He identified himself by differentiating his views on composition from those of his colleagues in Europe. …

Gabriela Lena Frank

Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical …

Alberto Ginastera

Alberto Ginastera was the leading Argentinian composer of the twentieth century, as important in giving the Argentinian folk heritage a voice in art music as Bartók was in Hungary. Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires on 11 April 1916. He studied musical privately as a child, later enrolling at the National Conservatoire of Music in …

Vinko Globokar

From 13 to 21 years of age Vinko Globokar lived in Ljubljana (Slovenia), where he made his debut as a jazz musician. He subsequently studied trombone at the National Conservatory in Paris (diploma in trombone and chamber music). He studied composition and conducting with René Leibowitz, counterpoint with André Hodeir, and continued his studies with …

Osvaldo Golijov

Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. After studying piano at the local conservatory and composition with Gerardo Gandini …

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon’s music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker‘s Alex Ross, “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.” Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces …

Lei Liang

Heralded as “one of the most exciting voices in New Music” (The Wire), Lei Liang (梁雷) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times. Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron …

Olivier Messiaen

Born in 1908 in Avignon into a literary family (his father, Pierre Messiaen, was a translator and his mother, Cécile Sauvage, a poet), Olivier Messiaen was marked by the idea of language. He first devised his own language (his book Technique of My Musical Language was completed in 1943) and based it on the modality …

Michael Harrison

Michael Harrison, composer and pianist, has been called “an American Maverick” by Philip Glass. Through his expertise in “just intonation” tunings, Indian ragas and rhythmic cycles, he has created “a new harmonic world…of vibrant sound” (The New York Times). With a personal style that transcends the ages, his music is both forward looking and deeply …

Glenn Kotche

For a percussionist and composer as energetic, inquisitive and versatile as Glenn Kotche, it’s his sense of balance—his ability to thrive in different and seemingly disparate worlds—that really makes him stand out as a musician. Since 2001, Kotche has been the rhythmic anchor in Wilco, one of the most beloved rock bands on the planet.

David Lang

Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms. In the words of The New Yorker, “With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one …

Steve Reich

 From his early taped speech pieces It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966) to his and video artist Beryl Korot’s digital video opera Three Tales (2002), Steve Reich’s path has embraced not only aspects of Western Classical music, but the structures, harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western and American vernacular music, particularly jazz. “There’s just a …

Bright Sheng

MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng was born on December 6th, 1955, in Shanghai, China, and moved to New York in 1982. He is currently the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor at University of Michigan, and the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College, CUNY.

Rand Steiger

Rand Steiger’s music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, Ensemble Intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble, Lontano, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, NYNME, Prism Quartet, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Talea Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as …