Victoria Cheah (b. 1988, New York, NY) is a composer. Her music has been performed by ensembles such as Ensemble Cairn, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Hunter College Opera Studio, Hunter College Symphony and others. She has participated in festivals such as the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, SICPP, the International Composition Workshop at the Conservatoire de Blanc-Mesnil, European American Musical Alliance, and The Walden School. Past teachers include Eric Chasalow and Shafer Mahoney as well as Norma Newton (voice) and Geoffrey Burleson (piano). Other interests include sculpture, installation, and interdisciplinary work.
Cheah is the executive director of Sound Icon, a Boston-based, sinfonietta-sized ensemble (led by artistic director and conductor Jeffrey Means) committed to performing fundamental new music repertoire from the past few decades. She has also worked with other leading new music ensembles and presenters including the Manhattan Sinfonietta, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, BEAMS Electronic Music Marathon, and in summer 2012, the Composit festival in Rieti, Italy.
Cheah has been the recipient of a Macaulay Honors College scholarship as well as the department prize in music at Hunter College, from which she holds a B.A. with concentrations in composition, piano and literature. She is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Brandeis University, and studies with David Rakowski.
David Dominique is a composer and performer living in Boston, MA. He has worked in a variety of genres including chamber music, jazz, electroacoustic music, installation, rock and experimental theater.
David has recently written pieces for the Lydian String Quartet, the Radnofsky Saxophone Quartet, the Formalist String Quartet, Nimbus Ensemble and Killsonic, a mobile band of horns, drums and accordions with whom he sometimes performs on trombone and flugabone. His works have been performed and presented in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Nashville and Berlin, among others. As a trombonist, he has performed at such festivals as Bumbershoot, Coachella, San Diego Street Scene, and San Francisco Outside Lands.
In the summer of 2010, David co-composed and performed in “Tongues Bloody Tongues”, an experimental opera commissioned by the Roy E. Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) “. After three sold out performances, the work was described by the LA Times as “a world that seduces with a glorious exaltation of brassy breath and accented rat-a-tat percussion” that “left one wanting more.” The company was recently invited to produce the opera in Stockholm. His latest projects are an album of experimental jazz, which he will perform with various ensembles in multiple cities, and a new theater work about infamous NASA astronaut, Lisa Nowak.
David’s teachers have included Samuel Adler, Chaya Czernowin, Steven Takasugi, Liviu Marinescu, and Daniel Hosken. Currently, David is a PhD candidate in Music Composition and Theory at Brandeis University, where he teaches music theory and studies composition with Eric Chasalow and David Rakowski.
Emily Koh is an award-winning young composer of contemporary classical music based in Boston MA, and a native of Singapore. Described as ‘the future of composing’ (The Straits Times, Singapore) and ‘a talent with great potential’ (An Tuireann Arts Center, Scotland), Emily’s works have received wide press acclaim, and have been described as “beautifully eerie” (New York Times), and “subtley spicy” (Baltimore Sun), and “piquant to the senses” (The Straits Times, Singapore).
Emily has been commissioned by the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, LUNAR Ensemble, Singapore Lyric Opera, Philharmonic Orchestra Society, ArtsSphere Chamber Ensemble, Esplanade Co. Ltd and NUS Arts Festival amongst others. Her works have been performed by Signal Ensemble, Sentieri Selvaggi, the Next Mushroom Project, ThingNY, CHROMA ensemble, The Philharmonic Orchestra Singapore, Asian Festival Orchestra, Peabody Opera Theater, Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Conservatory Chamber Singers and NUS Symphony Orchestra at festivals such as June in Buffalo, Asia-Pacific Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Composers League Festival and Conference, Takefu International Music Festival, Tongyeong International Music Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, National University of Singapore Arts Festival and various venues in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
Emily is currently a doctoral fellow at Brandeis University, where she is completing her Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory. Emily holds Master of Music degrees in composition and music theory pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor of Music (with honors) degree in composition (minor in double bass performance) from the National University of Singapore, and diplomas from the Trinity College of Music, London (music theory, criticism and literature) and the Royal Schools of Music (double bass performance).
Peter Van Zandt Lane (b. 1985), an established and widely performed composer and bassoonist living in New England, has written music for a variety of ensembles across the country and beyond. His instrumental music, in particular, often engages technology and its influence on art music in the 20th and 21st centuries through the use of live electronics and/or fixed-media. Drawing inspiration from neo-classical, modernist, jazz, rock, electronica, and early music, he draws on his diverse experiences to compose music that is fresh, genuine, and engaging. His music has been characterized by its “propulsive rhythms” and “surprising lyricism” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), hailed for its ability to appeal to musicians and audiences “no matter their personal musical aesthetic” (Asymmetry Music Magazine). Peter’s music is often high-energy and dramatic, using a uniquely polyamorous harmonic language. His overarching compositional aims are to write music that conveys an inspired musical narrative, stretches the virtuosic abilities of performers, challenges listener expectations, and most of all, unite enthusiastic musicians in the positive, collaborative spirit of performance.
Peter has received recent commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, theWellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, EAR Duo, and the SUNY Purchase Percussion Ensemble. His compositions have been performed across the United States, as well as in Europe and South America by acclaimed musicians and ensembles such as The Cleveland Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Triton Brass, Xanthos Ensemble, East Coast Composers Ensemble, SIGNAL, NotaRiotous, The Quux Collective, Freon Ensemble (Rome), and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Twice a finalist for the SEAMUS/ASCAP Commission, Peter has been recognized by numerous awards and prizes, and has been a featured composer at some of the country’s finest electronic and contemporary music festivals and venues, including Spark Festival, SEAMUS National Conferences, SARC at Queen’s University (Belfast), LIPM/IEMS (Buenos Aires), Forecast Music, New Gallery Concert Series, 12-Nights Electronic Music and Art, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, The Annual Festival of Contemporary Music (San Francisco), Boston Cyber-Arts Festival, Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts, and Festival Miami. He has had recordings commercially released on PARMA/Navona Records.
An avid advocate for new music, Peter has been involved in multiple contemporary music organizations in New England. He was a member of Composers in Red Sneakers, one of the nation’s longest established composers’ consortiums, and is currently General Manager of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, a leading exponent of contemporary performance since 1975. He also contributes concert reviews regularly to the Boston Musical Intelligencer (www.classical-scene.org). He is also engaged in the commissioning of new works for bassoon in an electroacoustic setting, including recent works by Ferdinando Desena and Michael Gordon. He has been featured as a soloist at the world renowned Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and across the nation at a large number of music festivals and concert series.
Peter is currently completing a PhD in Music Composition and Theory at Brandeis University, and holds degrees from Brandeis, and the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He studied composition with Melinda Wagner, Eric Chasalow, and David Rakowsi, and bassoon with Luciano Magnanini.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, LIN Mu-Xuan (b. 1984) is a versatile composer, writer, visual artist, as well as an active vocalist. Her music has been heard in Taiwan, USA (Boston and New York), the Netherland (Amsterdam), Austria (Mittersill), and Switzerland. She is the 2011 selected composer from USA to attend KoFoMi (KomponistInnenforum Mittersill) in Mittersill and the special residency in Salzburg, Austria, a fully funded auditing participant at the Acanthes de Metz 2011 in France, the first and two-time winner of the scholarship award in honor of Gardner Read, 2010 composition fellow at Etchings Festival for Contemporary Music at Auvillar in France, a fellow at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a featured composer for the New Gallery Concert Series’ “Young Composers’ Portrait” in 2008.
Frequently exposed to Beijing Opera, contemporary theatre, and literature from an early age, Mu-Xuan’s passion for synthesizing various art forms to create a kind of Gesamtkunstwerks has been progressively coming into realization in the recent years. Praised as “beautiful, powerful, and imaginative,” her percussion quartet Melancholia (2011-12) written for the renown Talujon Percussion Group is a successful experiment on form and process, a quaint acoustic architecture that is both a gigantic gestural envelop and a multi-layered, constantly self-generating linear unfolding unrelenting to the larger structure housing it. Another one of her latest pieces, the vocal sextet Journal Entry : i : (2010) written for New York Virtuoso Singers was a theatrical treatment of music as an autonomous third-person agent that superimposes over human emotion’s first-person dramatic discourse. Her saxophone quartet The Sea, the Sea (2010), described by Melinda Wagner as “achingly beautiful,” was composed with the same visceral vigor. Her other works include the project A room of French windows and limestone sculptures (2009) — which she calls “an experience envisioned by a dream, transformed into words, realized through music, and complemented by dance and video” — for which she was the writer/librettist, composer, choreographer, and video artist. She was commissioned by choreographer Betsi Graves Akerstein and the Urbanity Dance Project for their 2010 winter revue piece Little Blue Dot in which she composed the original score inspired and constructed upon the pre-choreographed dance. Mu-Xuan received her BM from New England Conservatory where she studied with Michael Gandolfi, and is presently a Ph.D student in Composition and Theory at Brandeis University, studying with David Rakowsky, Yu-Hui Chang, Eric Chasalow, and Melinda Wagner. She has also taken lessons with Philippe Hurel, Louis Karchin, Fabian Levy, and Oscar Strasnoy.
Florie Namir (b. 1979) is a native of Israel where she earned her Bachelor degree from Tel-Aviv University. Professor Dr. Giselher Schubert from the Paul Hindemith Institute, Frankfurt, gave her an honorable mention for successfully integrating three of Paul Hindemith’s unused sketches in her piece Dialogue for Two Pianos. She moved to the United States to pursue her graduate studies at Rice University in Houston, TX.
In past summers, Ms. Namir attended several international music institutions, among them, the International Summer Academy of Music in Michelstadt, Germany, Académie Musicale De Villecroze, France, Accademia Musicale Chigiana for a classical composition course with Azio Corghi and the Czech-American Summer Music Institute in Prague. In March 2009 she was invited by Prometheus Ensemble to participate in their Young Composers Workshop in cooperation with the International Arts Campus, deSingel in Antwerp, Belgium.
Her pieces have been performed by the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, Quartetto Mansi, Luoghi Immaginari, NotaRiotous, Dinosaur Annex and Meitar Ensembles, among others, and were broadcasted on Kol-Hashalom and on ktru.org Radios. She is a winner of several awards, such as Irving G. Fine Fellowship in Composition, Brandeis University, Accademia Musicale Chigiana merit scholarship, Williamson Foundations for Music grant and The J. Dorfman Memorial Composition Competition.
Florie is currently a fifth year Ph.D. student at Brandeis University, where she has worked on her compositions with Eric Chasalow and David Rakowski.
Jared Redmond is a pianist and composer.
Rebecca Sacks is an M.F.A. student in composition and theory. She graduated from Tufts University in 2006 with a B.A. in Music (summa cum laude). Her compositions have been performed by members of the Radnofsky Quartet, the Talujon Percussion Group, the Tufts University Chamber Singers and the Tufts University Chorale (under Andrew Clark), Tufts’ West African Percussion Ensemble, the Mockingbird Trio, and the Cantata Singers of Elmira, NY. In the 2012-13 academic year, her work will be performed by the University of Alabama’s Percussion Ensemble (under Tim Feeney), John McDonald (piano) and Masako Kunimoto (percussion) at Tufts University, and the Genkin Philharmonic at Brandeis University.
In 2002, Sacks attended the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) Summer Composition Program at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where she studied counterpoint, harmony, and analysis in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. In 2005, Sacks received the Etta and Harry Winokur Award for Outstanding Achievement in Artistic or Scholarly Work from the Tufts Music Department. In 2007, she was a finalist at the Ithaca College Choral Composition Festival for her composition “The Mirror,” which was performed the previous year in Spain by the Tufts Chamber Singers.
Sacks has a background in piano (classical and jazz), jazz voice, and West African music, which she has studied with David Locke since 2005. While at Brandeis, she has studied with Eric Chasalow, Yu-Hui Chang, Marty Boykan and Melinda Wagner.
Tina Tallon (b.1990) is a Boston-area composer, soprano, and music theorist currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Composition and Music Theory at Brandeis University. Born and raised in Pasadena, MD, she began playing the piano at age four and the violin at seven, although her penchant for improvisation and early forays into arranging pieces for her string quartet belied her later interest in composition. However, unaware of the existence of composition lessons or local composers willing to dole out such instruction, she received no formal compositional training until the second semester of her freshman year at MIT, where she received a S.B. degree in biological engineering and music in June 2011.
An avid student cancer researcher and biological engineer, Tina did not decide to pursue a career in composition until the summer preceding her senior year at MIT. She received a commission from the League of Imaginary Scientists in 2010 for a piece to accompany a science-meets-art exhibit in Australia and later at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and has since had readings by ensembles such as Quartet X, Radius, the MIT Symphony Orchestra, and the UK’s Lontano Ensemble. Her music has been performed on the New Music Brandeis concert series, and her SATB choral arrangement of selections from Brian Eno’s Music for Airports has been performed internationally by Bang On A Can. Tina’s previous teachers include Peter Child and Charles Shadle, and she currently studies with David Rakowski.
Tina is active in Boston’s music scene as not only a composer and passionate advocate for new music, but also as a vocalist, freelance violinist, and arts administrator. She began singing in 2008, and received an MIT Emerson Scholarship to study voice in 2010. She frequently performs as a soloist with the MIT Chamber Chorus and Concert Choir, and made her New Music Brandeis debut this fall. She has studied voice with Desiree Maira and Kerry Deal, and currently studies with Pamela Dellal. Additionally, she interns with the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and works in the MIT Music Department as a programmer, research assistant, and curriculum developer. Her research interests include computational modeling of relationships between pitch and duration based upon potential and kinetic energy, algorithmic composition, and the music of Olivier Messiaen.
When she’s not composing, Tina enjoys gluten-free baking, running marathons, extreme outdoor sports, birdwatching, computer programming, and not building fluorescent microscopes from scratch. But at the end of the day, she’s happiest with a pencil and some staff paper.