composers

Electronisist Josh Oxford, born in 1985, is a composer, arranger, and performer of myriad styles of music. He has performed throughout the world, especially in his native central New York, on piano, percussion, and Moog synthesizer. After suffering a debilitating car crash in 2010, Oxford has devoted his energy to composing. His music can be heard on releases from Aaron Tindall, Frank Gabriel Campos, Tim Winfield, and on the debut album of his band The OXtet. He holds two degrees from Ithaca College and a masters from Queens College, where he was awarded The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship. He will pursue a doctorate at Arizona State University. Oxford still performs regularly in the improvisational space-rock/funk band Galactic Escort Service and as the organist for St. James AME Zion church www.joshoxford.com

 

photo: Adam Baker

Bruce Babcock

Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing music for the musicians of Los Angeles. Successful in film, television, and the concert hall, he is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audiences and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art.

 

Babcock holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge. While at CSUN, Babcock’s Impasse was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. Copland’s comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, include “an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed...a convincing sense of an overall mood...knows what he wants...sure of what he’s doing.” Babcock’s mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass, and Earle Hagen. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a ten-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI.

 

In the concert music world, Babcock’s Pacific Serenades Trio for clarinet, viola, and piano, was commissioned by Mark Carlson’s Pacific Serenades series. He was chosen by Artistic Director Daniel Kepl to be composer in residence at the 2005 Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. The Donald Brinegar Singers premiered Babcock’s Night Songs, on poems of Sara Teasdale, in 2006.

 

SpringScape was the winning piece in the Debussy Trio 2006 Composition Competition. This Is What I Know: Four Poems of Dorothy Parker, commissioned by UCLA Professor of Voice Juliana Gondek, was one of the winners in the 2011 Boston Metro Opera Contemporary American Festival Competition, and was performed in Boston in conjunction with “Opera Conference America 2011.”

 

All Unto Me, inspired by and dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed with the Archbishop in attendance in 2011. Be Still for a cappella choir received its European premiere in November 2013 by the Haga Motettkör of Göteborg, Sweden, with music director Mikael Carlsson, and its New York City premiere in 2016 from The Antioch Ensemble. Be Still appears on a June 2019 Navona Records album EVOLUTIONARY SPIRITS from the Philadelphia-based choir The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally.

 

Babcock’s first Navona Records album, TIME, STILL, was released in 2015. 11 Los Angeles musicians are featured in this collection of chamber, vocal, and choral music.

 

Event Horizon, an orchestral piece with video compiled from images of the NASA-Hubble Space Telescope, was premiered by Aaron Collins and the Space Coast Symphony in 2017. It was recorded by the Wembley Players in London with the composer conducting, and was released on the Navona album SPARKS in 2016.

 

Give Me Your Stars, commissioned by Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann, premiered at Mason Home Concerts on March 17, 2018. Imagined/Remembered, a sonata for cello and piano included on the 2018 Navona Records album MOTO BELLO with cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and pianist Anna Kislitsyna, was performed at Carnegie Hall in May of 2018. In both 2018 and 2019 Babcock was commissioned to compose works for the Mount Wilson Observatory Concerts in the Dome series. www.musicbybrucebabcock.com

 

Photo by Cam Sanders

 

Jason Taurins (b. 1991) is a music educator, composer/arranger, and clinician. He has lived in Arizona since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Education from Western Michigan University, where he studied composition with Lisa Coons and Richard Adams. He also has a Master of Music from the University of Florida. His musical interests include writing for wind bands, arranging for marching band, and writing marching band drill, as well as writing chamber music. His influences are diverse, including the great Classical composers, the 20th-century avant garde, jazz, classic rock, and metal. He is an active advocate of music by living composers and diversity in musical programming.

 

He has been commissioned and performed by performers and ensembles from around the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was a winner of the 2017 Fifteen Minutes of Fame competition. He has been invited to perform with the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project in Schladming, Austria.

 

Listeners can discover his music on PARMA Recordings and Phasma Music. His music is self-published through Klangfarbenmelodien Music (ASCAP) and Excelcia Music Publication.

 

As an avid musical miniaturist, he created the Minute of Music Project to support new music for trumpet and to promote composers. He has also written for this project. jasontaurins.com

 

 

Steven D. Block was born in New York City on November 5, 1952. He is currently Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley after having served as Chair of the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico for 17 years. As Dean, he is building new Arts programs, including that of the School of Music, from two separate legacy campuses. Block has appeared in the various personae of composer, music theorist, music critic, pianist, and both classical radio and disco d.j., among others. His compositions have been performed worldwide including performances in Australia, Paris, and Poland. His articles as a music theorist and music critic have appeared in such journals and magazines as Perspectives of New Music, Integrales, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Music Library Notes, and High Fidelity.

 

Block has studied with some of the most innovative composers and theorists in the world including David Stock, a pioneer in the promotion of contemporary music; Robert Morris, one of the leading contemporary music theorists and composers; A. Wayne Slawson, who has led the exploration of timbre as a musical component; and the internationally known and important late composers Franco Donatoni and Luciano Berio.

 

“His skillful use of tuned percussion gives several passages a gamelan-like quality reminiscent of Messaien. The long-note passages…and their harmonic suspensions are wonderful. I impatiently await the completion of this Symphony” —William Zagorski, Fanfare

 

stevendblock.com

 

 

Mara Helmuth was composes music and sonic spaces often involving the computer, focusing recently on environmental issues and wildlife. Her recordings include Irresistible Flux on Esther Lamneck’s Tarogato Constructions, from O on Open Space CD 33 Benjamin Boretz 9x9, Lifting the Mask on Sounding Out! (Everglade), Sound Collaborations, (CDCM v.36, Centaur CRC 2903), Implements of Actuation (Electronic Music Foundation EMF 023), and works included on Open Space CD 16 and the 50th Anniversary University of Illinois EMS collection. Scores are published in Open Space Magazine Issues 19-20 (from O), and Notations 21 (String Paths), edited by Theresa Sauer. Her music has been performed internationally at conferences, festivals, and arts spaces. Her research includes software for composition and improvisation, and has involved granular synthesis (StochGran), wireless sensor networks, user interfaces, performance over Internet2 (Soundmesh), Unity musical game environments, and contributions to the RTcmix music programming language.

 

She is Professor of Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and Director of the CCM Center for Computer Music. She previously taught at Texas A&M University and New York University. She holds a D.M.A. from Columbia University, and earlier degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She served on the board of directors for the International Computer Music Association as Vice President for Conferences, newsletter editor, and President, and on the SEAMUS board of directors and newsletter editor. She also plays tennis, and practices t’ai chi ch’uan. marahelmuth.com

 

 

ALLA ELANA COHEN was is a distinguished composer, pianist, music theorist, and teacher who came to the United States in 1989 from Russia. Graduating from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the highest honors of distinction, Cohen lives in Boston and is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

 

As a composer, Cohen works in all genres of orchestral, chamber, and operatic music, and has an extensive catalogue of original compositions. Cohen’s music, often with the composer at the piano, is regularly performed and recorded with much success by internationally acclaimed performers, and garners great reviews and previews from media sources such as Fanfare Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, Boston Musical Intelligencer, ArtFuse, Cinemusical, Gapplegate, and others. Cohen was also interviewed and featured on WGBH TV and appeared in a featured video on boston.com. Radio programs about Cohen’s music were broadcast on the radio station Orpheus on the Russia State Center of Radio and TV Programs in Moscow and in the United States on the Russian-American Radio station United4:Good.

 

Cohen has released 9 albums of her compositions: Dedications; The Route of Compassion; The Road That Chooses Us; The Day of Atonement; Praise Him with Harp and Lyre, Praise Him with Strings and Flutes; Hoffmanniana; RED LILIES OF BELLS, GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS, WHITE LILIES OF BELLS (RR7953); JUPITER DUO (RR7978); QUAESTIONES ET RESPONSA (RR8017) (the last three were released under Ravello Records).

 

Cohen has been recognized as a composer by ASCAP, being an annual recipient of ASCAPLUS Awards, and has received commissions from the Music Teachers National Association. Cohen received the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition awarded by the National Academy of Music in conjunction with the Municipal Conservatories of Neapolis and Sykies, Greece, in 2010. Cohen’s opera buffa, The Cunning Housekeeper, won the Director’s Choice Award organized by Boston Metro Opera in 2014. photo credit: Nir Landau

 

www.allacohen.com

 

Peter Castine was born in New York City on a Sunday in the year of the snake. Studies of composition, piano, and computer science in Stony Brook and Berlin were followed by work as a performer, concert and conference organizer, and developer of software-based musical instruments. Past projects include the Berlin Arts Company (cofounder) and the International Computer Music Conference 2000 (chair). As a developer of music software he has worked and consulted for MakeMusic (Finale), Skoog Music, FutureAcoustic, and DSPAudio, as well as having created the Litter Power Package (plug-ins for the software Max). Castine’s compositions range from orchestral works and opera to chamber music and electroacoustic works. He currently lives in Berlin, where he composes, contributes to Computer Music Journal as managing editor, plays organ and piobaireachd, and herds cats. www.castine.de

 

photo: Sheila Frießer

Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is a West Texas-based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works.

 

Jolley's work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic’...times” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the melting glaciers of the Pacific Northwest. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement.

 

Jolley's works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Dulciana (Dublin, Ireland), Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (New York NY), and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (Alba, Italy residency). She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Quince Ensemble, and many others.

 

Her music can be found on various albums, including Quince Ensemble’s Motherland with New Focus Recordings, Ohio University Wind Symphony’s Ampersand, and Bowling Green State University Wind Symphony’s New Music for Wind Band Vol. 1, the latter two released with Mark Records. Future releases will be with Ablaze Records, Reference Recordings, and PARMA Recordings.

 

Jolley deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, the Vermont Symphony, the Central Michigan University School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival in Italy. Most recently she was the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019. She promotes composer advocacy and the performance of new works through her opera company North American New Opera Workshop, her articles for NewMusicBox, and her work on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity and the New Music USA Program Council.

 

Jolley’s blog—on which she has catalogued more than 100 rejection letters from competitions, festivals, and prizes—is widely read and admired by professional musicians. She is particularly passionate about this project as a composition teacher, and enjoys removing the taboo around “failure” for her students. Jolley joined the composition faculty of the Texas Tech School of Music in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015.

 

Jolley’s works are distributed through ADJ-ective New Music and Murphy Music Press, LLC.  www.jenniferjolley.com

 

photo: Elizabeth Glenn Photography

 

 

Performers

Lindsey Goodman is a soloist, recording artist, chamber collaborator, orchestral musician, educator, and clinician. Renowned for her “generous warmth of tone and a fluid virtuosity” (Charleston Gazette), Lindsey has performed solo and chamber concerts, taught masterclasses, and given presentations at countless series, festivals, and universities “with energy and artistry, conveying her exuberance and creativity” (Pittsburgh in the Round). Performances “played with conviction” (New York Times) have been heard across three continents, including at Carnegie Hall, Eastman School of Music, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Google headquarters, several National and Canadian Flute Association conventions, and across China.

 

A committed advocate for living composers and electroacoustic music, Lindsey “appears to know no fear in tackling the most demanding music” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) and is an active commissioner of new works with over 140 world premieres to her credit. For over 18 seasons, she was solo flutist of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Her debut solo album, reach through the sky, is available from New Dynamic Records, and her second solo release, also available from Navona Records, is returning to heights unseen, “an excellent album of compelling works expertly performed” (The Flute View). She can also be heard in solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral performances on the New World, Albany, New Focus, and Navona Records, among others. Lindsey has given multiple professional recitals in New York City, performed concertos from Mozart to commissioned works in the United States and Canada, and been featured in live and recorded radio broadcasts on stations across the country.

 

Lindsey is principal flutist of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and adjunct lecturer at West Virginia State University and Marietta College. She is a founding member of the Leviathan Trio (flute, cello, and piano), flute quartet PANdemonium4, and Chrysalis, a singing flutist and singing pianist duo, showcasing her training as a classical mezzo-soprano. A student of Walfrid Kujala and Robert Langevin, Lindsey received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, and Duquesne University. She resides in Ohio with her husband, percussionist, composer, and educator Chris Carmean, and their dog Jack. photo:  Joshua Brown

 

LindseyGoodman.com

 

 

Robert Frankenberry  leads a multi-faceted career as a vocalist, pianist, composer, and conductor. Onstage, he has performed a wide range of roles including Mozart (Amadeus), John Adams (1776), Carl-Magnus (A Little Night Music), Bacchus (Ariadne on Naxos), the title roles in Don Carlo, The Tales of Hoffmann, Faust, and Willy Wonka, and originated the role of Orson Welles in Daron Hagen’s Orson Rehearsed with Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble. From 2012-2019, he held the position of Music Director for Pittsburgh Festival Opera, during which time he led the premieres of the Night Caps and Night Caps International projects (also contributing as composer), Roger Zahab’s Happy Hour, Gilda Lyons’ A New Kind of Fallout, Dwayne Fulton’s jazz/gospel opera A Gathering of Sons, and Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow-Fallingwater version (performed on and in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater). He also led workshops of new works in development by Guang Yang, Faye Chiao, Ruth Chan, and Karen Brown as part of the company’s Fight For the Right project. In the summer of 2019, he served as arranger, adaptor, composer, and musical director for Mr. Rogers’ Operas, creating live-performance versions of Spoon Mountain and Windstorm in Bubbleland for operatic voices. At the piano, he focuses primarily on new and recent music, performing with such ensembles as Pittsburgh’s IonSound and Music On the Edge; New York City’s The Phoenix Players and PRISM Players; and multi-city entelechron, and Chrysalis Duo.

Cellist Hannah Pressley lives in Charleston WV and actively performs across the region as an orchestral and chamber musician. She has performed across the United States and in China, Canada, the UK, France, and Japan. Pressley has been broadcast live and in recordings on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, All Classical Portland (Oregon), Maryland Public Television, and KING FM (Seattle). In Charleston, Pressley has performed with the Montclaire Quartet several times as well as on the Library Jams, Kanawha Forum, FestivALL, and Concerts @ St. John's series.

 

A lover of the outdoors, Pressley regularly performs string quartets at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on rafting trips with Canyon Explorations. As a founding member of the Leviathan Trio, she toured China in fall 2018 and the southeastern United States in winter 2016, and commissioned and premiered a number of new works. She has performed at West Virginia State University, Marshall University, the University of Florida, Southeastern Louisiana University, Mercyhurst University, and West Virginia University. Pressley is a member of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Valley Symphony, and the River Cities Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra (PA). Pressley is a member of the West Virginia Music Teachers’ Association, and she maintains a private cello studio in Charleston and works with the West Virginia Youth Symphony as a sectional and chamber music coach. She has also served on the artistic staff for the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute.

 

A native of Seattle WA, Pressley attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and Peabody Conservatory, where she received her bachelor's (2009) and master's (2011) degrees in cello performance as a student of Dr. Alison Wells. She had the opportunity to study abroad at the Guildhall School in London in Spring 2011, where her primary teacher was Richard Lester. She has also participated in masterclasses by such major artists as Laurence Lesser, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Philippe Muller, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Stephen Geber, and Andre Emilianoff. While at Peabody, Pressley received the Mihaly Virizlay Memorial Prize in Cello and the Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in Chamber Music. In her free time, Pressley loves hiking, pickleball, running, and yoga.

 

Chris Carmean lives holds degrees from Miami University and Duquesne University, and is an Assistant Band Director and Percussion Instructor in the Pickerington Local School District. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, and is an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Carmean is active as an adjudicator in the Ohio Music Education Association, and has several percussion ensemble pieces available through C.Alan Publications. In 2018, he earned a Private Pilot’s License, and enjoys the opportunity to go flying whenever possible. Carmean and his wife, flutist Lindsey Goodman, live in Pickerington with their Bichon Frise dog, Jack.

 

Joseph Dangerfield has lived and worked professionally in Germany, Russia, Holland, and New York. He is the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the Aaron Copland Award (2010), the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra’s Composition Prize (2010), the Henry and Parker Pelzer Prize for Excellence in Composition (2005), the Young, and Emerging Composers Award (2002). He was a Fulbright Scholar to the Russian Federation and the Netherlands (2009-10), where he served as composer-in-residence with the Ensemble Studio New Music at the famed Moscow Conservatory, and lectured at Maastricht Conservatorium. He has been a resident in the Leighton Studios of the prestigious Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and the Yaddo Colony in New York. Recordings of his works are available on the Albany Records label, and many are published by European American Music and American Concert Editions.

 

josephdangerfield.com

 

 

 

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