Rodrigo Bussad

Bussad.jpgRodrigo Bussad (Sao Paulo, Brazil. b.1985) is the winner of the 2014 American Prize in Composition category in the Student Chamber Music Division with the work Loin. He was also winner of the same competition in two other occasions.

Bussad is the winning composer of the 2017 Ukho Ensemble Workshop and the 2015 Valencia International Performance Academy (VIPA). He has his works premiered on three continents and selected for Music festivals and conferences such as the IRCAM’S Manifeste, Ukho Ensemble Workshop, Mise-en Festival, Composit, SoundSCAPE Festival among others. His music has travelled the Americas, Italy, Spain, France, Ukraine, Moldova, Taiwan and Korea. Renowned ensembles highlighting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Frost Symphony Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Imani Winds, Ukho Ensemble, Brower Trio:B3, Ensemble motoContraio, Ensemble, Ensemble Paramirabo, NanaFormosa Percussion Duo, and performers such as Svet Stoyanov, Ermis Theodorakis, Allison Balcetis, Céline Papion and Pedro Gadelha, have commissioned/worked with him.

Bussad is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Composition at The University of Chicago.

Jack Hughes

Composer Jack Hughes is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Chicago, where his principal teachers have been Augusta Read Thomas, Sam Pluta, Shulamit Ran and Marta Ptasznynska. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2014 as a double major in theory and composition, studying in the studio of Keith Fitch. He has recently composed works for Volti (as the recipient of their 2016 Choral Arts Lab), the Imani Winds and the Bozzini quartet. Jack served as the Composer Fellow of the Canton Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season, and his work Ripple for pierrot ensemble was awarded a 2016 BMI student composer award. A native of Reston, Virginia, he plays the trumpet, piano, and viola.

Joungbum Lee

Joungbum Lee is a Chicago-based composer of chamber, electronic, film and orchestral music. Poetry, Visual art, the nature and Eastern/Western philosophy are all elements that influence Lee's works. He completed a Bachelor Degree at Eastman School of Music and Masters at Rice University. His main composition teachers have been Carlos Sanchez-Guitierrz, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn Moolden, Pierre Jalbert, Shih-Hui Chen, Shulamit Ran, Anthony Cheung and Augusta Read Thomas.

Joungbum’s music has been commissioned nationally and internationally by various groups and individuals such as Amy Briggs, MingHuan Xu, Rochester chamber music society, NME ensemble, Seoul Art Festival/Dimension, Musiqa modern ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Quince vocal ensemble, Imani Winds, Spektral Quartet, Ensemble Suono Giallo, Ensemble Composit and Dal Niente.

He also received awards and recognitions such as 1st prize in Journal of Music composition competition 2004, Belle S. Gitelman Award, Bernard Rogers Prize (2008) at the Eastman School of Music, 1st prize in Rochester Chamber Music composition competition 2009, New York State regional winner of the annual SCI/ASCAP Composers Competition (2009), 23rd IBLA Grand Prize 2014 special mention and Sejong International composition competition 2014 honorary mention.

Joungbum has also actively premiered his compositions at numerous music festival such as Bowdoin International Music Festival (2007), Atlantic Music Festival (2010), SoundSCAPE (2016), VIPA (2016), June in Buffalo (2016), ilSuono Academy in Italy (2017), Composit new music festival in Italy (2017). 

Recent project includes film music for "Ratcatcher" for Miseen- scène Short Film Festival (MSFF) (2016) and primiere of his recent electroacoustic piece "pa-an" was performed by Ensemble Composit in Italy. Joungbum is currently pursuing PhD degree in University of Chicago.

Steve Lehman

Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a "dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, So Percussion, American Composers Orchestra, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times. 

The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, and Meshell Ndegeocello, among many others.

He is currently Professor of Music at The California Institute of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles.

Sam Pluta

Sam Pluta is a composer and electronics performer whose work explores the intersections between instrumental forces, reactive computerized sound worlds, traditionally notated scores, improvisation, audio-visuals, psycho-acoustic phenomena, and installation-like soundscapes.

Since 2009, Sam has served as Technical Director and composing member of Wet Ink Ensemble, one of the premiere new music ensembles in the United States. With Wet Ink, he has written numerous works, premiered compositions by some of the leading composers of today, and performed electro-acoustic masterworks of the past century. In addition to his work with Wet Ink, Sam has received commissions and written music for groups like the New York Philharmonic, Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Dal Niente, International Contemporary Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Mantra Percussion, and Spektral Quartet. 

Laptop improvisation is a core part of Pluta’s artistic practice. Performing on his custom software instrument, the Live Modular Instrument, he has toured internationally with Rocket Science, the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, and the Peter Evans Quintet, and for the past four years was named the top electronics performer in the world by the El Intruso International Critics Poll of jazz journalists. His sound-based approach to improvisation complements the timbre-rich playing of his collaborators, resulting in an improvised music with simultaneous roots in jazz, noise, and musique concrète.

Sam appears as a composer and performer on over twenty albums of new music and jazz, many of which are release on his label, Carrier Records. He is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago, where he teaches composition, directs the CHIME Studio, and is an active organizer in the Center for Contemporary Composition.

David Rakowski

David Rakowski grew up in St.Albans, Vermont and studied at New England Conservatory, Princeton, and Tanglewood, where his teachers were Robert Ceely, John Heiss, Milton Babbitt, Paul Lansky, and Luciano Berio. He has received a large number of awards and fellowships, including the Elise L. Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Rome Prize, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music (for pieces commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the US Marine Band). He has composed nine concertos, seven symphonies, 100 piano études, 74 piano préludes, eight song cycles, and a large amount of wind ensemble music, chamber music, and vocal music for various combinations, as well as music for children. His music has been commissioned, recorded, and performed widely and is published by C.F. Peters. He is the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition at Brandeis University, having also taught at New England Conservatory, Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Shulamit Ran

Shulamit Ran has been awarded most major honors given to composers in the U.S., including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for her Symphony.  Her music has been performed worldwide by leading ensembles including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Mendelssohn, Brentano, Pacifica and Juilliard Quartets, Chanticleer, and many others.  Maestros Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Christoph Von Dohnanyi, Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menhuin, Gary Bertini, and various others, have conducted her works. She served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra between 1990 and 1997, and with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1994-1997 where her residency culminated in the premiere of her first opera Between Two Worlds (the Dybbuk).

The recipient of five honorary degrees, she is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome in 2011.

Shulamit, who is the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor Emerita in the Department of Music at the University of Chicago, where she has taught since 1973 serving also as Artistic Director of Contempo between 2002 and 2015, is currently composing Anne Frank, a full-scale opera on a libretto by Charles Kondek, to be premiered by the Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater at the Jacob School of Music in 2020.  Her music is published by Theodore Presser Company and by the Israeli Music Institute and recorded on more than a dozen labels.

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrezwas born in Mexico City in 1964 and now lives in the New York tundra, where he chairs the Composition Department at the Eastman School of Music. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey and Henri Dutilleux at Yale, Princeton and Tanglewood, respectively. He has received many of the standard awards in the field (e.g. Barlow Prize, Guggenheim, Fulbright, Koussevitzky, Fromm, American Academy of Arts and Letters.) He likes machines with hiccups and spiders with missing legs, looks at Paul Klee's Notebooks everyday, and tries to use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti. 


Kate Soper

Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by The Boston Globe as "a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power" and by The New Yorker for her "limpid, exacting vocalism, impetuous theatricality, and...mastery of modernist style." A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Soper has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (The Virgil Thomson and Goddard Lieberson awards and the Charles Ives Scholarship), the Koussevitzky Foundation, Chamber Music America, the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and ASCAP, and has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Center/BUTI, the MIVOS string quartet, and Yarn/Wire. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Civitella Raineri Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Camargo Foundation, the Macdowell Colony, Tanglewood, Royaumont, and Domaine Forget, among others.

Praised by the New York Times for her "lithe voice and riveting presence," Soper performs frequently as a new music soprano. As a singer and performer with experience in Western Classical and Indian Carnatic music, songwriting, improvisation, and experimental theatre, she has sung in U.S. and world premieres of works by composers such as Peter Ablinger, Beat Furrer, George Lewis, Matthias Spahlinger, and Katharina Rosenberger, and has appeared with groups such as the Morningside Opera Company, the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, and the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble. She performs regularly in her own works, and has been featured as a composer/vocalist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, the New York City-based MATA and SONiC festivals, the Lucerne Forum for New Music, Gaudeamus Muziekweek New York, the Sacramento Festival of New Music, and the American Composers Orchestra's Orchestra Underground series.

Soper is a member of Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries. She is the Iva Dee Hiatt Assistant Professor of Music at Smith College.

Chen Yi


As a prolific composer who blends East and West traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries, Chinese-American composer Dr. Chen Yi is the Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the recipient of Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has been commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, Chanticleer, Shanghai and Ying quartets, Rascher and Prism sax quartets, the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle, Pacific, BBC, Singapore symphonies and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, and recorded on Bis, New Albion, New World, Teldec, Albany, Bridge, Naxos. Major fellowships and commissioning awards were from Guggenheim, Fromm, Roche, and Koussevitzky Music Foundations, AAAL, Meet The Composer, Barlow Endowment for New Music, Chamber Music America, ACDA, NYSCA and NEA. Honors include the first prizes from the Chinese National Composition Competition, CalArts/Alpert Award, UT Eddie Medora King Composition Prize, ASCAP Concert Music Award, Elise Stoeger Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She holds BA and MA from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and DMA from Columbia University in New York. Major composition teachers were Profs. Wu Zu-qiang, Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She has taught at Peabody Conservatory (96-98), and served as Residence Composer of The Women's Philharmonic, Chanticleer and Aptos Middle School supported by Meet The Composer's New Residences (93-96). A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is a Distinguished Visiting Professor in China since 2006.  

Anthony Cheung

Anthony Cheung is a composer and pianist. His music has been commissioned by leading groups such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, New York Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, and also performed by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Linea, the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the French National Orchestras of Lille and Lorraine, among others. From 2015-17, he was the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP, and first prize in the Sixth International Dutilleux Competition (2008), as well as a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2012). As a performer and advocate for new music, he co-founded the Talea Ensemble and served as Artistic Director and pianist, working with many composers and curating programs of their works. His music has been programmed at festivals such as Ultraschall, Cresc. Biennale, Wittener Tage, Présences, Heidelberger Frühling, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Helsinki Festival and Musica Nova Helsinki, Centre Acanthes, Musica, and Nuova Consonanza. Two portrait albums of his music are available: Roundabouts, released by the Ensemble Modern in 2014, and Dystemporal, featuring performances by Talea and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, on Wergo. Anthony received a B.A. in Music and History from Harvard and a doctorate from Columbia University. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago.