CCCC’s guest composers will add unique artistic perspectives, vitality, and excitement to the intellectual environment of CCCC, the University of Chicago, City of Chicago, and beyond.
2018/2019 Guest Composers
David Dzubay's music has been performed by orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia. Recent honors the 2015/2017 Sackler Prize and a 2015 Fromm Commission, Guggenheim, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, Copland House and Djerassi fellowships, and a 2011 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dzubay is currently Professor of Music, Chair of the Composition Department and Director of the New Music Ensemble at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. He has conducted at the Tanglewood, Aspen, and June in Buffalo festivals. He has also conducted the League of Composers Orchestra in New York, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Greater Dallas Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music from China, Voices of Change, and an ensemble from the Minnesota Orchestra, among other groups. From 1995 to 1998 he served as Composer-Consultant to the Minnesota Orchestra, helping direct their "Perfect-Pitch" reading sessions, and during 2005-2006 he was Meet The Composer "Music Alive" Composer-in-Residence with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Since 2011, Dzubay has taught composition for three weeks each summer at the Brevard Music Center, including conducting composer readings with orchestra and band. In 2016, he composed the Chamber Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Ensemble as winner of the Sackler Prize, and Symphony No. 2 for a consortium of eleven university wind ensembles. He recently composed an orchestral work, Sijo, for the Asia Culture Center Festival, premiered in September 2017 and is currently composing a work for the Pacifica String Quartet.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist based in New York. Her works, which have been performed in Canada, the USA, South America, Asia, and Europe, extend beyond pure concert music, to include projects with electronics, sound arts, and collaborations with video and dance.
Her most recent commission was for Dear Life, a 25-minute work for orchestra, soprano, and recorded narrator, based on a short story by Alice Munro, for the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada. Other large-scale projects include a 2015 evening-length new music theatre piece, Phonobellow (co-written with David Adamcyk) for ICE with performances in New York and Montreal. P honobellow features five musicians, a large kinetic sound sculpture, electronics, and video in a reflection on the influence of photography and phonography on human perception.
Her orchestral compositions have been commissioned by John Adams, the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, and Esprit Orchestra, and have been featured by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Tokyo Symphony, Amazonas Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, among others. Zosha has made appearances with the Chicago Symphony, the L.A. Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in their chamber music serie,s and has worked with many leading new music groups, including Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink, Ekmeles, Yarn/Wire, the NEM, and JACK Quartet.
She was recipient of the 2012 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music for her work, Cortège , and participated in Ircam's Manifeste Festival in Paris, writing an interactive electronic work for ZOO, Thomas Hauert's dance company.
Other recent projects include a new string quartet for the Banff International String Quartet Competition, a two-piano piece for Yarn/Wire, a piece for two percussionists and electronics premiered at Zosha’s Miller Theatre composer portrait concert in December 2016, and a solo piano work for Julia Den Boer, commissioned by the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust Fund.
Upcoming projects include an ongoing solo percussion collaboration with Diego Espinosa, a duo with violinist Jenny Koh, a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress for Steve Schick and ICE, an octet for JACK Quartet and Parker Quartet, and a new work for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano.
Zosha completed her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and Composition at McGill University, and has a doctorate from Columbia University in composition. She is currently the Francis Goelet Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia.
Tania León is a highly regarded composer and conductor recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. She has been the subject of profiles on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision, Telemundo and independent films. Recent commissions include: the score for the opera, The Little Rock Nine, with a libretto by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., commissioned by the University of Central Arkansas's College of Fine Arts and Communications, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and the Fred Darragh Foundation; Acana for orchestra; and Inura for voices, strings and percussion.
Appearances as guest conductor include those with the Symphony Orchestra of Marseille, France the Gewandhausorchester Orchestra, Germany and Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato, Mexico among others. Tania León's honors include the New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award, the ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, she instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, was co-founder of the American Composers Orchestra "Sonidos de las Americas Festivals" and New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic. She has lectured at Harvard University, served as visiting professor at Yale University and as guest composer/conductor at the Hamburg Musikschule, Germany, the Beijing Central Conservatory, China and the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa.
León has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin and SUNY Purchase Colleges. She served as US Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain. A Professor at Brooklyn College since 1985, she was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006. In 2010 Ms. León was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered. Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, and the 2014 - 2015 Elliott Carter Rome Prize. Matthusen is currently Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University.
Jay Alan Yim has received Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, three individual fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, and many other awards for his music, which has been featured at international festivals (Darmstadt, Tanglewood, Ars Musica, Wien-Modern, Sendai, Almeida, Gaudeamus, Huddersfield, ISCM) and performed by the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Nederlands Radio Filharmonisch, Residentie Orkest den Haag, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Boston Musica Viva, Dal Niente, Endymion Ensemble, ICE, London Sinfonietta, Nieuw Ensemble, Ensemble SurPlus, Andiamo String Quartet, Arditti Quartet, JACK Quartet, Spektral Quartet, and soloists such as Frances-Marie Uitti. He has been privileged to work with Daniel Barenboim, Alan Gilbert, Oliver Knussen, James Avery, David Robertson, Ingo Metzmacher, James Wood, Lucas Vis, Stephen Mosko, Claire Heldrich, and Marin Alsop. In 2016 he composed a work inspired by the color vision of bees, “Das Lila der Bienen” for an orchestra of 168 cellos. He lives and works in Amsterdam and Chicago, where he has been a member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1988. He co-founded the intermedia collaborative 'localStyle' with Marlena Novak, and their work has been exhibited internationally in more than forty cities, in festivals, museums, galleries, alternative venues, and public spaces. Their projects focus on exploring the terrain of political and socioeconomic fracture, and addressing our relationship to nonhuman others, via theme ssuch as climate change and resource extraction, the mating behavior of hermaphroditic marine flatworms, experimental blackbird grammar, and the sonification of electric fish from the Amazon.
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. She recently won the Pulitzer Prize for her opera Angel’s Bones.
Known as “protean” and “chameleonic,” The New York Times has called Yun a leading figure in China’s new generation of composers, and her music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations.
As a performance artist, solo engagements include the 2012 Guangzhou Art Triennial (China) at the Guangzhou Opera House, and the National Academy Museum (USA). Her ongoing collaborations of installation-performance-video with the Pakistani visual artist Shahzia Sikander have been on view at the Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, the Tokyo Contemporary Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Pace Foundation (San Antonio), Hong Kong Art Fair 2012, the Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirate), Auckland Art Triennial (New Zealand), Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), and Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh).
Off-Broadway credits include Original Music for David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu (Signature Theatre) and Original Music for Chiori Miyagawa’s Hiroshima Mon Amour (Ohio Theatre). An alumna of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College (BM), and Harvard University (MA, PHD), Du Yun is currently on the faculty of SUNY-Purchase. Since 2014 she has been the Artistic Director of MATA Festival, a pioneering organization dedicated to commissioning and presenting young composers from around the world.
“An indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.” – The New York Times
Founder and Director
Augusta Read Thomas
The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition is supported in part by generous gifts from Kay Bucksbaum and Gay Stanek.