The music of Alexandra du Bois (MM The Juilliard School; BM Indiana University) has been performed in concert halls throughout five continents—her travels connecting her tangibly to the countries that inform and inspire her work. Her music has been praised as “powerfully evocative music with a rich sense of harmony and color” (Brooklyn Rail), as “offering an extraordinary interface between traditional and avant-garde” (New Zealand Herald) “an impressively sustained essay in musical melancholy” (The Guardian, London), “astonishing” and “an unerring sense of beauty” (Los Angeles Times), “stunning” (BBC Manchester),” “well-made and deeply sincere” (New York Times), and as “music with beauty and heart” (Huffington Post).
Alexandra du Bois is a Manhattan-based composer and violinist whose deep musical imagery has continually attracted commissions created to honor (or mourn) world events both historical and contemporary. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “an intense,
luminous American composer,” “one of America's most promising young composers,” as having “found a voice when many people were speechless” (Kronos Quartet founder) and by the New York Times as “a painter who knows exactly where her picture will be hung,”
her music is often propelled by issues of indifference and inequality throughout the United States and the world. “This music attempts to be a conscience in a time of
oblivion. She dared, [in ‘An Eye for an Eye’], to counter abuses of moral authority with an internal, personal sound using the string quartet as a witness, a reminder, that music and creativity are part of a continuing web of responsibility,” stated Kronos Quartet
founder and violinist David Harrington in 2003.
As a composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, solo, collaborative and multi-discipline works, Alexandra du Bois has received commissions from, among others, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s,
The Beaux Arts Trio, Kronos Quartet, Apollo Chamber Players, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Savannah Music Festival with Daniel Hope & Friends, Present Music with the Milwaukee Choral Artists and the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, PALS Children’s Chorus Boston, Southwest Chamber Music, New York Classical Players, Bargemusic,
Merkin Concert Hall, Bang on a Can Festival, Azure Ensemble, Maya Trio, The University of Massachusetts at Boston’s Chorus and Chamber Singers and the Piano Project at the Kaufman Music Center.
Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia and a Northeast coast resident for most of her life, du Bois found her early musical voice through the violin, beginning lessons at the age of two years old. After a move to rural Virginia, she began hearing music in the natural world around her. It was this intimate connection to nature and the sea that inspired her to begin
composing and underscores her music to this day. Further performances and premieres of her works have been presented by ensembles including JACK Quartet, American Modern Ensemble, Boston Conservatory Orchestra, Felici Trio, ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, Serenata of Santa Fe, Tribeca New Music Festival, New Music Detroit, among others, at venues including Théàtre de la Ville, Paris; Carnegie Hall, New York; Teatro Gran Rex, Buenos Aries; Barbican Hall, London; Centro Kursaal, San Sebastián, City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney, Australia,
Khachaturian Concert Hall, Yerevan, Armenia, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, the Netherlands, Hanoi Opera House, Ha Noi, Vietnam, and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, among many others.
Du Bois has been Composer-in- Residence at Dartmouth College; Carnegie Hall through Weill Institute's Professional Training Workshop Kronos: Signature Works, Merkin Concert Hall, the Harrison House, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Mammoth Lakes Music Festival and with Southwest Chamber Music throughout Vietnam and Los Angeles. Her
grants, scholarships and awards include those from the Netherland-America Foundation, The Juilliard School, UMASS-Boston, Kronos: Under 30 Project, Indiana University, Kuttner Quartet Award, NewMusicUSA and The BMI Foundation. Her works and arrangements have been released on Harmonia Mundi, Kronos Quartet and Perspectives Recordings labels. Du Bois is a member of BMI and has lived in Manhattan since 2005.
Molly Joyce’s music has been described as “impassioned” (The Washington Post), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “vibrant, inventive music that communicates straight from the heart” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Her works have been commissioned and performed by several distinguished ensembles including the New World Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the New Juilliard, Decoda, and Contemporaneous ensembles and at the Bang on a Can Marathon.
The 2016-17 season will see the first commercial releases of Molly’s music, both on New Amsterdam Records. These releases include Molly’s debut solo release, featuring two violin and electronics pieces performed by violinists Monica Germino and Adrianna Mateo, and a work on Bang on a Can All-Stars member Vicky Chow’s album of electroacoustic piano compositions. In addition, Molly will continue her wide variety of performances and collaborations involving her vintage toy organ, including the premiere of an evening-length set on theUncertainty Music Series, and a collaboration with choreographer Ying Cai for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas Festival, both in New Haven, CT.
Past seasons have seen commissions from performers such as Avi Avital, Vicky Chow, Present Music, and the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble, among others. Additionally, Molly has received grants from New Music USA, the Jerome Fund / American Composers Forum, and has held a residency at ArtCenter/ South Florida.
As a performer, Molly often performs on her vintage Magnus toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay and has performed on in multiple capacities; including solo, with toy piano, and with a beatboxer. She is also a founding member of the Catchpenny Composers’ Collective / Ensemble based in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Also an active participant in other aspects of the music industry, Molly is currently the Digital Content Manager for New Amsterdam Presents/Records and has served as an assistant to Glenn Kotche, Missy Mazzoli, Sarah Kirkland Snider,and Shara Worden, among others. A committed teaching artist, she currently teaches as part of Yale’s Music in Schools Initiative in the New Haven Public Schools.
Molly received a Bachelor of Music degree with Scholastic Distinction from The Juilliard School, studying with Samuel Adler and Christopher Rouse. As a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant, she studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium with Martijn Padding and Guus Janssen. She currently studies at the Yale School of Music with Hannah Lash and Christopher Theofanidis.
D. J. Sparr merges art-concert craft with influences from music he performed as a young guitarist. For the performance of Sparr’s BMI/Boudleax Bryant Fund Commission for eighth blackbird, the Albuquerque Tribune wrote: “… in the sextet’s piece ‘The Glam Seduction,’ the 1980s rock music of Eddie Van Halen meets the instrumentation of Niccolo Paganini. … The result: Paganini on coke.”
D. J. Sparr recently completed his tenure as the 2011-2014 Young American Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony where his works were premiered by Nicholas McGegan, Donato Cabrera, and Robert Treviño. He was also involved in educational programs in the schools and community at large, visiting local schools to discuss the ideas and changes surrounding the commissions and to work with music students. His first work, Optima Vota: Overture-Fantasia received rave reviews. “It spouts streams of colors, which keep rising up like Old Faithful at Yellowstone…The piece shimmers and moves in waves, turns iridescent and wondrous. There’s something about it that evokes the exhilaration of childhood: sparklers on the Fourth of July, that sort of thing. It grows, pulses, leaps to its pop-Romantic apex and ends like a lullaby.” – San Jose Mercury News
Recent world premieres have been performed by Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and Amsterdam’s Hexnut. Sparr’s music has been commissioned and performed by groups such as the Albany Symphony, the Berkshire Symphony, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Band, the League of Composers’ Orchestra, the Los Angeles “Debut” Orchestra, New Music Detroit, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the University of Washington, the Verge Ensemble, Wet Ink and Yale University.
D. J. was awarded the $10,000 grand prize in the orchestra category of the BMG/Williams College National Young Composers Competition and was an alternate for the 1998-99 Rome Prize. He received BMI Student Composer Awards in 1995 and 2000 and has received awards and recognition from the American Music Center, the Composers’ Guild, Eastman School of Music, George Washington University, New York Youth Symphony, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
An accomplished electric guitarist, Sparr has appeared as a soloist alongside conductors such as Marin Alsop, Joana Carneiro, Neil Gittleman, and Joachim Jousse. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times says,“D. J. Sparr was a terrific soloist.” and the Santa Cruz Sentinel writes, “Soloist D.J. Sparr wowed an enthusiastic audience…Sparr’s guitar sang in a near-human voice.” He has performed electric guitar concertos with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Italy, the Alabama Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival of New Music, and the Great Noise Ensemble. As a chamber musician, he has appeared with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, The Firebird Ensemble, and New Music Raleigh. D. J. is a sponsored artist of JHS Guitars in Vantaa, Finland; he plays the JHS Rocktor (D. J. Sparr signature model). D. J. sponsored composer Armando Bajolo’s successful application for a Fromm Foundation commission from Harvard University to write “Little Black Book” for solo electric guitar.
D. J. is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA). His principal teachers include Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, Sydney Hodkinson, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner and Augusta Read Thomas. He studied with John Harbison at the Aspen Music Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival and was an Associate Artist-in-Residence under Aaron Jay Kernis at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Sparr was the composer-in-residence for the Richmond Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Department (2009-11); and has been a faculty member at the Walden School for Musicians. A native of Baltimore, Md., he lives in the Wild West with his wife Kimberly and their two dogs, Lloyd and Nannette.
Dorian Wallace is a composer, improviser and pianist of contemporary classical music, new music, radical avant-garde, spontaneous improvisation and free jazz. His works encompass chamber ensembles, orchestral, opera, classical dance, vocal, percussion, electronic, improvisation, large jazz ensemble, and film. He is an activist for secularism, human rights, and homelessness.
He is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Tenth Intervention, a contemporary classical presenter in New York City. Tenth Intervention includes The Tenth Intervention Ensemble, a contemporary classical chamber ensemble with a flexible roster, The Free Sound Ahn-somble, an inventive and improvisational septendectet, and Trystero, a surreal night-club act that constructs theatrical performances and electronic music.
Notable work includes We Are Legion, an immersive chamber work inspired by the hacktivist collective, Anonymous, The Rest !s Sh!t: Stories from the Microchasm, an opera-for-television, and his performance of Buddy, "The World's Greatest Piano Player" in Robert Ashley's opera-for-television Perfect Lives.
He has received commissions, performed and recorded with artists such as Robert Ashley, John Sanborn, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, Frank London, Dave Liebman, Seneca Black, The Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio, Experiments In Opera, Composers Concordance, 42nd Parallel, Paperwing Ensemble, New Vintage Baroque, 1685, LottDance, The Shekinah Big Band, RIOULT Dance NY, 10 Hairy Legs, Alison Cook Beatty Dance, The Gwen Rakotovao Company, Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, The Median Movement and TRIODance. His music has been performed in New York City, Bangkok, Cleveland, Paris, Mexico City, Chicago, Canton, and Los Angeles. He composed the score to Hernando Bensuelo's award winning film ”Last Look”, Tiger Chengliang Cai's "Six Dreams about A City", and the upcoming documentary “Requiem For A Bird” by Cylixe. Wallace is a staff musician and composer for dance at Barnard College of Columbia University, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Juilliard School, Ballet Hispanico, Kat Wildish and Doug Varone and Dancers.
He studied Music Composition with Sebastian Birch, Pat Pace, Tom Janson, Frank Wiley and Chas Baker at Kent State University. He has served 7 years in the US Army National Guard and is a member of the 63rd Army Band. Dorian currently resides in Harlem, New York City with his partner, violinist Hajnal Pivnick.
Shi An’s music is described as “comic and faintly chilling…” and with “inventive color” by the Chicago Classical Review. He has been performed by International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, ThingNY, Timepoint Ensemble, various soloist friends including Ben Reimer, Sandra Shen, Francis Yun, Marina Kifferstein and Sebastian Huydts. Andy has received commissions from Palomar Ensemble, Sarah Albu’s Trickpony, and most recently, Brianna Matzke and Hajnal Pivnick. His music has been performed throughout Canada and the U.S. Shi An is also a pianist and actor, described as "a precise, engaged, welcoming performer unafraid of deep ambiguities" by the Chicago Reader. "[He] finds the depth in every note", composer Philippe Leroux has stated of Shi An's (piano) playing. He served as visiting artist in the composition department of Boston Conservatory in 2013-14, and is a frequent guest artist at festivals and institutions across North America. He currently lives in Chicago where he runs the Morton Feldman Chamber Players, in partnership with the Experimental Sound Studio.
Nate May is a composer whose music draws on research and imagination, often treating contemporary issues of place, migration, environment, and identity with textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and a taste for repurposed sounds. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a “fascination, love, and respect for the people” of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State, premiered by singer Kate Wakefield, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir—MUSE, and a percussion ensemble in April 2016, and his monodrama, Dust in the Bottomland—set in present-day West Virginia and sung by lyric bass Andrew Munn—which has been performed twelve times in seven states and broadcast on radio and television. Large-scale collaborations include the world-touring work Spiral by choreographer/dancer Wanjiru Kamuyu and Kalahari Waits, the debut album of indigenous poetry and music trio Khoi Khonnexion, produced during a year in South Africa. Trained in piano improvisation, he has played in the bands Baby Houdini and Firemaggot and with Anna Roberts-Gevalt of the old-time duo Anna & Elizabeth. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.F.A., Jazz and Contemplative Studies) and Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (M.M., Composition), where he studied with Geri Allen, Ellen Rowe, Stephen Rush, Miguel Roig-Francolí, and Michael Fiday. His work has received support from the Telluride Association, ArtsWave, People’s Liberty, and the Berea College Appalachian Sound Fellowship.
William Ayers is a music theorist, composer, and teacher working in the Cincinnati area. He is a PhD candidate in music theory and a Graduate Student Fellow at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Born and raised in Tennessee, Will’s compositions often draw on experiences of life in the Mid-South. His works incorporate elements of process and often reconsider or reformulate compositional styles from the twentieth century.
Will’s research focuses on twentieth-century American music, mathematical models for music, and music in interactive media. He has forthcoming works on the analysis of narrative in video game music and on the structure and compositional application of non-twelve-tone equal temperaments.
In addition to his research and composing, Will is a dedicated teacher of music theory and musical analysis at CCM. His pedagogy promotes active learning while engaging both traditional and modern musical styles.
Will holds degrees from Belmont University in Nashville and the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.