Nina C. Young is a New York-based composer whose music is characterized by an acute sensitivity to tone color, manifested in aural images of vibrant, arresting immediacy. Her experience in the electronic music studio informs her acoustic work, which takes as its given not melody and harmony, but sound itself, continuously metamorphosing from one state to another. Young’s musical voice draws from elements of the classical canon, modernism, spectral music, American experimentalism, minimalism, electronic music, and popular idioms. Her projects strive to create unique sonic environments that can be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences while challenging stylistic boundaries, auditory perception, and notions of temporality.
Young’s works have been presented by Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery, the Whitney Museum, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next on Grand, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series. Her music has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or, the JACK Quartet, mise-en, wildUp, and Yarn/Wire. Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, Young has also received a Koussevitzky Commission, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award, Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, and honors from BMI, IAWM, and ASCAP/SEAMUS.
During the 2016-17 season the American Composers Orchestra premiered Out of whose womb came the ice (commissioned by the Jerome Foundation) for baritone, orchestra, electronics, and generative video, commenting on the ill-fated Ernest Shackleton Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17. Recent commissions include a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh from the Philadelphia Orchestra, a new piece for the New York Philharmonic’s 2019-20 season, and a new work for the EMPAC’s wavefield synthesis audio system with the American Brass Quintet.
A graduate of McGill University and M.I.T., Young completed her D.M.A. at Columbia University. She is an Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of Electronic Music at University of Texas Austin, and Co-Artistic Director of New York’s Ensemble Échappé.
Young will join as a first-time Cabrillo Festival composer in residence for the West Coast premiere of her work, Agnosco Veteris, performed on Opening Night, August 2.