You’ll find yourself at the very center of contemporary music-making with a special concert featuring new works by three young composers—Yi-Yiing Chen, Michael Gilbertson and Jules Pegram—conducted in rotation by six emerging conductors, the culmination of the prestigious Conductors/Composers Workshop. The concert is a chance to hear new voices now shaping the future of orchestral music, and a fascinating look at variations offered by a conductor’s interpretation. Don’t miss the excitement when the creative sparks fly!
2017 In the Works Composers
Born in Taiwan, Yi Yiing Chen’s music has been described as “very different, showing the composer’s versatility and breadth of range and influence” and “an exciting amalgam of eastern and western styles (The Boston Musical Intelligencer).” Her works have been performed at numerous festivals such as Tanglewood, the Asian Composers League Festival and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. Awards include the Tanglewood Music Center’s Elliott Carter Memorial Composer Fellowship, the LungShan Temple Scholarship, the NEC Honors Ensemble composition, the NEC Symphony Composition Competition and the NTNU Presidential Scholarship. Most recently, she was awarded the 2nd Prize in the 2016 NACUSA Young Composers Competition and was elected to be the Composer Fellow of Collage New Music for 2016-2017.
Besides writing music, Chen is also an active pianist, recently presenting a solo piano recital in Taiwan and is an affiliated artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She frequently performs primarily in Boston and New York and have previously served as a concert pianist of the NEC Concert Choir and performed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, New England Chinese Professionals Lunar New Year Gala and the Primrose International Viola Competition & Festival. Chen also plays flute, Chinese bamboo flute and Dulcimer.
Chen has studied or worked with many other talented musicians, including John Harbison, Oliver Knussen, Bright Sheng and Dimitri Murrath. Currently she is a DMA candidate at the New England Conservatory studying with Prof. John Heiss and Prof. Michael Gandolfi funded by NEC’s Francis Judd Cooke Scholarship. She also teaches at NEC, MIT, Yamaha Music School of Boston and Children’s Music Center of J.P.. She previously received her MM from the Manhattan School of Music and BA from the National Taiwan Normal University, where her mentors included Richard Danielpour, Mao-Shuan Chen, Gordon Chin, Kris Falk, Nils Vigeland, Reiko Füting and Richard Sussman.
The works of Michael Gilbertson have been described as “elegant” and “particularly beautiful” by The New York Times, “vivid, tightly woven” and “delectably subtle” by the Baltimore Sun, and “genuinely moving” by the Washington Post. Gilbertson holds degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied composition with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and from Yale, where he studied with Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Ezra Laderman, Hannah Lash, and Christopher Theofanidis. Gilbertson’s works have been programmed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Washington National Opera, Albany Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, New England Philharmonic, Cheyenne Symphony, and professional choirs including Musica Sacra, The Crossing, and The Esoterics. In March, 2016, he was MusicalAmerica Magazine’s featured New Artist of the Month. In 2017, he will begin a three-year tenure as composer in residence with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.
Gilbertson’s music has earned five Morton Gould Awards from ASCAP, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a BMI Student Composer Award. Gilbertson’s music can be heard in the 2006 documentary Rehearsing a Dream, which was nominated for an Academy Award. His published music includes choral works with Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer, and orchestral works with Theodore Presser. Gilbertson’s opera Breaking was commissioned by the Washington National Opera and premiered at The Kennedy Center in November, 2013. His fifth ballet, a collaboration with choreographer Norbert De La Cruz, was premiered by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in 2013.
In 2009, Gilbertson founded an annual music festival, ChamberFest Dubuque, which brings young classical artists to his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa for concerts and educational outreach. He has taught at The Walden School, The Educational Center for the Arts, and as an instructor and lecturer at Yale. In fall 2017 he will join the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Composer Jules Pegram writes music modern in its sensibility and sophisticated in its craft, yet full of shimmering colors, boundless energy, and an unbridled lyricism that make it refreshingly direct.
In 2016, Pegram was selected to participate in both the inaugural Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive and the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, culminating in the conducting and recording of two new cues for orchestra at Warner Brothers Studios’ Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage and at 20th Century Fox Studios’ Newman Scoring Stage, respectively. For his work, Pegram received the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Film & TV Award, presented each summer to an outstanding writer who has participated in the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in Los Angeles.
Pegram’s SHADOWS OF THE STUDIO for Orchestra was selected for the 2015 Underwood New Music Readings, hosted by the American Composers Orchestra in New York. In 2013, Pegram’s NEON NIGHTS for Orchestra was named the winning composition in both the Marilyn K. Glick and Symphony in C Young Composers Competitions and was subsequently performed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphony in C, respectively.
Pegram is a recipient of The ASCAP Foundation’s 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award for CRUSH for Eight Cellos, and his VALENTINES for Soprano and Piano recently received Honorable Mention designation in the 2017 Art Song Composition Award competition hosted by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Other awards include the Presser Foundation’s Undergraduate Scholar Award, the University of Southern California’s Discovery Scholars prize, the Sadye J. Moss Endowed Music Composition Prize, and honors in the Green Dot Journey and Indiana State University’s Music Now competitions. Pegram has been recognized as an Outstanding Graduate of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music’s Department of Composition.
Aside from composing, Pegram plays piano, conducts, and has served as pianist for the University of Michigan Symphony Band and Contemporary Directions Ensemble. In recent years, Pegram has devoted great time and energy to the study of film music history and American cinema at large, and as an Instrumental Music Teaching Assistant at the North Carolina Governor’s School has presented lectures on Hollywood film scores from the Golden Age to the present. He currently serves as a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan where he teaches Music Theory and Aural Skills for the Musical Theatre department.
Pegram received the Master of Music in Composition and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan, where he has studied with Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, Kristin Kuster, Paul Schoenfeld, and Bright Sheng. He received the Bachelor of Music in Composition summa cum laude from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Oscar nominee Bruce Broughton, Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, Morten Lauridsen, Erica Muhl, Frank Ticheli, and USC Trojan Marching Band arranger Tony Fox. He has studied conducting with Jerry Blackstone, David Newman, Mark Norman, and Angel Velez, among others, classical piano with Alin Melik-Adamyan, Jeanette Fang, and Louis Nagel, and jazz piano with Ellen Rowe and Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante.
Photo at top: rr jones