Brian Ciach (pronounced “SIGH-ack“, born 1977) is a composer, new music pianist, and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose music has been described as "remarkably inventive" (Bloomington Herald Times) and "beautifully scored" (New Music Box). Among his works are a Vegetable Requiem for hand-made vegetable ocarinas, Collective Uncommon, a set of orchestra studies inspired by the Mütter Museum (a medical oddities museum in Philadelphia), which calls for amplified cabbages, mac and cheese, and talking dolls in the percussion section of the orchestra, and the one-hour Variations Promethean for piano and electronics which features a fifteen-minute fugue, percussion mallets played on the sides, lid, and strings, and several vibrators thrown into the piano. The winner of the 2017-2018 American Prize and winner of the American Liszt Society Bicentennial Composition Competition, his works have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and Alarm Will Sound, among many others, and he has given world premieres of numerous works as a new music pianist in several concert halls across the US, including Carnegie Hall. Brian holds a Doctor of Music in composition from Indiana University, and two master’s degrees in composition and piano performance, as well as a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Temple University. Brian is the Assistant Director and Instructor of Piano, Music Theory, and Composition at the Hunter School of Music in San Jose, California. His compositions are published by Potenza Music.
Instagram - @Brianciach
Julia Seeholzer is an American composer currently splitting her time between Warsaw, Poland, and Los Angeles, California.
Julia explores narration in her music, shaping timbral spaces around the personal meaning of words. Her vocal works are concerned with engaging with, questioning, and responding to the writers with whom she collaborates, without attempting to speak on their behalf. She is fascinated with the subtle complexities of minimal gestures, and how those can be manipulated over time to form their own narrative bonds within larger structures.
Outside of composition, Julia is heavily involved in the world of video game music. In 2009, she founded the Video Game Music Choir (now PXL8) – an internationally recognized chamber choir that performs video game scores arranged exclusively by and for the group; she directed the group until 2012. Julia often works on arrangements for various projects and collaborations. She regularly works with Videri String Quartet, and has contributed to projects including Harmony of Heroes and Song Cycle: The History of Video Games.
Instagram - @polaroidcupcakes
Kate Moore is a sound artist, visual artist, composer and performer. Her works are directly inspired by the organic shapes and sounds found in nature and lost objects of the natural biosphere, both sonic and visual. In search of shapes, structures and lines unique in form but in harmony with the diversity of living creatures plants and animals, Moore recognizes the correspondence between physical form and resonance. The harmonic sequence of matter, filled with the kinetic energy is present in everything and the transference of sonic currents connects and links all objects. Everything is related in this respect and the fluidity between physical matter and sound are inseparable. It is in this way that Moore’s works are conceived, where the visual and the sonic become one. She is attracted to the invisible world of sound where an object’s sonic potential may only be realized when it is engaged with, pondered and considered, like a hidden treasure, or the possibility that a visual object hidden from the eye may not be silent. In this way the artist is no longer separated from the work but in physical and spiritual being becomes part of the work itself, directly tuning in to the sacredness of the surrounding environment.
An American composer based in London, Arlene Sierra writes music that takes its impetus from rich sources including military strategy and game theory, Darwinian evolution, and the natural world. Her music has been lauded for its “highly flexible and distinctive style” (The Guardian), “by turns, urgent, poetic, evocative, and witty” (American Academy of Art and Letters). Performers of her work include the Tokyo Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Albany Symphony, New York City Opera VOX, London Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble, Psappha, Lontano, Österreichisches Ensemble für neue Musik, the Carducci Quartet, and the Benedetti-Elschenbroich-Grynyuk Trio. Important commissions include Game of Attrition – New York Philharmonic, Art of War – BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Insects in Amber – Carducci Quartet and Cheltenham Music Festival, Neruda Settings – Tanglewood Music Festival, Hand Mit Ringen – Huddersfield Music Festival, Moler– Seattle Symphony, Butterflies Remember a Mountain – Bremen Philharmonic Society, Urban Birds – PRS New Music Biennial, and Nature Symphony – BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Philharmonic.
Declared “a name to watch” by BBC Music Magazine, Arlene Sierra first gained international recognition when her orchestral work Aquilo was awarded the Takemitsu Prize. Subsequent awards have included the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Classical Recording Foundation Composer of the Year, and fellowships including Aspen, Aldeburgh Britten-Pears, and the MacDowell Colony. She has had the honour of Composer Portrait concerts at the Crush Room, Royal Opera House, London, the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival, Vermont, and Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, New York. Sierra’s orchestral showpiece Moler was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.
Lang is one of America's most performed composers. Many of his works resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music — even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.
Composer, singer, bandleader and recording artist TED HEARNE (b.1982, Chicago) draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music's full terrain, to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works.
The New York Times has praised Mr. Hearne for his "tough edge and wildness of spirit," and "topical, politically sharp-edged works." Pitchfork called Hearne's work "some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory -- from any genre," and Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that Hearne's music "holds up as a complex mirror image of an information-saturated, mass-surveillance world, and remains staggering in its impact.”
Ted Hearne was awarded the 2014 New Voices Residency from Boosey and Hawkes, and is a member of the composition faculty at the University of Southern California. Ted's many collaborators include poets Dorothea Lasky and Jena Osman, visual artists Sanford Biggers and Rachel Perry, directors Daniel Fish and Patricia McGregor, and filmmakers Bill Morrison and Jonathan David Kane, and his works have been conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, John Adams and Gustavo Dudamel. Recent and upcoming commissions include orchestral works for the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry, chamber works for Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble dal Niente and Alarm Will Sound, and vocal works for Conspirare, The Crossing and Roomful of Teeth.
Instagram - @Hedtearne