2017 guest composer
Coming from a rock guitar background, Dave Molk embarked on jazz performance until problems with tendonitis lifted his compositional focus to the forefront. Many of Dave's works are for small ensembles and solo instruments, although recent efforts include orchestra, black box theater, and live-remixing/DJing. He writes mainly for pitched and non-pitched percussion, combining sinuous chromaticism with an energized rhythmic propulsion, expressive timbres, and a healthy dose of glitch. Dave earned degrees from Middlebury, Berklee, Tufts, and Princeton and now teaches at Georgetown.
2017 composer fellows
Alex Appel is attempting to narrow the gap between classical music styles and contemporary genres by both composing and performing works for live acoustic percussion with electronics. A native New Yorker, Alex is no stranger to the stage, having performed with large ensembles in American venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Adrienne Arsht Center, and Benaroya Hall, as well as internationally in London, Scotland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and China. He has kept his hands busy during the summer, participating in the Aspen Music Festival, So Percussion Summer Institute, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Hot Springs Music Festival. Alex has also performed with various contemporary chamber groups in intimate venues like the Secret Theatre and Silent Barn and organized an electroacoustic concert event entitled “Volt.” After winning the NYU Percussion Concerto Competition, he performed Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra in front of the NYU Symphony. In 2016, he played in the off-Broadway production of the New York Times Critic’s Pick Di Goldene Kale, as well as alongside So Percussion in A Gun Show. One of the highlights of his career was performing with Mobius Percussion in There Might Be Others, a collaborative work for percussion and dance which received the Bessie Award for Outstanding Musical Composition.
Alex enjoys composing percussion music and has had multiple works performed by the NYU Percussion Ensemble, including a mallet quartet arrangement of Zedd’s “Clarity.” He was commissioned by multiple musicians to write solo pieces for percussion and electronics and premiered one of his own compositions in his Masters Recital in 2015. Alex recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from NYU under the direction of Jonathan Haas. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Miami in the studio of Svet Stoyanov and Matthew Strauss.
Originally from Cleveland, Sullivan received his BM in Music Composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he studied with Mara Helmuth, Michael Fiday, and Miguel Roig- Francoli. While in Cincinnati, Sullivan participated in performing and curating new works by Cincinnati composers. He was a co-Artistic Director of the Red Door New Music Series, an in-home concert. Sullivan has had music performed by Sō Percussion, Hypercube, the CCM Percussion Ensemble, All of the Above, the Hocta Quartet, Brianna Matzke, Kneeplay, and various other ensembles and performers. He has had the opportunity to work with groups such as Hypercube, JACK Quartet, Sō Percussion, and the Freya String Quartet. Sullivan has worked with dancers and choreographers through Charlotte New Music Festival and with the Interactive Sonic Dance (ISD) Research Project, where he worked as a research assistant. ISD was presented at SEAMUS in 2015. Sullivan currently lives in Cleveland.
Kyle Brenn is a composer, musician and actor from Norwalk, Connecticut. He has written and arranged concert, chamber, theatre, film and vocal music. He has been acting professionally since age nine, having appeared on Broadway, television and alongside the New York Philharmonic. As a drummer and percussionist, he has performed with Connecticut Western Region jazz bands, NYU ensembles, and currently plays drums, composes and arranges for jazz fusion music collective C3, who released their debut EP in April 2017. Kyle currently studies composition with Pedro da Silva and percussion with Sean Statser at NYU Steinhardt.
Brian Ciach (pronounced “SIGH-ack”, born 1977) is a composer, new music pianist, and instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose music has been described as "remarkably inventive" (Herald Times) and "beautifully scored" (Aaron Jay Kernis). Dr. Ciach's second piano sonata won first prize in The American Liszt Society International Bicentennial Composition Competition and The National Federation of Music Clubs Emil and Ruth Beyer Composition Award. Brian holds a Doctor of Music degree in composition from Indiana University, two Master's degrees in composition and piano performance from Temple University, and a Bachelor's degree in piano performance from Temple University. Brian is an Instructor of Music Theory at Santa Clara University and the Assistant Director and Instructor of Piano, Piano Improvisation, Music Theory, and Composition at the Hunter School of Music in San Jose, California. His tuba compositions are published by Solid Brass Music.
Avner Finberg is an Israeli-American composer and violinist. He is the winner of a number of national and international honors and awards, including a selection for the 2013 ISCM Festival in Vienna, Austria, the Kirkoskammer Chamber Music Competition award in Dublin, Ireland, and Chamber Music Rochester Composition Competition. Selections from his first opera, A Taste of Damnation, were premiered and as part of Fort Worth Opera’s 2017 Frontiers Showcase. In addition, his compositions were performed on national and international venues by ensemble mise-en, Meitar Ensemble, Ensemble Platypus Wien, the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonic and others.
He started his musical studies on the violin at age eight. He studied violin and composition at The Jerusalem Academy of Music, and later studied composition at Mannes College with Robert Cuckson and at Manhattan School of Music with Susan Botti. He holds a DMA in composition from Manhattan School of music.
Jesse Greenberg is a Queens-based composer, percussionist, and educator. He is composer-in-residence and vibraphonist for new-music/jazz/hip-hop collective ShoutHouse, and plays glockenspiel with Zamler-Carhart/Rauh/Greenberg, an improvisational trio that sets poetic texts in various languages from the 6th century to the present. Other projects include physis (drone, electroacoustic), Circus of Dreams (folk, jazz), and Little Shaman (reggae, dub). Jesse’s compositions and performances have been featured in the Composers Now festival, Harlem Arts Festival, ModFest, Festival Les Troubadours chantent l’art roman, Music for Contemplation, the Call & Response podcast, and at venues throughout NYC as well as France and Belgium. As an educator, Jesse works in early childhood education, is a private music instructor, and brings music to public schools in Manhattan and the Bronx as a teaching artist with 92Y.
Mr.Hubbell graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oberlin Conservatory, studying composition with Randolph Coleman, and electronic and computer music with Gary Lee Nelson. Shortly thereafter, he established Just Music, a music production facility, where he produced hundreds of soundtracks for film, TV and radio including: the best selling Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Series for Random House; The Men who Brought the Dawn (Documentary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), featured in The Smithsonian Museum; Pitching Man (biography of the great black baseball pitcher, Satchel Page, hosted by Billy Dee Williams, featured in the Baseball Hall of Fame and nominated for an Emmy; Anne of Green Gables (12 CD Set for Disney). Mr. Hubbell's soundtrack for Adlertag, the Battle of Britain, received the Gold Cine for best soundtrack. Mr. Hubbell has written extensively for orchestral, chamber and electronic works, that have been performed throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Sunbin is a Korean-born composer and pianist based in New York. His compositions have been performed widely In the United States and Europe, including his orchestral work "Fantasy Concerto," which was premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein. Among numerous awards including 8 times ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award and North/ South consonance, and fellowship at theAspen music Festival. Sunbin's commissions and projects include Solo violin work for Michiko Theurer, Iktus Percussion Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Smash Ensemble, The Ensemble Cantata Profana, New Juilliard Ensemble, Aspen Music Festival, Zodiac Music festival, Charlotte Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Upbeat International summer School. Sunbin holds B.A. in music composition and Physics at Bard College, and an M.M. in composition at The Juilliard School. He will begin his D.M.A. studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
Kyle Krause is a Chicago-based composer and pianist. He currently holds bachelor's degrees in composition and piano performance from Northern Illinois University, where he also won the 2014 School of Music Dean’s Award (for outstanding artistry, contributions, and academic achievement). Kyle has recently completed his master's degree in composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Pulitzer-prize winning composer Kevin Puts. While at Peabody, Kyle was awarded 1st place in the 2016 DeLillo Composition Competition. He was also a finalist in the 2017 BMI Student Composer Competition. His most recent collaborations include writing for Arcomusical, the Milieu Percussion Quartet, and the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival. Kyle will be featured on an upcoming performance by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, as well as a performance at the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale.
Kyle Lewis is a composer currently finishing undergraduate degrees in Music Composition and Music Theory at the University of Georgia. He has studied regularly with Cody Brookshire, Natalie Williams, Peter Van Zandt Lane, and Adam Roberts. His music has been played by Rote Hünd Musik and Duo Damiana. He works and performs in a collaborative project called Guy Did Ail (@GuyDidAil on social media) with visual artist Gunnar Tarsa that explores the balance between predictability and possibility in aleatoric art. Outside of the new music world, he fronts a punkish, metal-type band called We by the Sea. Lately, he’s been interested extended notational systems and how they interact with performers’ cognition of the music, patient pacing, aleatory, subtleties in otherwise homogenous sounds, variety in scale of works, small ideas as art, humor, and framing art from everyday moments.
Jeremy Rapaport-Stein is a Boston-based composer whose work explores visual art and gesture, improvisation, time, voice, and euphoria. Jeremy has written for many leading contemporary music interpreters, including PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Orchestra 2001, Duo Cortona, Guerilla Opera, the Lydian String Quartet, Fear No Music, Modern Brass Initiative, Sound Icon, and Sō Percussion, as well as for members of JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, ekmeles, Talea Ensemble, and Eighth Blackbird. Jeremy is active in the vibrant Boston new music community, enjoying frequent collaboration with local musicians and arts organizations. He currently serves as artistic administrator for Juventas New Music Ensemble. A native of New Jersey, Jeremy holds a BA from Swarthmore College and is currently a PhD student in music theory and composition at Brandeis University, where he is a teaching fellow in the music department.
Sebastian Zel (b.1996) is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, born and raised in Miami Beach, FL, now based out of New York City. He is currently a junior at NYU’s Steinhardt School, where he studies Composition with Ezequiel Viñao, a former student of Olivier Messiaen. Sebastian's compositions have been performed in Miami, Fl, Gainesville, Fl, Waterville, ME, Oberlin, OH, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY.
Sebastian's musical endeavors produce a stylistically varied array of music, which includes chamber music, structured improvisation, electronic & electro-acoustic music, jazz, and hip-hop. His works maintain, across stylistic variety, an interest in rhythm and its exploitation as a dramatic device, and seeks to explore certain proportions and rations through rhythmic application. Sebastian takes immense influence from the great traditions of improvisation in both Western and Non-Western musical worlds.