Saturday, September 09, 2006

Calling Young Composers

Wow, I can hardly believe that Making Score is entering its seventh season. It has been a real odyssey.

In 1999 I met with Barry Goldberg, Executive Director of the New York Youth Symphony, to discuss the possibility of doing a workshop with orchestra members interested in composing. The idea developed into a full-blown program for young musicians, age 22 and under, who wish to explore the compositional process. For the past few years, my good friend Lisa Bielawa has been a wonderful cohort, helping the program to expand and mature. Jordan Stokes been an excellent and steadfast Program Manager.

The program consists of 10 seminars held throughout the season. We discuss compositional structure, form, harmony, rhythm, philosophy, and the many issues involved in putting musical ideas down on paper. At the end of the year, members of the Youth Symphony perform music by the program participants on a final concert at the Thalia Theatre (Symphony Space). All students are on scholarship; they pay only for materials + an application fee. The sessions are held at ASCAP, across the street from Lincoln Center.

The deadline for this season's applications is October 2. Application forms can be found here.

At each session, a guest speaker illuminates aspects of composition and instrumentation, and talks about their experience as it relates to the creative process. Our guests this year will include: Carol Wincenc, Midori, David del Tredici, Susie Ibarra, Samuel Adler, DJ Spooky aka that subliminal kid, Steve Mackey, and Chen Yi. I'm grateful to our wonderful past guests, who comprise an impressive list:

Michel van der Aa
Mark Adamo
Eve Beglarian
Greg Beyer
Lisa Bielawa
Michael Boriskin
Gerard Bouwhuis
Gerald Cleaver
John Corigliano
Jon Deak
Wayne DuMaine
Mariano Fernández
Michael Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
John Harbison
Wiek Hijmans
Fred Ho
Heleen Hulst
Billy Hunter
Vijay Iyer
Jennifer Koh
David Lang
Tania León
Lukas Ligeti
Michael Lowenstern
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Jonathan Hart Makwaia
James Markey
Meredith Monk
Valerie Naranjo
Susan Narucki
Paul Neubauer
William Purvis
Steve Reich
Alex Ross
Daniel Bernard Roumain
Christopher Rouse
Mischa Santora
Keren Schweitzer
Fred Sherry
Samuel Z. Solomon
Stephen Sondheim
Andy Statman
Kathleen Supové
Julieta Szewach
Christopher Taylor
Craig Taborn
Karen Tanaka
Michael Torke
Michi Wiancko
Peter Wilson
Julia Wolfe
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Because I don't teach privately or at a University, Making Score is my primary outlet for working with young composers. The big secret is that it's a great learning experience for me. I'm heartened to see that many of our alums have gone on to make their mark on the contemporary music scene here in New York and elsewhere. Go! Go!

To download an application form, please click here. Spread the word!

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