COMPOSERS & COMMISSIONS

ludwig-2-300x199David Ludwig is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (The New York Times) as well as “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare). In 2013 his choral work, “The New Colossus,” was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet at his second inauguration. This season also features an extensive tour with The East Coast Chamber Orchestra (Virtuosity), a new work for Benjamin Beilman commissioned by Carnegie Hall (Swan Song), and the premiere of his bassoon concerto Pictures from the Floating World commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra for bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. NPR Music selected him as one of the Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the world in 2011.

Ludwig has received commissions and many notable performances from many of the most recognized artists and ensembles of our time. The Grammy Award-winning group eighth blackbird commissioned his work Haiku Catharsis in 2004. In 2006, Ludwig conducted a tour of his Concertino, which was one of the top ten most frequently performed orchestra works by a living composer that year, according to the League of American Orchestras. He joined the Curtis On Tour Ensemble in 2009 for a series of concerts that won critical acclaim for his song-cycle From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayám. Past seasons have featured performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Dresden Music Festival.

An accomplished film composer, Ludwig most recently scored Michael Almareyda’s Cymbeline (2014), selected for showing at the Venice Biennial Film Festival in Italy in September, 2014. The film stars Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, and Penn Badgley and was produced by Academy-Award winning producer Anthony Katagas (Twelve Years a Slave). Variety magazine wrote of Cymbeline: “[the director] has stripped the play down to only the most essential dialogue, filling the remaining space with slick music…”

Recent commissions include Lunaire Variations for Jonathan Biss, Five Ladino Songs for Lara St. John, Josquin Microludes for the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Seasons Lost for Jennifer Koh and Jaime Laredo, Kantigas for Hannah Khoury, Jason Vieux, and Hafez Khotein at World Café Live, and Aria Fantasy for the 25th Anniversary of the Steans Institute at Ravinia. Upcoming projects include a six orchestra consortium commission to write a violin concerto for Bella Hristova, a new piece for the Dover quartet, and a work for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Ludwig is the recipient of the First Music Award, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, as well as awards from New Music USA, American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, the Detroit Chamber Winds, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Choral Arts Philadelphia honored Ludwig as a City Cultural Leader in 2009 and released a recording of his complete choral works in 2012.

Ludwig was the Young Composer in residence at the Marlboro Music School for three consecutive years. In addition to Marlboro, he has been in repeated residence at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies and was a resident artist at the Isabella Gardner Museum. After a three-year residency with the Vermont Symphony funded by Meet the Composer, he is now the permanent New Music Advisor for that orchestra. He is the composer-in-residence and director of composition programs at the Atlantic Music Festival, Lake Champlain Festival, the Lake George Festival, and is the Artistic Director of the Curtis Young Artist Summer Program. Additionally, he has served on the faculty of Yellow Barn and the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute. Active abroad, Ludwig was in residence at the Shanghai International Summer Music Festival in 2012, and is the resident composer for the STUDIO2021 Ensemble at Seoul National University. He is in residence for the Kingston Chamber Music Festival for their 25th Anniversary Season and the 2015 Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angel Fire.

Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of eminent musicians. His grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin and his great-grandfather, violinist Adolf Busch. His teachers include John Corigliano, Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon, Richard Hoffmann, and Ned Rorem. He holds degrees from Oberlin, The Manhattan School, Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig is on the composition faculty of the Curtis Institute where he serves as the Gie and Lisa Liem Dean of Artistic Programs and as the director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble.

The music of Steven Snowden has been described as “Beguiling… combining force with clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “Wonderfully dynamic” (Interlude Hong Kong), “Rustic, red-blooded” (New Music Box), and “Marvelously evocative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Writing music for dance, theater, multi-media installations, and the concert stage, he is equally at home writing acoustic and electro-acoustic music and has taken a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and live electronic audio manipulation as a tool for improvisation.

Snowden’s work often deals with concepts of memory, nostalgia, and the cyclic nature of historical events as they pertain to modern society. While his musical influences are deeply rooted in bluegrass, folk, and rock, he utilizes non-traditional techniques and processes to compose works that don’t squarely align with any single genre or style.

A native of the Ozarks countryside, he began composition studies in 2002 at Missouri State University and subsequently earned his Masters degree at the University of Colorado and Doctorate at the University of Texas. In 2012-2013 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, researching and implementing motion tracking technology as a means to facilitate collaboration between music and dance. In 2013-2014, he was a visiting professor and composer in residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is the co-founder/director of the Fast Forward Austin Music Festival. He currently works as a freelance composer and is on an eternal quest to make the perfect breakfast taco.

Paul Dooley’s music has been described as “impressive and beautiful” by American composer Steve Reich. Mr. Dooley’s path has embraced not only his Western Classical heritage, but also a cross-cultural range of contemporary music, dance, art, technology and the interactions between the human and natural worlds.

At the University of Michigan, Dooley has co-directed the 2009 Midwest Composers Symposium and in 2010 was coordinator of the ONCE. MORE. Festival, a 50 year anniversary of the ONCE Festival of Contemporary Music. He studied composition primarily with composers Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke, Charles Sepos and Doc Collins.

Dooley’s recent orchestral work includes: Mavericks (2015), inspired by the legendary surf break off the shore of Half Moon Bay in Northern California, commissioned by the American Youth Symphony, and premiered in Disney Hall in March 2015 conducted by Alexander Treger; Masks and Machines (2014), inspired by the artwork of Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer and composer Igor Stravinsky, commissioned by the Charleston Symphony; Coast of Dreams (2014), inspired by early Los Angeles activist Charles Lummis, premiered by the Los Angeles-based Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, conducted by Roger Kalia, and by the Amarillo Symphony conducted by Jacomo Rafael Bairos; Run for the Sun (2013), commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony, and premiered in March 2013 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Joshua Gersen; Point Blank (2011) premiered by Santa Cruz’s Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and New York City-based new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound. In 2010, Mr. Dooley was commissioned by San Francisco Ballet Principle Dancers Muriel Maffre and Damian Smith to create a project for Marina Abramovic Institute West Making Visible (2010).

Dooley’s band compositions Point Blank (2012) and Masks and Machines (2015) were recently commissioned by consortiums organized by the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble conducted by Gary Green, and performed at venues such as the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference and The Midwest Clinic. Dooley’s Meditation at Lagunitas (2014) was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and the University of Florida, and premiered at the ABA Annual Conference. In 2012, Dooley was composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. This featured the premiere of Salt of the Earth (2012) for brass ensemble and percussion, conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. Dooley is currently collaborating with librettists Cameron Jackson and Jessica Cox on a new multi-media opera, Gate of Ivory Gate of Horn (2017).

Other performances of Dooley’s music include those by the Charlotte Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, American Philharmonic, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, a masterclass with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,and a reading by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Mr. Dooley has received a wide range of prizes for his work, including: the William D. Revelli Composition Prize co-winner for Masks and Machines (2015), the 2013 Jacob Druckman Award for orchestral composition for Point Blank (2012), a 2010 BMI composer award for Gradus (2009) for solo cello, a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Award for Dani’s Dance (2007) for piano trio, a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass with Christopher Rouse.

Hailed as a “confident new musical voice” (The New York Times) and a “fully-grown composing talent” (The Washington Post), Chris Rogerson’s music has been praised for its “virtuosic exuberance” and “haunting beauty” (The New York Times). He has received commissions and performances from orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony. His collaborators in chamber music include the Attacca, Brentano, Dover, JACK, and Jasper Quartets, artists such as Ida Kavafian, Anne-Marie McDermott, and David Shifrin, as well as distinguished members of the Guarneri and Orion Quartets. His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, and Symphony Center in Chicago.

Chris has been named the Composer-in-Residence for the Amarillo Symphony for 2014-2016; as part of the residency, the orchestra will commission a work to be premiered each season in addition to performing existing compositions. Other upcoming works include a new orchestral work for the Oregon Symphony and a clarinet concerto for New York Philharmonic principal clarinetist Anthony McGill. Recent commissions have also come from the Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia.

In 2012, Chris was honored with a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A Theodore Presser Career Grant recipient, he has also won the Aaron Copland Award, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, two BMI Student Composer Awards, the Aspen Music Festival Jacob Druckman Award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, and prizes from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, the National Association for Music Education, the New York Art Ensemble, and Third Millennium Ensemble.

Chris has been in residence at Copland House, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Ucross Foundation. He has also been Composer-in-Residence for the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival, Protege Composer-in-Residence at Chamber Music Northwest, Young Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angel Fire, and a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival, and the Norfolk New Music Workshop.

Born in 1988, Chris studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, and Princeton University with Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, and Steve Mackey. Chris is represented by Young Concert Artists, Inc.; he served as YCA Composer-in-Residence from 2010-2012. He also is one of two composers on the roster of the newly formed Manhattan Chamber Players. In 2012, he co-founded Kettle Corn New Music, a new music presenting organization in New York City, and currently serves as its co-artistic director.

Composer and arranger Sheridan Seyfried (b. 1984) is a native of Philadelphia, where he grew up playing violin in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Educated in composition at the Curtis Institute and the Manhattan School, where he worked with composers including Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon and Ned Rorem, Sheridan has since received commissions and performances from many notable names, including clarinetist David Shifrin, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, Anne-Marie McDermott and 2009 Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition winner Ray Chen. His 2013 Violin Concerto was premiered by violinist Dennis Kim with conductor Beni Shwartz leading Finland’s Tampere Philharmonic. Sheridan is currently writing an work for organist Paul Jacobs. Equally at home composing and arranging, Sheridan has worked on several interesting arranging projects, most significantly a concert-length cantata of folk music from the Holocaust, Voices of the Holocaust, set for large chorus, soloists and strings, which premiered in 2004 and has since been heard more than a dozen times in North and South America. He has also arranged for Play On, Philly!, one of Philadelphia’s El Sistema-based programs. An active keyboard performer and teacher, Sheridan is the organist and choir director of Grace Lutheran Church in Wyndmoor, PA, the head of the music program at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion, PA, and plays piano for the Keystone State Boychoir. He maintains a small private composition and piano studio of his own. During the summers, Sheridan is a composition teacher at the Atlantic Music Festival (ME). He has previously served on the music theory faculties of both the Curtis Institute (2008-2012) and Mannes College, the New School for Music (2010-2014).

2017 commission


Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra
premiered by violinists Nikki and Timmy Chooi and
made possible by Charles and Judith Freyer

Sheridan Seyfried

2017 commission


Concerto for Percussion
premiered by Lisa Pegher

Paul Dooley

2013 commission

Brendan Faegre
The Brightness of Light

2014 commission

Michael Djupstrom
A Stave for Lake George

2015 commission

Harry Stafylakis
Arc of Horizon