Creative Spaces

I enjoyed reading Kate Guadagnino’s recent article in the New York Times Magazine, “The Rooms Where Writers Work.”  As the title implies, it’s a look at the physical spaces where writers do their writing, what I would consider the literal “creative space.”  While it only provides profiles of writers, the article’s concerns could just as easily be applied to the… Read more →

With age comes…

I enjoyed reading this almost-year-old but always timely article by Aaron Gervais on newmusicbox about the joys and struggles of the composer’s ageing process.  We’re not talking about the post-retirement ageing process and 4pm dinners at Denny’s that come with it, but rather the dreaded move from a composer’s twenties to a composer’s  thirties and then to….Well, we were never… Read more →


I’m taking a moment from Hong Kong’s summer heat and Typhoon Merbok to report on a few things since the last post.  First, I had a lovely time presenting my music at Taipei National University of the Arts.  This was my first time in Taiwan, and although it was brief, I got a sense of some of the charms of… Read more →

Taipei 101

Very happy to be spending some time in Taipei.  This is my first time in the city and first time in Taiwan as well.  It is a place that has been calling me for many years by way of friends and stories of bubble tea and night markets. But, alas, I am here to work!  Tomorrow I will be presenting… Read more →


I have just received a video of the performance portion of my February 3 lecture at HKBU.  I very much enjoyed sharing some of my music and ways of thinking about music with my colleagues and students.  Special thanks again to violinist Gary Ngan and pianist Kawai Chan for their wonderful playing.  Here is their performance of my 2003 work,… Read more →

Sandburg at Penn

New music lovers in the Philadelphia area should mark their calendars for an upcoming performance by soprano Jamie Jordan and pianist Steven Beck at the University of Pennsylvania on February 22.  Jamie and Steve are among the best in the business, and I’m so glad they’ll be presenting a selection of my Sandburg Songs at Penn.  This will be the… Read more →

HKBU Lecture-Recital

I enjoyed introducing my music to students and colleagues during my lecture recital at Hong Kong Baptist University on Friday.  Part of our weekly colloquium series, the lecture recital featured performances of two older works of mine.  immaus, for solo violin, was performed with passion and sensitivity by violinist Gary Ngan.  It’s been great to hear so many unique interpretations… Read more →

MacDowell Residency

I’m honored to have been awarded a residency at MacDowell Colony.  MacDowell is the oldest artist colony in the US and carries a storied history of artists (Bernstein and Copland are among its many famous composer fellows.) having created while in residence there.  Like other fellowships I’ve received–including Yaddo and Camargo–MacDowell affords artists a priceless gift: a contemplative, distraction-free place… Read more →

Bright Lights, Big City

I’m delighted to share the news that I have accepted a tenure-track position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University.  In this role I will teach composition and related courses to a group of talented young composers and musicians. I visited Hong Kong as a presenter at the Annual Conference of the Asian Studies… Read more →

soundSCAPE in Review

The 2016 soundSCAPE Festival has come to a close, and my ears are buzzing with the sounds of two weeks of intense music making and teaching.  Of course the highlight for me was last night’s premiere of my complete Sandburg Songs, a five-movement song cycle for soprano and seven instruments with texts from Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems.  Selections from the… Read more →

Oberlin Notes

It was wonderful to hear soprano Sage DeAgro-Ruopp and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble perform a selection of four of my Sandburg Songs at Oberlin Conservatory on May 4.  Under the direction of Tim Weiss, these young musicians gave a confident account that emphasized the music’s coloristic and rhythmic shifts.  Sage handled the vocal part with ease.  Her precise pitch and… Read more →

Oberlin Webcast

For those who cannot make it to the performance of my Sandburg Songs tonight at Oberlin Conservatory, I’m happy to report that there will be a live webcast streaming here at 8pm EST.  The concert also includes works by Christopher Dietz, Christopher Stark, and Thea Musgrave. Read more →

Celebrations Recording Release

I’m happy to share the news of the release of a CD recording of my work, Celebrations, for 18-string kayagŭm, on Jung Gil Seon’s Gayageum Creative Works Series VII: “Sanjo & Sanjo.”  This work was premiered at the National Gugak Center, Korea’s national center for traditional performing arts in Seoul, by Jung Gil Seon in 2013.  The CD also includes works by Donald… Read more →

Sandburg at Oberlin

I’ve updated the events page to include the premiere of my complete Sandburg Songs, which will take place Wednesday, May 4 at 8pm at Warner Concert Hall at Oberlin Conservatory.  The performance by Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and a soprano TBA will be led by Tim Weiss.  (Tim will also lead the Italian premiere of the complete Sandburg Songs this… Read more →

Brush Creek Residency

2016 is shaping up to be a busy year.  In addition to my residency at Willapa Bay AiR and teaching at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy, I am happy to share the news that I will also be in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.  I’m very excited to set foot in the state of Wyoming for… Read more →

Lynn Blakeslee (1940-2015)

Although I was a composition major as an Eastman undergraduate, I have often joked that I was “yelled at” just as much as the other violinists.  The woman doing that yelling—though always with loving intent—was Lynn Blakeslee, an exquisite violinist and master teacher who died suddenly in August at age 75.  I traveled to Rochester this past weekend to attend… Read more →

soundSCAPE 2016 Composer Fellow

I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to serve as the soundSCAPE Festival’s Composer Fellow in 2016 and will be returning to Italy next summer to teach private composition lessons to the festival’s approximately two dozen composition students—representing many of the top music programs in the nation—and to assist with the administration of the composition program.  In… Read more →

Willapa Bay Residency

I’m very happy to have been selected for a residency at Willapa Bay AiR in Oysterville, WA next summer.  This is a relatively new residency in a very beautiful part of the country, and I’m looking forward to making a lot of new music and getting to know my fellow artists over what will certainly be some delicious local meals.  (That was… Read more →

UMBC Lecture

I’m delighted to be presenting my music to students and colleagues at UMBC tomorrow afternoon and plan to focus on three different works: Sandburg Songs, my current project, a portion of which was premiered in Italy at the SoundSCAPE Festival last summer; In Search of Planet X, a work from 2009 that shows a bit of what I think about… Read more →

Lunar Ensemble: Old Text Woven New

I had the pleasure of attending Friday night’s season opening concert by the Lunar Ensemble, a young, virtuosic, and energetic new music ensemble and Ensemble-in-Residence for the Baltimore War Memorial Arts Initiative.  Led by the brilliant Gemma New, a conductor whose talents I witnessed two years ago when we were both fellows at Aspen, the concert offered three viewpoints on… Read more →

Resonant Bodies

I enjoyed Zachary Woolfe’s review of the Resonant Bodies Festival in Friday’s New York Times. It featuring an amazing trio of new music sopranos–Tony Arnold, Lucy Shelton, and Dawn Upshaw–in performances of works by a grand selection of contemporary composers, including my former teacher, David Liptak.  I especially enjoyed Woolfe’s description of Tony Arnold: “Her eyes wide and piercing, Tony… Read more →

Sounds of Being

The concert season at UMBC got off to an great start last night with a solo performance by violist Jessica Meyer.  As a member of the ensemble counter)induction, Meyer is an experienced presenter of contemporary music, and it was clear from the start that she thrives on exploring the viola’s full expressive capacity, regardless of stylistic boundaries.  Through the hour-long… Read more →


After thirteen years in the City of Brotherly Love, I have relocated to Baltimore, where I am teaching at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  I am especially excited to be connected with UMBC because of its new music focus, which includes the faculty ensemble, Ruckus, and an annual contemporary music concert series, Livewire.  Beyond the UMBC campus, Baltimore is… Read more →

JACK in Ottawa

While in Ottawa I was happy to attend a performance by the JACK Quartet as part of the Ottawa Chamberfest.  The JACK Quartet is close to my heart, first because its members were my Eastman undergraduate colleagues, and second because I am writing them a new quartet called Witness.  I started the quartet while in residence at the Camargo Foundation… Read more →

Seeing Sandburg Songs

I have received a video from my Sandburg Songs premiere at the SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy.  Watching this video gives a different perspective on the performance and allows the viewer (listener) to see (hear) the fantastic musicians of Eastman BroadBand as they count, breath, and bring the music to life.  There are three more songs to come in this cycle, and watching this performance inspires me… Read more →