Meet the Composers!

Our inaugural concert coming up on October 9 at the Marigny Opera House will feature the music of Louisiana-based composers Kari Besharse, Philip Schuessler and Yotam Haber and New York-based composers Tristan Perich, Max Duykers and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Read on for more information on each of these innovative, living composers!


david_lang_photo1_copyright_2009_peter_serlingDavid Lang

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.

In the words of The New Yorker, “With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a postminimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”

Musical America’s 2013 Composer of the Year and recipient of Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair for 2013-2014, 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. For more information, visit David’s website.

Listen to an excerpt from Lang’s the little match girl passion here:


Tristan PerichTristan Perich

Tristan Perich‘s (New York) work is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code. The WIRE Magazine describes his compositions as “an austere meeting of electronic and organic.” 1-Bit Music, his 2004 release, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. His latest circuit album, 1-Bit Symphony (Cantaloupe, 2010) has received critical acclaim, called “sublime” (New York Press), and the Wall Street Journal said “its oscillations have an intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth.” His award winning work coupling 1-bit electronics with traditional forms in both music (Active Field, Observations) and visual art (Machine Drawings, Microtonal Wall) has been presented around the world, from Sonar and Ars Electronica to the Whitney Museum and bitforms gallery.

Watch this mini-documentary about Tristan Perich’s compositional process:


Yotam-VenicebiennaleYotam Haber

His music hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting,” by the Los Angeles Times as one of five classical musicians “2014 Faces To Watch,” and chosen as one of the “30 composers under 40” by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440, Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of a 2013 Fromm Music Foundation commission, a 2013 NYFA award, the 2007 Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He has received grants and fellowships from New Music USA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Yaddo, Bogliasco, MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage, ASCAP, and the Copland House. Recent commissions include works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; new works for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, CalARTS@REDCAT/Disney Hall (Los Angeles); New York-based Contemporaneous, Gabriel Kahane, Either/Or, and Alarm Will Sound; the 2012 & 2014 Venice Biennale; 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Festival; the Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; FLUX Quartet, JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, the Tel Aviv-based Meitar Ensemble, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation. He is currently working on Voice Imitator, an evening-length cycle of piano works with visual artist and MacArthur Fellow Anna Schuleit Haber, based on the stories of Thomas Bernhard; with librettist Royce Vavrek, XVIOLENCES, a micro-opera for 2015; and a 2016 work for the Kronos Quartet. Haber is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of New Orleans and  Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world. His music is published by RAI Trade.

Listen to Yotam Haber’s We Were performed by Alarm Will Sound:


max eqyptMax Giteck Duykers

Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty. His music has been performed throughout the United States, in Italy, England, Australia, and Romania. He has just been selected for Third Angle New Music‘s Third Angle/Russell New Ideas In Music Competition>>, resulting in the commission of A Breath of Arches for string quartet and four foot-controlled MIDI sample players. The piece will be premiered in Portland, OR in May, 2014. He was also recently commissioned by the Jerome Foundation>> to create a chamber opera for tenor, electro-acoustic percussionist (performing on Don Buchla’s Marimba Lumina) and pierrot sextet. The piece is being developed with acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Philip Gotanda>>, and will receive a workshop premiere with Nextet at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in ay 2014. The full version will be premiered in 2015. He was also recently commissioned by Iron Works On The Edge>> to compose an evening-length concert of new music for dance featuring Esther Noh>> on violin and processed string quartet samples of her string quartet, Praxis. 2014-2015 will bring a new piece developed with PUBLIQuartet>> for string quartet and four foot-controlled MIDI sample players, and Dark Body for mixed quartet to be premiered by The New York Composers Circle.>> His numerous other commissions and premieres include the Avian Orchestra>>, The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra>>,The Oakland Youth Orchestra>>, The Glass Farm Ensemble>>, The Seattle Chamber Players>>, Anti-Social Music>>, Trio Tara>>, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players>>, HERE Arts Center>>, PS122>>, La Mama ETC>>, Horizon Theater Rep.>>, and the Stony Brook Department of Theater Arts>>.

Check out Max’s Glass Blue Cleft performed by the PUPLIQuartet:


photo2Philip Schuessler

Philip Schuessler’s music explores the intricacy of subtle timbres and delicate dynamics through extended acoustic and electro-acoustic resources. His diverse output spans a number of different approaches including techniques of spectralism, indeterminacy and graphic notation, new forms of notation, ephemeral sound fabrics, microtonality, popular and rock music, and electro-acoustic music.

Schuessler received his Bachelors Degree in composition at Birmingham-Southern College, his Masters Degree from the University of Miami, and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  His teachers have included Charles Mason, Dorothy Hindman Dennis Kam, Keith Kothman, Dan Weymouth, Sheila Silver, Perry Goldstein, and Daria Semegen.

He has had works performed by notable ensembles such as Yarn/Wire, Dither Guitar Quartet, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, violinist Graeme Jennings, TimeTable percussion trio, and the Gemini Duo; and his works have also been championed by such soloists as percussionist Daniel Kennedy, soprano Tony Arnold, and cellist Craig Hultgren.  His music has has been performed at notable venues such as June in Buffalo, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga New Music Symposium, Birmingham City Stages Festival, Festival Miami, the Czech-American Summer Music Workshop, CCMIX in Paris, SEAMUS Conferences, ArtSounds in Kansas City, Artomatic in Arlington, Virginia, Electronic Music Midwest, New Music Forum in San Francisco, the School for Designing a Society in Urbana, Illinois, Electro-acoustic Juke Joint Festival, the Electro-acoustic Barn Dance Festival, and the Spark Festival in Minneapolis.  He has also been a participant at the MusicX Festival, the Ernst Bloch Music Festival, the Elliott Carter/Oliver Knussen Chamber Music Intensive Workshop at Carnegie Hall, and the Oregon Bach Festival.

Check out Schuessler’s Patchwork Vespers here:


Kari-banffsmKari Besharse

Continuously exploring the myriad ways that music intersects with science, nature, and the human world, Kari Besharse’s compositional output spans various facets within the field of contemporary music, fully engaging new technological resources as well as traditional instruments and ensembles. Her works, which incorporate sounds from acoustic instruments, found objects, the natural world, and sound synthesis, are often generated from a group of sonic objects or material archetypes that are subjected to processes inspired by nature, physics and computer music. Kari was awarded the Bourges Residence Prize for Small Things, an electroacoustic work written in Csound and Protools, which uses the sounds of the frogs and insects of Austin, Texas as its source material. Additional honors have come from the Tuscaloosa New Music Collective (honorable mention), Look and Listen Festival Prize (semi-finalist), the ASCAP Young Composers Competition (finalist), and the INMC Competition (finalist).

Recent projects include Rails, a large chamber ensemble work written for Alarm Will Sound and premiered at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival in July 2010 and The Anemone Fragments for cello and live electronics commissioned and premiered by cellist Craig Hultgren. Embers, a work for saxophone and piano commissioned by Richard Schwartz, has been recently recorded for an upcoming release on the Centaur label. Additionally, her music has been presented around the world by organizations and ensembles such as The Empyrean Ensemble, The California Ear Unit, The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Society of Composers, Inc., Texas Computer Musicians Network, The LaTex Festival, The Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, ICMC, SEAMUS, Bourges, Elektrophonie, Third Practice, 60X60, The Electroacoustic Juke Joint Festival, New Music Forum, Pulse Field, Art of Sounds Festival at Belgrade, Serbia, trombonist Benjamin Lanz and violist Michael Hall.

Check out Kari’s Luminous Flux:


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