Meet the Composers!

For our October 14th season debut, we have selected three works from our anonymous call for scores for performance. We couldn’t be more excited to perform these works which show a breadth of diversity in terms of influences and style and in terms of nationality as well. We selected Guirapuap for alto flute, percussion and cello by Igor Maia (Brazil), Romancero for clarinet, percussion and piano by Yohanan Chendler and To Unformed for piano and electronics by Kyong Mee Choi (Korea/USA). We look forward to performing these works on Wednesday alongside twentieth century classics Workers Union (1975) by Louis Andriessen (Netherlands) and Durations I (1960) by Morton Feldman (USA). Read on for more information about the composers selected from our call for scores and their selected works!

12-001Yohanan Chendler’s works have been performed in Israel, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Japan and the US. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, he received his Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance where he studied with Mark Kopytman. He received scholarships for violin performance and composition from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Yohananis holds a PhD degree in composition and theory from Brandeis University. He also studied composition with George Tsontakis at the Aspen Music Festival and School and with Azio Corghi at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.

Yohanan has repeatedly worked with acclaimed artists and ensembles such as Meitar Ensemble, the Ariel Quartet, the Lydian Quartet, ICE, ECCE and pianist Yaron Kohlberg. His works have been published by Berben Musical Editions and Lucian Badian Edition..

As a violinist, Yohanan is an avid player of new music who premiered dozens of chamber and solo works and appeared with Juventas Ensemble, Sound Icon, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet Ensemble Musiker Witz and Meitar Ensemble.

Since 2014 Yohanan is based in in the Tokyo area in Japan.

Romancero is inspired by two forms of early Jewish song: one the Ladino “Romancero” from Spain, and the other Yemenite chant. Freely imitating melodic cells from these song forms, the clarinet plays a long melodic line integrating microtones. The piano, accompanying the melody, goes through a long process. It starts by imitating some unknown distant instrument (perhaps some kind of Zither instrument). Its mystery is augmented by the percussion. Gradually the piano moves into playing more pianistic gestures, until eventually taking over the melody. The clarinet song is preceded by an introduction that is the complete opposite of the melodic section. The introduction has no melody, only texture in the piano and the percussion, and scattered single notes in the clarinet.

Igor Maia (b. 1988) is a Brazilian composer based in London. His compositions draws both on 21st century avant-­‐garde techniques and Brazilian traditional music, creating music that relates to the Latin American culture but is expressed within European Classical music formats. He has received degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (Holland) in 2010 and the State University of Campinas (Brazil) in 2013. He also participated in many Festivals and Courses with teachers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Martin Matalon, Jukka Tiensu, Toshio Hosokawa, Francesco Filidei, Marcel Reuter, among others. Currently he is a PhD Student at King’s College London under supervision of Profs. Silvina Milstein and George Benjamin, funded by the CAPES Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Guirápuap is a word from the Tupi Language. Several tribes in Brazil spoke Tupi until the 17th Century when it was forbidden. While the exact meaning of Guirápuap is unknown, linguists point three possible definitions: (1) the sound of the trees in the forest, (2) the place where the wolves hunt and (3) ferocious bird. The etymology of the word and its connotation to the Brazilian nature inspired me to write this work. It was premiered by the Lucilin Ensemble at Neimenster Abbey (Luxembourg) in June 2015.

Kyong Mee ChoiKyong Mee Choi, composer, organist, painter, and visual artist, received several prestigious awards and grants including John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Robert Helps Prize, Aaron Copland Award, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, First prize of ASCAP/SEAMUS Award among others. Her music was published at CIMESP (São Paulo, Brazil), SCI, EMS, ERM media, SEAMUS, and Détonants Voyages (Studio Forum, France). Ravello records published her multimedia opera, THE ETERNAL TAO, which was supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Roosevelt University. Aucourant Records published her CD, SORI, featuring her eight compositions for solo instrument and electronics. The project was supported by the IAS Artist Project Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago where she teaches composition and electro-acoustic music. Samples of her works are available at

To Unformed for piano and electronics: This piece is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Death, No Fear. He describes life and death by saying, “When conditions are sufficient we manifest and when conditions are not sufficient we go into hiding.” To Unformed attempts to depict Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea musically by using the same musical material to express Hahn’s idea of “manifestation” and “hiding”.

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