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Juilliard: 1996

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  • In 1996 four students at the Juilliard School met and became fast friends: Eric Whitacre, John Mackey, Steven Bryant and Jonathan Newman. Eric (the oldest of the group) will lead the group in a wide ranging discussion on everything from the creative process to the commissioning of new works.
  • Eric Whitacre
  • 12/17/2015 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
  • W183
  • Eric has inspired millions as composer, conductor, innovator, broadcaster and charismatic public speaker. His compositions rank among the most popular and frequently performed of the early 21st century, their reach broadened since 2010 by the extraordinary success of his online Virtual Choir project. Light & Gold, his first album as composer and conductor, won the 2012 Grammy® Award for Best Choral Recording and instantly topped the US and UK classical album charts. Born in Nevada, he discovered a passion for choral music while studying at UNLV and he began composing soon after. He went on to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York under John Corigliano. Many of his choral compositions, Cloudburst, Lux Aurumque and Sleep among them, have entered the standard choral repertoire and his orchestral music has been performed by some of the world’s most distinguished orchestras both sides of the Atlantic. Eric is currently Composer-in-Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK. A distinguished speaker, Eric has been invited to address the UN Leaders Programme, give the closing plenary at Davos World Economic Forum and to speak for UNICEF and Google among others. He has appeared twice on the main stage at the global TED conference in Long Beach CA, earning standing ovations on both occasions. Recent Virtual Choir projects include ‘Glow’ written for the Winter Dreams holiday show at Disneyland© Adventure California and the Virtual Youth Choir, in association with UNICEF, which premiered at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Broadcast live to 119 countries worldwide, Eric made his iTunes Festival debut with his professional choir in 2014, inviting multi award-winning composer and conductor Hans Zimmer to join him on stage. The performance was consequently released as a live album. Eric returned to the Minnesota Orchestra for a second residency in 2015 culminating in three performances at Orchestra Hall.
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  • John Mackey
  • John Mackey, born October 1, 1973, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively. Mr. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and for symphonic winds, and he has focused on those mediums for the past few years. His works have been performed at the Sydney Opera House; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Carnegie Hall; the Kennedy Center; Weill Recital Hall; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; Italy's Spoleto Festival; Alice Tully Hall; the Joyce Theater; Dance Theater Workshop; and throughout Italy, Chile, Japan, China, Norway, Spain, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. John has received numerous commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, as well as commissions from the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, the Dallas Theater Center, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the New York Youth Symphony, Ailey 2, Concert Artists Guild, Peridance Ensemble, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance, among many others. Recent commissions include works for the American Bandmasters Association, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and a concerto for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi. As a frequent collaborator, John has worked with a diverse range of artists, from Doug Varone to David Parsons, from Robert Battle to the US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team. (The team won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics performing to Mackey's score, "Damn.") John has been recognized with numerous grants and awards from organizations including ASCAP (Concert Music Awards, 1999 through 2008; Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, 2002 and 2003), the American Music Center (Margaret Jory Fairbanks Copying Assistance Grant, 2000, 2002), and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (Live Music for Dance commissioning grants, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2005), and an NEA grant in 2007. He was a CalArts/Alpert Award nominee in 2000. In February 2003, the Brooklyn Philharmonic premiered John’s work “Redline Tango” at the BAM Opera House, with Kristjan Jarvi conducting. The Dallas Symphony, under Andrew Litton, performed the piece in both Dallas and Vail in 2004. Mr. Litton performed the work again in 2005, this time with the Minnesota Orchestra, and again in 2006 with the Bergen Philharmonic of Norway. Marin Alsop performed the work at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in the summer of 2005. John made a new version of the work for wind ensemble in 2004 -- Mackey's first work for wind band -- and that version has since received over 250 performances worldwide. The wind version won the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, and in 2005, the ABA/Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association, making John the youngest composer to receive the honor. John again received the ABA/Ostwald Award - as well as the National Band Association's William D. Revelli Award - in 2009 for "Aurora Awakes." John served as a Meet-The-Composer/American Symphony Orchestra League "Music Alive!" Composer In Residence with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony in 2002-2003, and with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004-2005. He was Composer In Residence at the Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, Colorado, in the summer of 2004, and Composer In Residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in August 2005. He has held college residencies at Florida State, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, James Madison University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Florida, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State University, Texas Tech, Ball State, University of Oklahoma, Arizona State, Oklahoma State University, University of Washington, University of Southern California, University of Texas, and many others. Mr. Mackey served as Music Director of the Parsons Dance Company from 1999-2003, and he taught at Cal State Long Beach in 2008-2009. To entertain himself while procrastinating on commissions, John is a photography enthusiast.
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  • Steven Bryant
  • Steven Bryant’s music is chiseled in its structure and intent, fusing lyricism, drama, technology, and humor into lean, skillfully-crafted works that enthrall listeners and performers alike. His seminal work Ecstatic Waters, for wind ensemble and electronics, has become one of the most performed works of its kind in the world, receiving over 250 performances in its first five seasons. Recently, the orchestral version was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra to unanimous, rapturous acclaim. The son of a professional trumpeter and music educator, he strongly values music education, and his creative output includes a number of works for young and developing musicians. John Corigliano states Bryant’s “compositional virtuosity is evident in every bar” of his 34’ Concerto for Wind Ensemble. Bryant’s first orchestral work, Loose Id for Orchestra, hailed by composer Samuel Adler as “orchestrated like a virtuoso,” was premiered by The Juilliard Symphony and is featured on a CD release by the Bowling Green Philharmonia on Albany Records. Alchemy in Silent Spaces, a large-scale work commissioned by James DePreist and The Juilliard School, was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra in May 2006. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series featured his brass quintet, Loose Id, conducted by Cliff Colnot, on its 2012-13 concert series. Notable recent and upcoming projects include a Concerto for Alto Saxophone for Joseph Lulloff and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony (winner of the 2014 American Bandmasters Sousa Ostwald Award), and a Concerto for Trombone for Joseph Alessi and the Dallas Wind Symphony, to be premiered in February 2016. Other commissions have come from the Gaudete Brass Quintet (Chicago), cellist Caroline Stinson (Lark Quartet), pianist Pamela Mia Paul, the Amherst Saxophone Quartet (funded by the American Composers Jerome Composers Commissioning Program), the University of Texas – Austin Wind Ensemble, the US Air Force Band of Mid-America, the Japanese Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, and the Calgary Stampede Band, as well as many others. Steven studied composition with John Corigliano at The Juilliard School, Cindy McTee at the University of North Texas, and Francis McBeth at Ouachita University, trained for one summer in the mid-1980s as a break-dancer, was the 1987 radio-controlled car racing Arkansas state champion, and has a Bacon Number of 1. He resides in Durham, NC with his wife, conductor Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant.
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  • Jonathan Newman
  • Jonathan Newman composes music rich with rhythmic drive and intricate sophistication, creating broadly colored musical works that incorporate styles of pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into otherwise classical models. Upcoming projects include a Mass with texts by poet Victoria Chang for The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and a viola concerto for soloist Brett Deubner. Recent commissions include Blow It Up, Start Again, written for Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and performed by orchestras worldwide, including the Minnesota Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Symphony, and this summer by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2015 BBC Proms. Other recent commissions include Prayers of Steel for Chicago's Gaudete Brass, These Inflected Tentacles for chamber quartet, Vivid Geography for women's chorus and chamber orchestra on a text by poet Marcella Durand, written for the 2011 Japan Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, Stereo Action, commissioned by a consortium of percussion ensembles, and arrangements of electronica for Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin (Cantaloupe), premiering at the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. Other arrangements have been performed by Townsend Opera Remix, soprano Hila Plitmann, and the Minnesota Orchestra. As a MacDowell Colony Fellow, he began work on an opera based on the 1962 cult horror film Carnival of Souls, in collaboration with playwright Gary Winter. Wind and educational ensembles around the world frequently perform his large catalog of works for winds, including a transcription of Blow It Up, Start Again, his Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City—a wind ensemble consortium commission based on themes of mid-century American Beat Culture, Sowing Useful Truths, commissioned by the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Moon by Night, 2003 winner of the NBA/Merrill Jones Composition Award. Born in 1972, Newman received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds degrees from Boston University's School for the Arts, where he studied composition with Richard Cornell and Charles Fussell and conducting with Lukas Foss, and The Juilliard School, where he studied with composers John Corigliano and David Del Tredici and conducting with Miguel Harth-Bedoya. At Juilliard, his collaborative works for dance enjoyed multiple performances at The Juilliard Theater, Alice Tully Hall, P.S. 122, and Dance Theater Workshop. Early training includes Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with composers George Tsontakis and Bernard Rands. His works have been recorded on Avian, BCM, Brain Music, Cantaloupe, Cedille, Klavier, Mark Custom, Naxos, Potenza, and Summit Records. Newman is a founding member of the composer-consortium BCM International: four stylistically-diverse composers from across the country, dedicated to enriching the repertoire with exciting works for mediums often mired in static formulas. BCM has recorded two albums: BCM Saves the World (2002, Mark Custom Records) and BCM Men of Industry (2004, BCM Records). He resides in Virginia, where he was recently appointed Director of Composition & Coordinator of New Music at the Shenandoah Conservatory.
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