We are thrilled to announce the participating composers for Soundstreams’ sixth annual Emerging Composer Workshop. Our six, 2018 participants are from across Canada and the United States – including Hamilton, New York, Montreal and Chicago.
Each year the ECW hosts an international and a local mentor, as well as a professional resident ensemble. This year participants will be under the mentorship of U.S. Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang and Canadian Jules Léger Prize winner James Rolfe. The ten-day intensive program includes a vibrant array of rehearsals, seminars, collaborative discussions, performances, and a variety of networking and professional development activities.
The 2018 ECW will take place from May 30 to June 8, 2018, with a public showcase of the emerging composers’ new pieces June 6, in Crow’s Theatre.
Read on to learn more about this year’s participants, and their diverse musical backgrounds.
Alexandre David is a French Canadian composer, performer, teacher and radio presenter currently based in Montréal. His music has been performed across North America, in South Korea and in Croatia by a number of orchestras and ensembles including l’Orchestre Métropolitain, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Paramirabo and Ensemble Mise-en. Alexandre David’s music was described as being eventful, pictorial and virtuosic. His projects revolve around his various interests: interdisciplinarity, sociology, musical semiology and methods of creation. Inspired by the traduction and transformation of extra-musical sources to a musical form, he is interested in the listener’s perception towards musical objects and the meaning they can convey.
Alexandre has taken part in training programs and residencies such as the Waterloo Regional Contemporary Music Sessions, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Orford Academy, the Playa Center, and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. He hosts Pulsar, a Montréal french radio program presenting contemporary music. Alexandre has been teaching Balinese music at the University of Montreal since 2015. He holds a Master degree in composition from the University of Montreal in Canada where he studied with François-Hugues Leclair and Denis Gougeon.
Christina Volpini is a composer, music educator, and arts administrator. Inspired by natural and mechanical sonic environments, her music explores rich and diverse textures, found objects, sonic spatialization, and the unfolding of small changes over time. Her commissioned works have been performed in Toronto, Montréal, Edmonton, New York and throughout the U.S. east coast by ensembles including Esprit Orchestra, Array Ensemble, Unheard Of Ensemble, and the McGill Contemporary Ensemble. Christina holds a Masters in Music Composition at McGill University. There, she also acted as a research assistant in the Music Perception and Cognition Lab where she researched orchestration and timbral blend. Christina is a core organizer of the Toronto Creative Music Lab, a grassroots professional development workshop for early-career artists promoting peer mentorship and composer-performer collaboration in the creation of new works.
Joshua Denenberg (b.1988) is an American born composer currently living and working in the NYC metropolitan area. His music has been featured at the Hartt School 20/20 Ensemble, Hartt Symphony Band, Hartt Theater, the highSCORE Festival, the Orford Creations festival, the Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance, and the University of Toronto Opera Division and Wind Ensemble. Awards he has won include the inaugural Nick Mirkopoulos Scholarship, the Burton Family Scholarship, and the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble call for works. As a multidisciplinary composer, he has also contributed to incidental theater music, installa_ons, and scores for short films and video games.
Joshua’s primary teachers have included Norbert Palej, Christos Hatzis, Robert Carl, and Kenneth Fuchs.
Lieke van der Voort
Composer and vocalist Lieke van der Voort was born in The Netherlands and moved to Toronto in 2009. Her works focus heavily on improvisation and unconventional vocal use. She strives to combine jazz, classical music and all aspects of the human voice. Her work has been described as emotionally complex, raw and honest. Recent pieces include Catenate for the opening of The Bentway and Endings with Jumblies Theatre for Soundstreams Salon 21. As Artistic Associate at Spectrum Music, she composes for various ensembles. Her voice can be heard on Veryan Weston’s Make; Schafer’s Apocalypsis; soundtracks of movies The VVitch and Clara and various Tanya Tagaq shows with Christine Duncan’s Element Choir.
Lieke leads Kontraband Kollektif, an art music collective, with its debut EP Atropos having been released in January 2018. Lieke was selected as a composer for Toronto Creative Music Lab and participated at Banff’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative music, where she studied under the guidance of Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey and Okkyung Lee. Her works have been supported by Canada Council of the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.
Pierce Gradone’s music echoes the strange brew of musical cultures that made up his childhood, from playing bluegrass in the hills of Appalachia, to sprinting the marathon of blinding-fast pentecostal shout music. His recent work explores the notion of music as an embodied art, grappling with narratives of labor, personhood, and mechanical reproduction. Described as “gorgeous, expansive” (I Care If You Listen) and “engaging” (Chicago Tribune), his music has been performed throughout the world by Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Signal, Imani Winds, Riot Ensemble, Pacifica Quartet, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and many others. He has received awards and commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, American Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Luna Nova, and Line Upon Line Percussion, among others. He currently resides in Chicago, where he is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago.
Tyler Versluis has had his music performed across Canada, the USA, France and the Netherlands. He is an alumnus of the Atlantic Music Festival, Fresh Inc Festival, Centre d’Arts Orford, Art Song Lab, the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop, and the Array Young Composers Workshop. He has worked with the Cecilia String Quartet, VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto, Caution Tape Collective, the Toy Piano Composers, the St. Catharines Chamber Music Society, dualité, Ryan Scott, Sanya Eng, Véronique Lacroix, Will George and Corey Hamm. Tyler’s choral motet, Salut, ô Reine!, was recently toured across France by the Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church choir. His 2015 project, fortelling: for telling combined new visual art, poetry and music in a concert of art song at Toronto’s Gallery 345. Tyler was the 2013-14 composer-in-residence for gamUT Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the 2016-17 composer in-residence for the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He is the 2017 recipient of the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music, and recently won the 2017 Cecilia String Quartet Competition for his String Quartet No. 1 “Bogusławów”. Tyler has studied composition with Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Norbert Palej and Gary Kulesha. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Tyler lives and works in Toronto.
The Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop is made possible with generous support from The Koerner Foundation, RBC Emerging Artists Project, The Catherine & Maxwell Meighen Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, SOCAN Foundation, The Lloyd-Carr Harris Foundation.
Soundstreams’ Emerging Composer Workshop Showcase is presented in honour of Jim Doherty, and his timeless dedication to investing in young talent.