UNDER CONSTRUCTION NEW MUSIC SERIES/ COMPOSERS PROGRAM
Established in 1993, Berkeley Symphony’s Under Construction New Music Series/Composers Program signifies a unique commitment to Bay Area composers and new music. Designed as a reading session to showcase the Bay Area’s composing talents, the program engages the community in contemporary music and its making, as well as provides a rare and invaluable opportunity for emerging composers to further develop their skills and gain practical experience writing for a professional orchestra.
How the Composers Program works
During the course of the program, selected composers will each workshop and complete one symphonic work to be presented at the two Under Construction New Music Concerts. They will work closely with a program leader, who provides individual mentoring sessions and professional guidance, have access to the orchestra members, and receive feedback and orchestration lessons from Music Director Joana Carneiro and guest composers. They will chronicle their experiences and the growth of their pieces at the Under Construction blog. Each composer will also receive a CD of the performance for their personal and non-commercial use. This season, Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Steven Stucky and composer Paul Dresher will lead the Under Construction program and provide a guiding hand.
Under Construction New Music Series
The Under Construction New Music Series seeks to engage our audience in contemporary music and its making. The concerts are formatted to build upon each other; the orchestra rehearses the work in progress and experiments with different musical passages at the first concert to enable the complete, polished piece to be performed at the second concert. Discussion between the audience, the conductor, and the composer follows the playing of each work. That interchange of ideas, along with the post-concert receptions, affords the audience members a greater understanding about the composers and their work.
Andrew V. Ly was born in Kent, WA and grew up in Seattle. He attended Yale College and graduated with distinction in 2007 with a B.A. in music. From 2007–2008 he studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Shanghai Conservatory through the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship and the Chinese government’s Chinese Cultural Scholarship. In 2009 he was a participant at the June in Buffalo Contemporary Music Festival and a student of Samuel Adler at the Freie Universität in Berlin. He completed his Master’s degree in composition at the University of Southern California in 2010, studying with Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett, and is currently a Ph.D candidate in music composition at the University of California, Berkeley. This season he will have premieres at Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Girls Chorus, and National Queer Arts Festival.
Michael Nicholas is a composer, writer, and visual artist. Originally from Los Angeles, he has lived and studied in Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Austria before returning to the U.S. in 2009 to pursue a Ph.D in music composition at the University of California, Berkeley. With a wide range of interests, which is constantly expanding, he is always seeking to grow as both an artist and an individual. For example, in 2009 the Graz Opera performed his chamber music theater work, das Vorübergehende, for which Michael composed the music and wrote the libretto; in addition, he shot and edited video and prepared additional audio (sound design) for the performance. Learn more about Michael and his work at www.michael-nicholas.net.
Davide Verotta was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano Conservatory, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and San Francisco State University, and composition at San Francisco State University (M.A.) and the University of California at Davis (Ph.D, unfinished). He also has a parallel-track academic life in mathematics as a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. He is actively involved in the new music performance and composition scene in the San Francisco Bay Area (as soloist, chamber player, board member and pianist with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, and co-organizer of the Festival of Contemporary Music). He teaches piano and composition privately and at the Community Music Center in San Francisco, and he has been scratching his head developing mathematical tools to build musical structures for a while. Recent compositions include works for orchestra, chamber opera, dance, piano solo, percussion, and various chamber ensembles. For more information, please visit his web site at www.davideverotta.com.
Read about the insights and experiences of this season’s composers on the Under Construction blog! Stay up-to-date with the latest news and learn about the composing process as they prepare their pieces for each concert.