The Boston Philharmonic's Young Composers Initative is a reading and recording session of music by young composers from Boston-area institutions.
We are pleased to announce that on March 11th, we will hold the 2017 Young Composers’ Initiative with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Now in its fourth year, YCI consists of a reading & recording session of music by five young composers selected from New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, the Walden School, Harvard University, and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra members. The composers will introduce their works to the orchestra and have the work rehearsed and recorded by the superb musicians of the BPYO, conducted by BPO Conducting Fellow Kristo Kondakci. Local composers and faculty will be present to serve as an advisory panel during the session, and both students and faculty will gather following the session for a round-table discussion about the selected works.
Benjamin Park, New England Conservatory
Benjamin Park majored in physics and music at MIT before electing to focus on composition. He completed both a master’s degree and artist diploma at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford. He is currently a doctoral candidate at New England Conservatory, studying with Kati Agócs. Ben's NEC activities include co-chairing the Tuesday Night New Music concert series. Last year his violin concerto, Huldufólk (The Hidden People), was performed in the Dark Music Days Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, and this past fall he had another orchestral work, It Only Goes Forward, premiered by the Freisinger Chamber Orchestra in Boston’s Old South Church. In addition to his doctoral studies at the NEC, Ben is also teaching music theory at Boston College.
Isaac Johnson, Berklee College of Music
Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Isaac Johnson is a fourth-year student at Berklee College of Music where he is double majoring in film scoring and composition. Because he has a wide variety of academic interests, Isaac is also completing coursework for four minors – English literature, psychology, conducting, and video game scoring. Isaac plays guitar and piano, and has studied composition under Gregory Fritze, Gregory Glancey, Vuk Kulenovic, and Apostolos Paraskevas. The name “Isaac” means “laughter” or “he laughs” in Hebrew, and laughing and making others laugh are two things Isaac enjoys almost as much as making music. His enjoyment of jokes, puns, and wordplay is evident in his compositions. He has composed a percussion piece, “Musical Chairs,” in which performers play on metal folding chairs and move around the chairs, much like in the party game of musical chairs.
Zach Beever, The Boston Conservatory
Zach Beever is a composer and pianist whose work focuses on the connection between science and music. A programmer and technology enthusiast, his works often incorporates electronic elements alongside acoustic instruments, whether through live processing or computer-aided organizational procedures. He has premiered works with soloists Andrew van der Paardt and Joshua Thomas-Urlik, as well as with groups including Boston Musica Viva, the Modern Brass Initiative, and the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra. More recently, he has received a commission from Cole Belt for a saxophone concerto. Zach currently resides in Boston, MA where he attends The Boston Conservatory as a student of Marti Epstein. His private teachers have included Dr. Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, Jan Swafford, and Mischa Salkind-Pearl, with additional lessons from Dr. Oscar Bettison, Dr. Ladislav Kubik, and Clifton Ingram.
Samuel Wu, Harvard University
Sam Wu (b. 1995) is a composer, arranger, and conductor from Shanghai, China, currently attending Harvard University. He has studied composition under Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin, Libby Larsen, Robert Brownlow, and Paul Coleman; conducting under Andrew Clark. Winner of the Oklahoma City University’s Project21 Prize for Composition, Shanghai Student Film Festival Prize for Video Art (set to his own music), Interlochen Fine Arts Best Composer Award, as well as being a finalist for the 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, his music has been performed in New York City, Boston, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Rochester, Interlochen, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Melbourne. In addition to composing, Sam serves as the assistant conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, conductor of the Mozart Society Orchestra, and music director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
Reiny Rolock, The Walden School
Reiny Rolock is an undergraduate composition student at the University of Chicago, where he studies with Augusta Read Thomas. He had formative musical experiences during the summers of 2012, 2013, and 2015, when he attended The Walden School and studied with Ian Munro, Dana Jessen, Sam Pluta, Osnat Netzer, Alex Christie, and Meade Bernard. He has also studied with Gerald Rizzer at the Sherwood Conservatory and Teddy Niedermaier at Roosevelt University. He has received awards and recognition from Sherwood Conservatory, The Walden School, ASCAP, the Illinois Music Educators Association, American Composers Forum, the Boston Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, and was recently commissioned by the PRISM Saxophone Quartet.
Michael Gandolfi, Composer; Composition Chair, New England Conservatory
Jonathan Holland, Chair: Composition, Music Theory, and Music History, Boston Conservatory
Alex Christie, Composer, B.Mus, M.F.A., The Walden School
Arnold Friedman, Chair: Composition, Berkelee School of Music
Osnat Netzer, Composer, Harvard University
Li Xiao'an, Composer, Director of East Coast Scoring Orchestra