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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Composer Institute: History

The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute is an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for emerging composers launched during the 1995-96 season in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. These sessions, initially for Minnesota composers only, were later opened to composers from surrounding states. By 2001 the reading sessions developed into a much more extensive program, now called the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute and open to talented emerging composers throughout the country. New Music USA—previously the American Music Center—joined as a program partner to offer participants its invaluable legal and business seminars for composers. Composer Aaron Jay Kernis directed the Institute for its first 11 seasons.

In December 2006 the Orchestra added a public concert of the composers' new works, titled Future Classics and conducted for six seasons by Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Besides preparing for the concert, participating composers attend a week of intensive professional development workshops with orchestral administrators and other national experts in the field, along with advanced musical seminars with the Minnesota Orchestra’s musicians, music director and Composer Institute director—all intended to advance the careers and musical experience of those attending.

Information on past Composer Institutes, including links to biographies, program notes, composer websites, blog postings and Minnesota Public Radio features, is provided below. Click here to view a complete list (PDF) of Composer Institute and Perfect Pitch participants since the program’s inception.


2016-17 Composer Institute: January 30 to February 3, 2017

KATHERINE BALCH Leaf Catalogue
MICHAEL BOYMAN Tightrope Walker
JUDY BOZONE Spilled Orange
MICHAEL-THOMAS FOUMAI Music from the Castle of Heaven
TONIA KO Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide
PHIL TAYLOR
Chiaroscuro
CONRAD WINSLOW Old Motion Parade

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Tonia Ko's blog
Read composer Tonia Ko's daily blog reports from the 2015-16 Composer Institute.
Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3


2015-16 Composer Institute: January 25 to 30, 2016

KIRSTEN BROBERG Celestial Dawning
MATTHEW BROWNE Barnstorming Season
JOSHUA CERDENIA Magayon
EMILY COOLEY Scroll of the Air
NICK DiBERARDINO Asphodel
MICHAEL GILBERTSON
Sinfonia After Vivaldi
ANTHONY VINE Transmission

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Emily Cooley's blog
Read composer Emily Cooley's daily blog reports from the 2015-16 Composer Institute.
Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3


2014-15 Composer Institute: January 12 to 16, 2015


2011-12 Composer Institute: January 2 to 7, 2012

BRIAN CIACH Collective Uncommon, Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities
MICHAEL R. HOLLOWAY Rhythm: Theta Beta Theta
ADRIAN KNIGHT Manchester
HANNAH LASH  God Music Bug Music
ANDREIA PINTO-CORREIA Xántara
SHEN YIWEN  First Orchestral Essay

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Hannah Lash's blog
Read composer Hannah Lash's daily blog reports from the 2011-12 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4


2010-11 Composer Institute: October 24 to 30, 2010

TAYLOR BRIZENDINE Mandragora Officinarum
WANG JIE Symphony No. 1
POLINA NAZAYKINSKAYA Winter Bells
CLINT NEEDHAM The Body Electric
BEN PHELPS Overture Maximus
NARONG PRANGCHAROEN Namaskar
DAVID WEAVER Mutatis Mutandis

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Taylor Brizendine's blog
Read composer Taylor Brizendine's daily blog reports from the 2010-11 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Introduction | Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Days 5 & 6


2009-10 Composer Institute: November 17 to 22, 2009

ANGEL LAM In Search of Seasons
SPENCER TOPEL Incendio
ROGER ZARE Aerodynamics
FERNANDO BUIDE Antiphones
KATHRYN SALFELDER Dessin No. 1
CARL SCHIMMEL Woolgatherer’s Chapbook
GEOFF KNORR Shadows of the Infinite

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Spencer Topel's blog
Read composer Spencer Topel's daily blog reports from the 2009-10 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Introduction Part 1 & Part 2 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5


2008-09 Composer Institute: November 1 to 8, 2008

TED HEARNE  Patriot
ANTONIO CARLOS DeFEO Four Portraits: por los ojos de los niños
ANDREW McMANUS  Identity
MING-HSIU YEN  Yun
WANG LU  Wailing
DAVID SCHNEIDER  Automation
JUSTIN MERRITT  River of Blood

Composer biographies and program notes

Composer Institute participant Ted Hearne's blog
Read composer Ted Hearne's daily blog reports from the 2008-09 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Introduction | Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3

Composer Institute participant Justin Merritt's blog
Read composer Justin Merritt's daily blog reports from the 2008-09 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Introduction | Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4


2007-08 Composer Institute: October 20 to 27, 2007

TREVOR GURECKIS  Very Large Array
WES MATTHEWS Terraces
DANIEL BRADSHAW Chaconne
ELLIOTT MILES McKINLEY Four Moments for Grand Orchestra: A "Pocket" Symphony
XI WANG Above Light—a conversation with Toru Takemitsu
STEPHEN WILCOX  Cho-Han
JACOB COOPER Odradek

Composer biographies and program notes

Minnesota Public Radio feature
Click here for Melissa Ousley’s Composer Institute coverage throughout the week. See four audio links on the right side for features with hosts Steve Staruch and John Birge.

Composer Institute participant Jacob Cooper's blog
Read composer Jacob Cooper's daily blog reports from the 2007-08 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Days 4 & 5 | Day 6 | Day 7


2006-07 Composer Institute: November 26 to December 2, 2006

These Worlds in Us
Diaphony
ASHLEY NAIL
...At the end of the tunnel
La tristesse durera
Toccata for Orchestra
Tango Loops 2B
Black Bend
GARRETT BYRNES Solace
rewind

Composer biographies

Minnesota Public Radio feature
Click here to listen to Tom Crann's interview of Nov-Dec 2006 Composer Institute participant Ashley Nail, featured on All Things Considered.

Composer Institute participant Missy Mazzoli's blog
Read composer Missy Mazzoli's daily blog reports from the 2006-07 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Days 4 & 5 | Final Posting


2005-06 Composer Institute: May 6-11, 2006

Sunder
Liquid Song
Hubble Space Telescope Views
Surreal Abundance
Estampie
surface tension
REYNOLD THARP
Cold Horizon
The Palace of Nine Perfections

Composer Institute participant Sean Shepherd's blog
Read composer Sean Shepherd's daily blog reports from the 2005-06 Composer Institute, posted on NewMusicBox.org.
Introduction | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Final Posting


2004-05 Composer Institute: October 27-30, 2004

Mood Swing
Aqua
Sacred Geometry
JOHN CHRISTIAN ORFE
Strateia
Classical Walpurgis Night
Subtle Electric Fire
Push

Minnesota Public Radio feature
Click here to listen to Minnesota Public Radio's 2004 radio documentary about the Composer Institute by Chris Roberts, featured on All Things Considered and State of the Arts.


2003-04 Composer Institute: May 1-4, 2004

Electric Traction
Electric Lines
Symphony No. 1
WILLIAM A. WARE
Das Juengste Kind
Elements 4
Voyage to the Sun
Entropy

2002-03 Composer Institute: October 25-31, 2002

Canti Arioso
Sound, Asleep
LU PEI
Rhapsody No. 1, Dance of the Dragon
Love Unlimited
ERICH STEM
Escape
Subtleties Lost, Prelude and Fugue for Orchestra
Beatitudes
Xylem

2001-02 Composer Institute: March 9-14, 2002

Symphony No. 1
Roam
Serendipitous Scenes
Shadow
The Whispering Wind
KEITH MURPHY
Amok
STEPHAN PROCK
Garden Varieties, Four Dance Vignettes
Canter into Black

Click here to view a complete list (PDF) of Composer Institute and Perfect Pitch participants since the program's inception.