Christine Burke graduated from Duquesne University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance where she studied clarinet with Jack Howell and composition with David Stock. While in Pittsburgh, she was actively involved in the city’s new music and chamber ensembles, most notably appearing with Alia Musica as the soloist for Krzystof Penderecki’s “Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio”. A composer as well, she was awarded 1st Place in the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra’s Composition Competition in 2012 for her clarinet, viola and piano trio, Dense Music. Additionally, she has had music performed by NOW Ensemble, Reed III Trio, and at the New Music on the Point, soundSCAPE and Pittsburgh New Music festivals. She is currently pursuing Master’s degrees in composition and clarinet performance at the University of Iowa, where she studies with Nomi Epstein (composition) and Jorge Montilla Moreno (clarinet).
Carlos Cotallo Solares was born in Vitoria, Spain, in 1989. He started his composition studies with Cornelius Schwehr at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, where he completed a Bachelor's degree. He then finished a Master's degree in Berlin at the Universität der Künste, studying with Iris ter Schiphorst and Daniel Ott. He recently started his PhD at the University of Iowa.
His pieces have been performed in Freiburg, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Krakow, San Sebastian, and Iowa City, by ensembles such as Ensemble Alarm, Ensemble Chronophonie, hand werk, and Ensemble Kuraia. His music is characterized by simplicity and reduction, both in the selection of material and the compositional techniques used. Rhythm plays a strong role in most of his pieces.
Paul Duffy (b. 1989) is a doctoral candidate in composition at the University of Iowa. He has studied privately with Lawrence Fritts, Craig Weston, and David Gompper, and has attended master classes with Louis Karchin, Josh Levine, Augusta Read Thomas, and Michael Fiday. His recent works include Wood Metal Hair for double bass and fixed media (selected for performance at the 2015 Electronic Music Midwest festival) and Floor Exercise for fixed media (selected for performance at the 2015 International Computer Music Conference). He is currently exploring the combination of fixed media with live instruments.
Jonah Elrod is a composer and Associate Director of the Electronic Music Studios at the University of Iowa. He serves as a board member of the Iowa Composers Forum, and is an executive officer of the University of Iowa Society of Composers, Inc. student chapter. Jonah also works as the audio engineer and composer for the O-ffended podcast. He is a PhD candidate in music composition at the University of Iowa. His work A Spotless Moon was the winner of the 2013 Scott Wilkinson Composition Contest, and his work Twin Dreams was selected for performance at the 2014 Midwest Composers Symposium. Jonah's The Vulture, a new piece for solo mezzo-soprano, was selected as a winner of the One Voice Project, and will be performed by Lisa Neher during her 2015-2016 concert season. Jonah has studied privately with Christopher Shultis, Richard Hermann, Karola Oberm¨ller, Peter Gilbert, José Luis Hurtado, Lawrence Fritts, Josh Levine, and David Gompper. Jonah's music has been performed around the United States including Arizona, New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He currently lives and works in Iowa City, IA.
Nima Hamidi (b.1984) is an Iranian composer, improviser and music scholar. His music is the sonic representation of a visual imagination, integrating music perception and computation featuring unstable timbral spectra. Influenced by a diverse musical background that includes Iranian traditional music, his compositions are a temporal study of sound that conceptualizes a cultural auditory experience.
Nima's music has been performed internationally by such ensembles as JACK Quartet, the Center for New Music (University of Iowa), Sorāyesh Ensemble, and resident performers of New Music on the Point. His music was performed at number of festivals, including the International Fadjr Music Festival, Roudaki Hall, SCI regional conference (Friends University), Iowa Composers' Forum, and other symposia and workshops.
In addition to writing concert music, Nima collaborates with playwrights, dancers, and filmmakers. For the past three years he has been working as a concert organizer promoting new music, serving as the president of University of Iowa SCI student chapter, a research assistant for both the Composers' Workshop and the Center for New Music (University of Iowa), and the founder of two experimental/improvisatory ensembles, Comprovisors and TetraXord.
Nima is currently pursuing the PhD in music composition at the University of Iowa. Prior to Iowa he earned his MA in composition and BSc in Civil Engineering in his home country. He has studied composition with Josh Levine, David Gompper, Lawrence Fritts, Shaheen Farhat, Kambiz Roshanravan and Kiawasch Sahebnasagh. He also has participated in master classes with David Lang, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Stephen David Beck, Hans Thomalla, Anthony Cheung, Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, Robert Morris, Juraj Kojs, Marcos Balter, Laura Kaminsky, and Michael Fiday.
Jared Hedges' music has been performed throughout the United States and in Canada by musicians such as the JACK Quartet and Indiana University's contemporary vocal ensemble, NOTUS. His pieces have received awards from the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Holland Symphony Orchestra, the Music Institute of Chicago and Webster University. In 2014 his song cycle Nellie Bly at Blackwell's Island was featured at the inaugural Source Song Festival, and in 2015 he participated in the Vancouver International Song Institute's Art Song Lab. Hedges holds bachelor degrees in music composition and English literature from Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota), and is currently pursuing a master's degree in composition at the University of Iowa. www.jaredhedges.weebly.com
Joungmin Lee (b. 1975, Chun-Ju Korea) is a composer who has lived and worked in New York, Virginia, Maryland, Kansas, Iowa, and S Korea. He served as a music director for the International Modern Dance Festival (Pusan) in a performance of ‘Kui-So’, as well as for the Annandale United Methodist Church (Virginia). He has composed for film, television documentaries and soap operas, and online games as a vice director of Image Enterprise Inc. He taught electronic music and recording techniques at Chang-Won College and Seoul Artist Music School in Korea. He received a BM degree in composition from Seoul Jangsin University, and a MA degree in computer music from Sang Myung University. He studied in music technology (Stephen F. Temmer Tonmeister Honors Track) at New York University for the M.Mus degree, and began his doctoral degree in composition at University of Kansas with Bryan Kip Haaheim. He is currently pursuing the PhD in composition at the University of Iowa as a student of Lawrence Fritts and David Gompper.
Alex Kane is an undergraduate in the composition program at the University of Iowa, and is the first of which to be admitted into the program in recent years. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with focuses in Early Literature and Creative Writing, and is set to graduate from the University of Iowa in May 2016. Alex has participated in such compositional settings as the annual 24+24 concert, the Midwest Composers Symposium, and other various concerts and conferences. Among his typical works are pieces that draw upon folk, traditional, and popular forms and that heavily lean on vocal repertoire. During his tenure as an undergraduate, Alex has participated frequently in choirs and is also currently studying voice under John Muriello. Alex has studied composition under the auspices of David Gompper, Lawrence Fritts, and Josh Levine. He is an Iowa native from Urbandale, which is near Des Moines.
Luke J. Kottemann is a composer at the University of Iowa pursuing a BM in music composition and a BSE in Electrical Engineering. An Iowa native, Luke’s music is often inspired by the many beauties of Iowa. Luke’s music has been performed throughout the Midwest in addition to having a reading by the JACK quartet. Kottemann is currently studying composition with Lawrence Fritts and has previously studied with David Gompper.
Joshua Marquez (b. 1990) is a composer and Biomusic researcher whose music explores the intersection between nature and music. His research examines pitch hierarchy of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song and rhythmic entrainment in Bonobo apes (Pan paniscus). Timbral subtleties, spectral manipulation, and textural variation permeate his music, which draws inspiration from natural, sonic phenomenon. Marquez's music has been performed, internationally, by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, University of Iowa Center for New Music, Akropolis Reed Quintet, Quintet Sirocco, and the Cape Fear Wind Symphony. Recent performances include the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the National Student Electronic Music Event, Brave New Works (CA), Stony Brook Premieres! (NYC), Circuit Bridges (NYC), and the International Ferienkruse für Neue Musik Darmstadt in venues such as Symphony Space (NYC), the Canada International Film Festival, and the Utopia Film Festival (MD), among others. His work has been supported by the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative, Ocean Alliance, the Roger Payne Marine Sound Archive, and the Music Research Institute. Marquez is a PhD candidate (ABD) in composition at the University of Iowa. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MM '13), and Campbell University (BA '11). He has studied with Josh Levine, David Gompper, Mark Engebretson, and Alejandro Rutty in addition to private studies with Samuel Adler, Laura Kaminsky, David Lang, and Augusta Read Thomas. For more information, please visit: www.joshuamarquez.com.
Joseph Mattingly is a composer living and working in Iowa City, IA. His teachers and mentors include Allen Koepke, Daniel Kleinkenecht, Jerry Owen, Allen Schmitz, Jon Schwabe, Sam Adler, Josh Levine, David Gompper, and David Lang. His works have been played throughout the United States and Europe. In his parallel musical life as a composer of Catholic liturgical and inspirational music he has been widely published and performed in many venues, including performances for Pope John Paul II.
In his second year of the PhD program for music composition at the University of Iowa, Joseph Norman is currently studying composition with Dr. Nomi Epstein. Previously, he studied with Dr. Joshua Levine and Dr. Lawrence Fritts. Additionally, he has participated in master classes with Ketty Nez, Elanie Lillios, David Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, and Louis Karchin. Joseph completed his Master's Degree in Music Composition at the University of Maryland while under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Delio and Dr. Lawrence Moss. Prior, he received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Composition and Classical Guitar Performance from St. Mary's College of Maryland. While there I studied composition with Dr. David Froom and Dr. John Leupold, and classical guitar with Dr. Orlando Roman.
Bernard Short (b. 1979, Harlem, NYC), raised in Far Rockaway, Queens, earned a BA in music with a focus in composition at Morehouse College (2007) and a Masters in Music Education at The University of Georgia (2012). He is currently enrolled in the PhD music composition program at the University of Iowa, where he was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship and is working as a research assistant for the Center for New Music. He studies with Lawrence Fritts and David Gompper.
From 2008-2014 he was the Director of Bands and Orchestra at Cross Keys High School in Atlanta, GA. While director, he was responsible for the rebirth of both programs, which received a grant from the Grammy Organization for its performance and outreach activities. In 2015, he received a commission from The Julien Chamber Winds Ensemble at The University of Dubuque. To Bernard, music is the expression of a person’s soul that is best used as a way to communicate to others without allowing words to obliterate the message.
Jacob P. Simmons (b. 1987) is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in music composition at the University of Iowa. He has received a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI), and a Master of Music degree in composition from Belmont University (Nashville, TN), and is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society. Jacob is presently studying composition with Josh Levine, and has previously studied with Lawrence Fritts, Bill Pursell, Mark Volker, and David Culross. Additionally, he has participated in masterclasses with Louis Karchin, Michael Fiday, and Ofer Ben-Amots.
Alexander Spenceri (b. 1996) is a freshman at the University of Iowa. He is currently majoring in euphonium performance under the instruction of Prof. John Manning. He takes composition lessons from Jonah Elrod, and is preparing a portfolio of composition for entrance into the University of Iowa’s composition program.
Alexandros Spyrou is a Greek composer and music theorist. His works have been performed in Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States by ensembles such as London Sinfonietta, JACK Quartet, New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Contemporary Directions Ensemble, Musica Nova Ensemble and Ensemble DissonArt. He studied composition with Michael Finnissy, Evangelia Kikou, Georges Papoutsis and Athanasios Zervas.
Alexandros has been a scholar of the Fulbright Foundation, the State Scholarship Foundation of Greece, the Graduate College-University of Iowa, the City Council of Ioannina and Harry Triantafillu Foundation. He holds degrees in Harmony, Counterpoint and Fugue from the Conservatory of Ioannina (Greece), a B.Mus from the University of Macedonia (Greece), an M.Mus from the University of Southampton (UK), and an M.Phil from the University of Bristol (UK). He is presently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Iowa studying composition with David Gompper.
Alexandro’s music is published by Edizioni Musicali Diaphonia. For more information please visit his website
Carlos Toro-Tobón, a composer born and raised in Columbia, received his MA degree in composition from the Universidad EAFIT in 2011. His composition teachers have been, Andrés Posada S., Moisés Bertrán and Marco Alunno. Since 2005, he has been a professor of music theory and composition at the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, where also coordinated the music education program. In 2014 Carlos Toro-Tobón was granted a Fulbright scholarship to study in the U.S., and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in music composition at the University of Iowa.
He recently complete a work for solo clarinet entitled “Escenas de una Doble Vida” (Scenes of a Double Life), which was premiered April 2015 in the Mons Royal Conservatory, Belgium at a concert along with other Colombian and Belgian works celebrating the signing of an exchange agreement with Universidad de Antioquia. He has composed works for orchestra, string orchestra, choir, string quartet, and other chamber configurations.
Alexander Toth is a sophomore vocal performance major studying composition with Alexandros Spyrou. His past experiences with music include performances in the 2013 Iowa All-State Choir, the 2014 Iowa State Honor Choir, Ankeny High School’s production of Grease as Johnny Casino, two vocal recitals with the Katherine Eberle voice studio at the University of Iowa, and two of the University of Iowa’s opera productions as an ensemble member. “Puzzles” is Alexander’s first attempt at post-tonal composition.
Jonathan Wilson is a candidate for the doctorate in music composition at the University of Iowa. He is the winner of the 2014 Iowa Music Teachers Association Composition Competition and a runner-up for the 2014 Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet National Composition Competition. Receiving his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in music composition from Western Illinois University, Jonathan has studied composition with David Gompper, Lawrence Fritts, James Romig, James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and John Cooper. In addition to composition, Jonathan has studied conducting under Richard Hughey and Mike Fansler. His compositional process is concept-oriented, and each concept, in turn, generates the structural ideas that unify his works. His future plans are to complete his doctoral program in music composition and to teach at a university. Jonathan is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., SEAMUS, the Iowa Composers Forum, and the American Composers Forum.