Composer Workshop 20172017-11-28T00:21:00+00:00

Composer Workshop

The young performers of The Next Festival collaborate with young composers in the creation of new music for strings. Curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, the workshop gives the next generation of composers and performers the opportunity to rehearse, refine and record works written specifically for the Festival.

Unlike most traditional workshops and reading sessions, the Next Festival workshop pairs young instrumentalists with young composers, fostering dialogue between them and laying the groundwork for future, life-long relationships and collaborations. Performers develop the technical tools and musical performance practice to master the new music through consultation with the composers, while the composers are able to hear their works, try new ideas and make changes to their music in real time.

About Aaron Jay Kernis

Workshop Leader

gs-kernis-portraitWinner of the coveted 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition and one of the youngest composers ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. With his “fearless originality [and] powerful voice” (The New York Times), each new Kernis work is eagerly awaited by audiences and musicians alike, and he is one of today’s most frequently performed composers. His music, full of variety and dynamic energy, is rich in lyric beauty, poetic imagery, and brilliant instrumental color.

His works figure prominently on orchestral, chamber, and recital programs world-wide and has been commissioned by many of America’s foremost performers, including sopranos Renée Fleming and Dawn Upshaw, violinists Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and James Ehnes (for the BBC Proms), pianist Christopher O’Riley and guitarist Sharon Isbin, and such musical institutions as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra (for the inauguration of its new home at the Kimmel Center), Walt Disney Company, Rose Center for Earth and Space at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, Ravinia Festival (for James Conlon’s inaugural season) , San Francisco and Singapore Symphonies, Minnesota Orchestra, Lincoln Center Great Performers Series, American Public Radio; Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, and Aspen Music Festival and programs from Philadelphia to Amsterdam (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam Sinfonietta), Santa Barbara to France (Orchestre National de France) throughout Europe and beyond.


About Derek Bermel

Guest Composer

Derek Bermel, Photo by Richard Bowditch

Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity. Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Bermel is also Director of Copland House’s emerging composers institute Cultivate, served as Composer- in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music, and enjoyed a four-year tenure as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton. Bermel has become recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series that spotlight the composer as performer. Alongside his international studies of ethnomusicology and orchestration, an ongoing engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language, in which the human voice and its myriad inflections play a primary role.

Official Website

About TJ Cole

Workshop Participant

TJ Cole (b. 1993), originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, began her musical studies at a young age when she started taking piano lessons. Soon after, when she was six, she wrote her first composition, a piano lullaby for her new baby brother. In her early teens, she studied cello for fun by playing with local youth orchestras. When she was 16, she realized that she did not want to pursue a life of performance, but a life dedicated to creation. So she began to focus her pursuits on her passion for composing.

Besides taking commissions, TJ is also interested in artistic community service projects. She collaborated with bassist Ranaan Meyer as an orchestrator on his project, The World We All Deserve Through Music, and with First Person Arts by co-curating and performing in a musical story slam. During a year-long ArtistYear Fellowship, TJ was able to co-run and collaborate in musical performances and songwriting workshops with residents of Project HOME, a Philadelphia based organization fighting to end chronic homelessness.

TJ has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Time for Three and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, among others, and served as a composer-in-residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2014. She received her Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, and will be pursuing a Master’s degree in composition at the Schulich School of Music in Montreal.

Other than music, TJ also enjoys drawing, baking, and taking care of the various cats in her life: Xena, Zelda, and Batman.

About Eli Greenhoe

Workshop Participant

Eli Greenhoe (b. 1994) is a composer from Brooklyn, New York. His music has been performed by such groups as the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, and the SEM ensemble, among others. Recent performances include orchestral premieres conducted by George Manahan and Nicholas DeMaison, respectively, and works commissioned and premiered by  Aki Takahashi and Thomas Piercy, William Lang (of loadbang) and Carrie Frey (of Chartreuse). Upcoming projects include a new work for loadbang, a commission from violin/viola duo andPlay, and a new work for the Yale Philharmonia.

Eli has twice (2013, 2016) been a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Competition and has received honorable mention recognition from both the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and loadbang in their respective calls for scores. Additionally, upon graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Greenhoe was awarded both the Nicholas Flagello award for excellence in composition and the Carl Kanter prize for orchestral music.

Eli Greenhoe received his B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music in 2016, where he studied with Reiko Füting. He is currently pursuing his M.M. at the Yale School of Music with Martin Bresnick and Christopher Theofanidis. He received additional training at the Eastman School of Music, where he worked primarily with Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez.

About Marco-Adrán Ramos

Workshop Participant

Marco-Adrián Ramos (1995) is a Mexican-American composer and arranger. He has written for a variety of media including works for voice, instrumental ensembles, incidental music, and dance. He has attended the New York Summer Music Festival, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the European-American Musical Alliance, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival; composers he has worked with include Christopher Lacy, Michel Merlet, Derek Bermel, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Arturo Márquez. In 2013, his piece Three Brief Inventions for clarinet and bassoon was published by TrevCo Music. Marco-Adrián studies at The Juilliard School, where he has been the recipient of the Gretchaninoff Memorial Prize, Henry Mancini Fellowship, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Scholarship, as well as serving as a Teaching Fellow in the Ear Training department. He is currently in the studio of the Composition Department Chair Robert Beaser, and is the recipient of a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, as well as being a 2017 finalist.