Our First Ever Composer Workshop
In an exciting pilot program, the young performers of The Next Festival collaborated with young composers in the creation of new music for strings. Curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, the workshop gave 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 paired young instrumentalists with young composers, fostering dialogue between them and laying the groundwork for future, life-long relationships and collaborations. Performers developed the technical tools and musical performance practice to master the new music through consultation with the composers, while the composers were able to hear their works, try new ideas and make changes to their music in real time.
Based on the huge success of our first workshop, we look forward to expanding the program in the coming season.
About Aaron Jay Kernis, Workshop Leader
Winner 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 Composer Liliya Ugay, Workshop Participant
Liliya Ugay (1990, Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is an award-winning composer and pianist whose music has been performed in many countries across the globe. A recipient of the 2016 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, her music has been described both as “assertive, steely” and “lovely, supple writing” by the Wall Street Journal. Among her competition prizes are the Molinari Quartet international composition competition (Montreal, Canada), International composition competition Pre-Art (Zurich, Switzerland), Edward Grieg International composition competition (Oslo, Norway), International competition for young composers-Crystal Camerton (Moscow Conservatory/Union of Composers, Russia), and the MTNA National Young Artist Composition competition. Ugay’s music has been featured at many festivals among which are the Darmstadt International Courses of New Music, New York International Electroacoustic Music Festival, June in Buffalo, American Composers Festival (Albany Symphony), Boston New Music Initiative, and the Venice Biennale. Her compositions expand from traditional ensembles to musical theater and electroacoustic music. As a pianist, Liliya is particularly interested in exploring and promoting unknown music of Soviet composers who were victims of the political persecutions: her current project is a lecture-recital “Silenced Voices: Music of Soviet Russia”, which she is working on under the guidance of Boris Berman. Liliya is a prizewinner of several piano competitions, among which are the second prize at the International competition “Verfemte Musik” (Germany) and the fourth prize at the 14th International Beethoven Piano Sonatas competition. Liliya received her MM at the Yale School of Music studying with Aaron Kernis, Martin Bresnick, and Christopher Theofanidis. Liliya will start working towards her DMA degree at Yale University this Fall.
About Composer Krists Auznieks, Workshop Participant
Krists Auznieks is a composer whose music boldly explores systems and structures and yet retains transparency and clarity, while his commitment to repetition and static forms yields a musical experience reminiscent of sacred rituals and contemplative practices.
Auznieks’s work “I Exist As I Am” for Latvian Radio Choir was a Selected Work (under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Finland and was broadcast on classical music radios worldwide. He has worked with Antico Moderno, Sandbox Percussion, Yale Philharmonia, Albany Symphony, David Kweksilber Big Band, Claron McFadden, Modelo62, Slagwerk Den Haag, Brendan Faegre Edge Ensemble, Orkest de Ereprijs, vocal groups Framest and Anima Solla. His chamber opera “Solar Wind” was featured in Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014 festival and broadcast on the Latvian national radio.
His works have been performed at Beijing National Arts Centre, Shanghai City Theatre, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw and featured in Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Ereprijs YCM, Druskomanija, Riga A Capella Festival, New Music New Haven and others. A scholarship recipient from the American Academy of Fontainebleau, France, Krists was also a Composition Fellow at Bennington Chamber Music Conference 2015, Vermont.
Receiving his BA from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, also having studied extensively at The Hague Institute of Sonology, Krists is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Yale School of Music with David Lang, Hannah Lash and Martin Bresnick where he will continue at the doctoral program in September.
His second opera, “NeoArctic”, in collaboration with Danish multi-media company “Hotel Pro Forma”, British techno producer Andy Stott and Icelandic poet Sjon will be premiered at Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark and Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre, Latvia in Fall 2016.