2019 Composers Now Festival Opening Event

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 7:00pm

Hosted by Tania León

National Opera Center
Marc A. Scorca Hall

330 7th Avenue, 7th Floor
(between 28th and 29th Streets)

The Opening Event of the ninth annual Composers Now Festival featured a vivacious program of music by living composers hosted by Composers Now founder and artistic director, Tania León.  

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"The Composers Now 2019 Festival Opening Event showed off an organization on target. Few evenings wrap such an exemplary program with such a collegial atmosphere." 

 The evening began with the presentation of the 2019 Composers Now Visionary Awards, recognizing members of the arts community who, through their own creative practice and advocacy for others, have made a profound, positive and lasting impact in our culture. This year, the awards were presented to:

     Laura Kaminsky                          T.J. Anderson             
                Laura Kaminsky               T.J. Anderson
Laura Kaminsky frequently addresses issues of sustainability, war, and human rights in her work. "Full of fire as well as ice, [she write] in n idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection. It is strong stuff." (American Record Guide) With co-librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed she has created the most widely-produced contemporary opera in the U.S., As One (2014), Some Light Emerges (Houston Grand Opera 2017), and the forthcoming Today It Rains (Opera Paralléle/American Opera Projects 2019).  Upcoming: a Piano Quintet for Ursula Oppens and the Cassatt String Quartet; and with Reed, Postville, inspired by the unprecedented and devastating immigration raid there in 2008, for a consortium led by Santa Fe and San Francisco Operas. She is head of composition at the Conservatory of Music/SUNY Purchase.

T.J. Anderson is one of the leading composers of his generation. He was born on August 17, 1928 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he devotes full time to writing music. He studied composition with George Ceiga, Philip Bezanson, Richard Hervig, and Darius Milhaud. Anderson is well known for his orchestration of Scott Joplin's opera, Treemonisha, which he made while composer in residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1972. As a lecturer, consultant, and visiting composer, he has appeared in institutions in the United States, Brazil, Germany, France, and Switzerland. He was the first composer-fellow of the National Humanities Center in 1996. In 1997 he was honored as a founder and first president of the National Black Music Caucus with a concert of his music. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, May 18, 2005.

Yuri Lee (b. 2004)

Blustery Day

Face the Music

Yuri Lee is a 2019
Luna Lab Fellow

Yuri Lee

Yusei Hata (b. 2002)

Very Short

Face the Music

Yusei Hata

Laura Kaminsky (b. 1956)

Forage, a movement from Rising Tide
Cassatt Quartet

Final scene from the opera Today It Rains
Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano
Kristen Kemp, piano

Laura Kaminsky

Gusti Komin Darta (b. 1978)

Tipat Taluh for Balinese gendér wayang

Gusti Komin Darta

Major Scurlock

Video excerpt of Black Moon (La Lune Noir) Act I
Music by Major Scurlock
Choreography by Monstah Black


Major Scurlock

Samuel Torres
(b. 1976)

Percussion improvisation

Samuel Torres

Joseph Keckler

Original arias incorporating
humor and video

Joseph Keckler