Under the direction of Festival resident composer David Ludwig, the Young Composers Seminar brings together some of the country’s most outstanding young composers. They are immersed in the culture of the Festival, interacting with the Festival staff, musicians, donors and audience members. Admission to the Seminar is by invitation.
During their week at the Festival they meet with local arts-community leaders and Festival staff to discuss arts management, fundraising, repertoire programming, and teaching artistry. In addition, each young composer creates a new work for the Festival, which is read and recorded by Festival artists. Students leave the Festival with a professional quality recording of their work, as well as newly acquired skills that will help them in their chosen profession. Between 2011 and 2018, the Festival commissioned six works by an alum of the Young Composers Seminar which were performed on our summer mainstage concerts.
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we commissioned three alums to write for us. Alistair Coleman (YCS ’17) wrote a micro-concerto for LCCMF co-artistic director Soovin Kim and the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, performed in February 2019. Nick DiBerardino (YCS ’18) wrote Jasper Beach for flute, cello, and piano, performed in November 2018 as part of our FlynnSpace series, Beethovens of Today. TJ Cole (YCS ’14) wrote for clarinet and string quartet performed in April 2019 as the second part of our Beethovens of Today series. During their visits to the Burlington area, these three composers also worked with our ONE Strings students at the Integrated Arts Academy and the Sustainability Academy
Meet the 2019 Young Composers
Nathan Bales is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical music, and has been described as a “young lion in Atlanta’s contemporary classical music scene’” (WAPS, 2014). Relentlessly prolific, his work has been performed in over fifty concerts over the past two years, performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Quartetto Indaco, The American Modern Ensemble, and others.
He began studying composition four years ago privately with composer and LCCMF Resident Composer David Ludwig. Since then Nathan has participated in festivals like the Atlantic Music Festival, highSCORE, and the Mostly Modern Festival. At the SE Stonewall 2nd Annual Music Festival, he was commissioned to write ‘Prologue to Rusticiano’, a 20 minute piece for orchestra and solo soprano for the closing concert.
His music is best described as a passionate, unashamed and fully itself. Full of wild textures and vibrant climatic hits, it strives to demand the listener’s attention with every second, brimming with love and joy.
Akshaya Avril Tucker (b.1992) is a composer, cellist and Odissi dancer whose work is inspired by the music and dance traditions of South Asia. Her recent commissions include solo works for violinist Johnny Gandelsman, cellist Robert Howard, and chamber works for invoke string quartet. Her music has been performed by Duo Cortona and the Refugee Orchestra Project at National Sawdust. Akshaya holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Music from Brown University. In 2017, she received a Rainwater Innovation Grant from the University of Texas for her collaboration with Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak on Three Songs. In 2018, she received honorable mentions from National Sawdust’s Hildegard Competition and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. From 2017-2018, she was a Composer Fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and in 2019, she was a Composer Fellow at MusicaNova Orchestra (AZ). In 2015, she was a recipient of the Madeira Award of the Brown Club of Rhode Island, and a Brown University Distinguished Senior Thesis Award. Akshaya is Programs Manager at Shastra, an organization dedicated to connecting the musical traditions of India and the West.
Elizabeth Younan (1994) is a composer from Sydney, Australia, currently living in Philadelphia, USA. Most recently Elizabeth was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva’s 2018 International Concert Season, where her Piano Sonata was premiered and broadcast around Australia by Grammy-nominated classical pianist and Van Cliburn silver medalist Joyce Yang.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, where she studied with composer Carl Vine AO. Elizabeth currently studies as an Artist Diploma student under full scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the Jimmy Brent Fellowship. She studies with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, and Dr. Richard Danielpour. Elizabeth is the ﬁrst female Australian composer to ever be admitted to Curtis (and second Australian composer overall). Elizabeth is also an avid chorister, having sung soprano with Gondwana Choirs and the Choir of Christ Church St. Lawrence. Elizabeth also loves to read, and is currently reading the work of George Orwell and Flannery O’Connor.
Feedback from YCS Graduates
Elise Arancio, 2017:
My experience at LCCMF was unique … the incredible musicians that I was able to meet and listen to showed a passion for their music that was infectious. I learned so much from all of the wonderful talks, lectures, and meetings that provided insight into not only the music, but the minds of the players and composers. My experiences at LCCMF helped me grow so much not only as a composer but as a lover of music in general, and the specialness of this festival was evidenced by the audience’s passion and dedication for it that I’ve never seen before. When I wasn’t busy being inspired by the wonderful music and musicians at this festival, I was having so much fun in the beautiful city of Vermont with amazing food and people. I’m so glad that I was able to be a part of the LCCMF family, and I’m grateful for all of the memories that I made with them.
Ian Gottlieb, 2015:
Getting my work played by such an unreal Horn Quartet was a very special experience for me as a composer. The sounding board not only provided me the opportunity to incorporate important feedback into future iterations of my composition, but also provided me an excellent recording to showcase on my website. Additionally, I was smitten by the warmth of the Burlington community and their passion for classical music, especially my dear hosts, the Bergerons! Lastly, it was a pleasure to get to learn about fundraising from the inimitable John Canning, who is undoubtedly the most down to earth and approachable patron of the arts I’ve ever met.
Philip Golub, 2012:
This has been a week I will remember in detail for a very long time. I’ve learned a ton, all sorts of things, specific and general, both relating to composition and music itself and also concerning a skill set I feel much more aware of needing to cultivate now. Thank you for the commitment and care you put into the young composers, it’s really remarkable to feel that. Anyway, “special”, in every possible way, is the word I would use to describe the last nine days. A general great feeling carries over it all, so thanks for making that possible.
Andrés Martinez De Velasco, 2011:
When I was invited to the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, I thought it would be a great experience but the reality of it far surpassed my expectations. It’s very rare that a composer as young as I am gets the opportunity to work with musicians of such a high level, and even rarer to find that those outstanding musicians are some of the kindest, most helpful and caring people around. Working with them on my own music really helped me realize my compositional strengths and weaknesses and being a part of the festival in general showed me what the reality of the music world is. It gave me a chance to see all the work that is required to put on a successful concert beyond the actual writing or playing of music; these are the types of things you don’t learn how to do at school such as giving lectures, pre-concert talks, preparing and setting up concerts, etc. The LCCMF was an amazing experience and challenge and I am looking forward to future encounters with all the people involved in it.
David Bloom, 2009:
Any music festival that breaks the standard model takes a significant risk, which is something I believe that the founders of Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival knew very well. They whole-heartedly took the risk to innovate, breaking the traditional barriers to include students, actively involve audiences, and create intellectually stimulating programs.
As anyone who attended a part of LCCMF knows, these efforts were answered with great success. We packed the halls for every astonishing concert; we listened intently to the words of the musicians and asked them questions; the Vermont Youth Orchestra and the Young Writers Project became integral members of the festival. These were only a few of the successes that we enjoyed. Perhaps the most memorable parts of the week were the incredibly refined and moving performances, but they were by no means the most important. The most important aspect of this festival, I believe, was the ethic of community involvement that stood at the core of the festival’s mission.
Festival Commissions From YCS Graduates
Red, Blue, Black, 2019, for clarinet and string quartet
TJ Cole (YCS ’14)
Moonshot, 2019, micro-concerto for violin and string chamber orchestra
Alistair Coleman (YCS ’17)
Jasper Beach, 2018, for flute, cello, and piano
Nick DiBerardino (YCS ’18)
Settle, 2016, for piano quartet
Emily Cooley (YCS ‘15)
Sonatensatz, 2015, for flute, clarinet, oboe, French horn, cello, and piano
Loren Loiacono (YCS ‘13)
Fireflies, 2014, for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
Phillip Golub (YCS ‘12)
Contemplations, 2013, for clarinet, violin, and piano
Alyssa Weinberg (YCS ’09)
Brandenburg Insterstices, 2012
Gabriella Smith (YCS ’10)
String Quartet, 2011
Tim Woos (YCS ’09)
Young Composers Seminar Graduates
- Wei Dai, Curtis
- Nick DiBerardino, Curtis
- Alex Weiser, NYC
- Elise Arancio, Atlanta, GA
- Aiyana Tedi Braun, Curtis
- Alistair Coleman, Juilliard
- Hannah Ishizaki, Pittsburgh, PA
- Andrew Moses, Curtis
- John Boggs, University of Michigan
- Hyerim Yoo, Royal Academy of Music, London
- Emily Cooley, Curtis
- Viet Cuong, Princeton
- Ian Gottlieb, Yale
- TJ Cole, Curtis
- Chelsea Komschiles, Univ. of Colorado
- Niels Verosky, Swarthmore
- Loren Loiacono, Cornell
- Rene Orth, Curtis
- Riho Esko Maimets, Curtis
- Serena Creary, Oberlin
- Tamzin Ferré Elliott, Bard
- Phillip Golub, Harvard and NEC
- Katerina Kramarchuk, Curtis
- Zach Sheets, Harvard
- Andrés Martinez de Valasco, Bard
- Molly Joyce, Julliard
- Dylan Mattingly, Bard
- Joshua Morris, Oberlin
- Gabriella Smith, Curtis
- David Bloom, Bard
- Daniel Shapiro, Curtis
- Alyssa Weinberg, Vanderbilt
- Tim Woos, Curtis