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  • Seven Participants Announced for LA Phil's National Composers Intensive 2019
  • Mar. 4, 2019
  • Seven Participants Announced for LA Phil's
    National Composers Intensive 2019

    Los Angeles, CA (March 4, 2019) – In its Centennial year, the Los Angeles Philharmonic continues to grow in its commitment to supporting the creation of new music and nurturing young composers through two programs: National Composers Intensive (NCI), for composers ages 18 to 30, and the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) for high school-aged composers. For the first time, the NCI program collaborates with New York City-based International Contemporary Ensemble (the Ensemble) to work with seven composers who will have the opportunity to workshop their pieces, both in New York and in Los Angeles, culminating in a performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    “I think of NCI as an exploration of the creative process. We seek composers who will push themselves artistically and take risks, and I'm excited to say the 2019 NCI composers exemplify those qualities while representing a diverse spectrum of musical backgrounds and styles. We are also excited to go on this journey with the International Contemporary Ensemble, as this allows us to explore a wide variety of collaborative, experimental, and iterative modes of creation,” says composer and Composer Fellowship Program director Andrew Norman.

    This year’s NCI Composers will work with Andrew Norman and composer Ashley Fure to compose and workshop a 5-6-minute work over the course of 4-5 months. They will also work with Co-Artistic Directors of International Contemporary Ensemble Rebekah Heller and Ross Karre to rehearse and refine their work. The Composers will workshop the beginning stages of their works with the Ensemble in New York from March 4-7, 2019. From May 27 - June 1, 2019, the composers and the Ensemble will convene in downtown Los Angeles for rehearsals and final performance during the LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight new music festival on June 1.

    "Few things in our daily practice as artists feel more invigorating and vital than creating a new work of experimental music. The collective, artistic leap of faith required to fill a blank page with expressive opportunities, and then bring them to life with an instrument, is something we never tire of at the International Contemporary Ensemble. National Composers Intensive is an opportunity for the lonely act of composing behind a desk, practicing in a studio, or listening in headphones to become communal, social, and shared," says Ross Karre.

    The National Composers Intensive is an outgrowth of the Composer Fellowship Program, which immerses high school-age composers in a unique, multi-year initiative to focus on their craft and hear their works performed live by the LA Phil or other professional ensembles. Four Composer Fellows writing for large ensemble recently had their works premiered at the LA Phil’s Symphonies for Schools concerts for students in grades 6 through 12. The concerts, which focused on film music, featured the LA Phil premiere of original film score excerpts from the Fellows, who worked closely with film composer Michael Giacchino to score excerpts from Star Trek (2009). Composer Fellows writing for small ensemble also recently completed a string quartet project, which culminated in performances by the Lyris Quartet. Applications for CFP open on March 11, 2019.

    The participants for the National Composers Intensive 2019 are:

    Jessie Cox

    Jessie Cox is a composer, drummer, educator, and music theorist currently in pursuit of his doctorate degree at Columbia University. He has written over 100 works for various musical ensembles, including electroacoustic works, solo works, chamber and orchestral works, and works for jazz ensembles and choirs. He has composed for performers such as JACK Quartet, Claire Chase, String Noise, International Contemporary Ensemble, Rebekah Heller, Vasko Dukovski, Either/Or, Cory Smythe, Ryan Muncy, Katinka Kleijn, Promenade Sauvage, Janet Underhill, Cehryl, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, and more.

    As a performer he has played in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA with musicians from all over the world, including Roman Filiu, Julian Shore, Mark Wade, Maher Beauroy, Eric Wubbels, Marc Hannaford, Brian Krock, Weston Olencki, Lester St. Louis, Sam Yulsman, Barbara LaFitte, Lucy Clifford, Tomas Sauter, and Alexander Levin, among others.

    He has studied composition with Georg Friedrich Haas, Richard Carrick, Seth Cluett, Derek Hurst, Marti Epstein, and drums with Neal Smith and Tony “Thunder” Smith. Jessie has played at the Accra Jazz Festival and the Martinique Jazz Festival with the Maher Beauroy Trio, and at the Rhythm and Thought Festival with High Key People. His compositions have been performed at NUNC3 at Northwestern University, New Music Gathering, Bang on a Can Music Series, Roulette Interpretation Series, OpenICE Library Festival at Lincoln Center, Composers Now Festival, Frequency Series at Constellation in Chicago, String Noise Sounds Series in NYC (where he is also co-curator), and Polyfold, and won the Leroy Souther Award (2015) and the Bill Maloof Award (2017) for his compositions. He was a finalist in the international composition competition ALEA III for his piece Earth for two bassoons, and two of his compositions have been regularly featured on the NPR station WGBH.

    Jessie Cox graduated from the Berklee College of Music on scholarship in 2017, with a degree in composition.

    Rohan Chander

    Rohan Chander (b. 1998) is a composer, pianist, and tabla player based in New York City. His work often concerns the relationship between processual elements and cognition, combining localized musical gestures evocative of non-European idioms with the structural sensibilities of contemporary concert music. As a performer, Rohan is an award-winning jazz pianist and founding member of NYC jazz fusion collective C3. He is also active as a tabla player, performing both Hindustani classical music and western improv as part of the project Tablature with guitarist and composer Sebastian Zel. Rohan has also been executive director of the Pulsing and Shaking music festival and co-founder of Manhattan-based composer collective SPHERES. He currently is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition at New York University under the tutelage of Robert Honstein.

    Nina Shekhar

    Nina Shekhar’s music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed by ETHEL, Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and have been featured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, Blackbird Creative Lab, GLFCAM, I Care If You Listen, and WNYC/New Sounds. Upcoming projects include performances by Eighth Blackbird, a new work for Music from Copland House for CULTIVATE, and a performance at National Sawdust sponsored by the Hildegard Competition. She is a recipient of the 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award and 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award.

    Nina is also a versatile performing artist, studying flute with Amy Porter, performing as a piano soloist with the Lublin Philharmonic, and as a saxophonist in the Detroit International Jazz Festival.

    Nina is currently pursuing her master’s degree in composition at the University of Southern California, studying with Ted Hearne and serving as a composition and aural skills teaching assistant. She earned dual undergraduate degrees in composition and chemical engineering at University of Michigan, studying with Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Kristin Kuster, Michael Daugherty, and Gabriela Lena Frank.

    Kelley Sheehan

    Kelley Sheehan is a Chicago-based composer and computer musician moving between acoustic, electronic, electro-acoustic, and performance art works. In any medium, her work broadly focuses on noise and interaction. Kelley has either performed or has been performed at numerous concert halls or art spaces such as the Experimental Sound Studios (Chicago), the Art Institute of Chicago, Constellation (Chicago), Banff Center for the Arts (Alberta) and The Tank (New York). She was recently nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2019, and other residencies and festivals include a MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick residency, Composition Fellow at Nief-Norf Summer Festival, and Composition Fellow at EQ: Evolution of the String Quartet at Banff.

     When not composing, she is co-artistic director of and performer with the contemporary ensemble Noisebias, as well as co-founder of The Plucky Plunkers, an improvisational music duo that is focused on commissioning and performing works for the toy piano and multimedia collaborations. As an advocate for New Music, she is co-artistic director and editor at Cacophony Magazine, a Chicago-based magazine dedicated to the advocation of contemporary sound-making and performance.

    Camila Agosto

    An avid collaborator, Camila Agosto (b. 1995) seeks to discover intersections of her work with artistic fields through partnerships with other musicians, visual artists, choreographers, and creators. Within her works, Camila often employs extended instrumental techniques and exhibits a particular emphasis on the exploration of different timbral and textural elements, often seeking to explore the sonic potentialities of acoustic instruments and expose the human element of live performance. Her music has been featured at venues and festivals in the United States and abroad.

    Camila was recently a runner-up in National Sawdust’s inaugural Hildegard Competition and was commissioned to create todavía, a work for small chamber ensemble. Recent projects include imprint, an electroacoustic installation piece commissioned by Berrow Duo, featuring artwork by visual artists from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Rift, a duo for bass clarinets and tape commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University. Upcoming projects include a work for solo flute commissioned by the Pnea Foundation and Paper House, a duo for violin and bass clarinet commissioned by Box Not Found.

    Camila is currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Her teachers include Oscar Bettison, Marcos Balter, and Du Yun. A recipient of the Randolph S. Rothschild Scholarship, Camila has also received awards and scholarships from the Marshall M. Williams Endowment and Sorel Organization.

    Nicholas Morrish

    Nicholas Morrish is a composer working in sound, electronics, and video.

    Recent work has focused on sonic media, raw states of matter, and the integration of concrete sounds within resonant structures.

    Pieces have been made for the London Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, United Instruments of Lucilin, Schallfeld, Nikel, Catchpenny, Divertimento, the Philharmonia, Workers Union, Kokoro, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Chamber Orchestra amongst many others.

     He is the joint holder of the Mendelssohn Scholarship (2018-20) and a Gaudeamus Award 2019 nominee and will also hold a Styria Artist-in-Residence Scholarship in 2019. Prizes have also been awarded by LSO Soundhub, the RSNO Composer’s Hub, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Sound and Music’s New Voices, New Dots, and Inspired by Digital.

    Nicholas is a fellow at the Harvard University Music Department, where his work is supervised by Chaya Czernowin. He is also a doctoral candidate at the Royal College of Music, where he works with Jonathan Cole. Prior to this, he studied at Oxford University and Trinity Laban, where he won multiple awards. He was a member of the professorial staff at Trinity Laban in 2017/18 and was a graduate teaching assistant at the RCM from 2016 to 2018.

    Salina Fisher

    Salina Fisher (b.1993) is a New Zealand composer and violinist. She is currently undertaking graduate studies in composition at New York’s Manhattan School of Music with Susan Botti, supported by Fulbright New Zealand and Creative New Zealand. In 2016, Salina became the youngest-ever winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for her orchestral work Rainphase, which will be performed in the 2019/20 season by National Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center) and Dallas Symphony Orchestra with conductor Gemma New.

    Salina is particularly interested in the musical traditions of New Zealand and Japan and has collaborated with taonga pūoro musician Rob Thorne in her 2017 SOUNZ Contemporary Award-winning string quartet Tōrino. She is also interested in film scoring and was awarded Best Score in the International Category, 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival for her score to New Zealand short film Misimpressions. Her works have been performed by numerous ensembles, including NZSO, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, New Zealand String Quartet, Stroma, Amalgama, and Emily Carr String Quartet (2017 ISCM World Music Days, Vancouver). As a violinist, Salina has performed as a casual player in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra since 2012, and as Concertmaster of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

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    About the Los Angeles Philharmonic
    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through June and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.


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