Liliya Ugay

Copland House announces six Fellows selected to participate in CULTIVATE 2018, its acclaimed, annual emerging composers institute. The composers chosen areCarlos Bandera, 25 (Baltimore, MD); Ethan Braun, 30 (Tarzana, CA); Theo Chandler, 25 (Hillsborough, NC); Annika Socolofsky, 27 (Princeton, NJ); Phil Taylor, 28 (Boulder, CO); Liliya Ugay, 27 (New Haven, CT). Ugay was named CULTIVATE’s Nashville Symphony ComposerLab Fellow, in connection with Copland House’s collaboration with the orchestra’s young composer initiative. Bret Bohman, 35 (Columbia, MO) was selected as an Alternate.

The Fellows were chosen out of 60 applicants from 22 states and one Canadian province by an eminent jury of acclaimed Copland House Resident composers – CULTIVATE Director Derek Bermel, Huang Ruo, and Russell Platt. “It boggles the mind to hear the extraordinary creativity in the next generation of composers,” Bermel said. “I’m thrilled that CULTIVATE, now in its seventh season, continues to draw this enormous talent year after year.”

An all-scholarship, intensive creative workshop and mentoring program, CULTIVATE will take place this year between June 4 and 10 in northern Westchester County, NY, at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in Cortlandt Manor and at the Merestead estate in nearby Mount Kisco. Launched in 2012, it has quickly become a coveted destination for highly-gifted composers on the threshold of their professional careers. “In its combination of composer residency and masterclass format, CULTIVATE is an outstanding addition to Copland House’s program of activities,” said Platt. “We were fortunate to be able to choose a group of younger composers notable for their vibrant talent as well as their diverse backgrounds and aesthetic viewpoints.”

The six Fellows will each create a new composition that will serve as the focus of an intensive week of collective and individual daily rehearsals and workshops with Bermel and Principal and Guest Artists from the Music from Copland House ensemble, recently hailed by Louisville Weekly as “one of the leading champions of contemporary music.” Evening discussion sessions focus on practical and professional career matters, and feature prominent, forward-looking arts leaders. CULTIVATE will conclude with a public concert by the ensemble on Sundayafternoon, June 10 on Copland House’s mainstage performance series at Merestead, featuring the World Premieres of all the new works. All costs of composer participation, working sessions and rehearsals, travel, accommodations, and meals are covered by Copland House. As 2017 FellowMatthew Browne raved, “Never have I attended a program that was, across the board, as fruitful, well-organized, eye-opening, and fun. CULTIVATE was fantastic!”

Support for CULTIVATE comes from the ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Jandon Foundation, and John G. Strugar. Additional program support comes from ArtsWestchester, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, Friends of Copland House, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts. Tickets for the June 10 CULTIVATE concert are $25 for the general public, $20 for Friends of Copland House, and $10 for students (with ID). Ticket or reservation information is available at (914) 788-4659,, or


CULTIVATE 2018: Fellows’ bios

CARLOS BANDERA (Friends of Copland House Fellow) is fascinated by musical architecture and by the music of the past. His recent works explore these interests, often by placing musical quotations or other references within a dense microtonal and micropolyphonic texture. His music has been performed in the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Uzbekistan, China, and the U.S. by the Hebrides, Omnibus, and Nebula Ensembles, among others. He has degrees from Montclair State University, where he studied with Elizabeth Brown, Dean Drummond, and Marcos Balter, and from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he worked with Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts.

Los Angeles-based ETHAN BRAUN (Friends of Copland House Fellow) has written for the New York Youth Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, the Asko|Schönberg and Talea Ensembles, and Ensemble Klang. His work has been presented across Europe, the U.S., Argentina, and China at Carnegie Hall, the Shanghai Symphony Hall, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Musiikin Aika, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Distat Terra, and Impuls Festival. He was awarded the Institute for Jewish Creativity’s 2017 WORD grant, and was a Gaudeamus Prize nominee. A doctoral candidate at Yale University, his current projects include an evening-length work for Ensemble Klang, an opera with artist Adam Linder, and an installation based on silent prayer and meditation in the Jewish tradition.

A composer of concert and stage works, THEO CHANDLER (Friends of Copland House Fellow) has received commissions from Les Délices, Golden West Winds from the U. S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, Israeli cellist Amir Eldan, bassoonist George Sakakeeny, and New Zealand flutist Alexa Still. He is the Emerging Composer Fellow for the Houston-based Musiqa ensemble, and was previously Young Composer-in-Residence for the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. He has also had fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival and School. A graduate of The Juilliard School (where he received several honors) and Oberlin Conservatory, he is currently a doctoral candidate at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he is studying with Anthony Brandt.

The music of American composer-vocalist ANNIKA SOCOLOFSKY (ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fellow) stems from the timbral nuance and inwards resonance of the human voice, and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral works to unaccompanied folk ballads. New projects for the 2017-18 season include works for Eighth Blackbird, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the Albany and Knoxville Symphonies, and saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen. A recipient of a Fromm Foundation Commission and BMI Student Composer Award, her music has been performed by Third Coast Percussion, the JACK and Emissary Quartets, Shattered Glass, Donald Sinta Quartet, Latitude 49, and Mobius Percussion, among others. Her research focuses on Dolly Parton’s vocal physiology and technique to create a pedagogical approach to composition that does not box the composer into the age-old straight tone vs. operatic style debate. She also has an intense interest in Yiddish song and contra dance, and can be heard in avant-Isles folk band Ensoleil. A doctoral candidate at Princeton University and a graduate of the University of Michigan, her primary mentors have been are Evan Chambers, Dan Trueman, Kristen Kuster, and Reza Vali.

PHIL TAYLOR (Sheila and Richard J. Schwartz Honorary Fellow) writes music steeped in kinetic motion, gestures, transformations, and dialogue. An Oregon native and current resident of Boulder, Colorado, his works are often inspired by exploring phenomena in nature, linguistics, literature, and visual arts. Among his recent commissioned works are a sinfonietta for Ensemble Échappé, a saxophone quartet for ~Nois, and a solo violin piece for Michiko Theurer’s Circling the Waves multimedia project. He has been commissioned by, or collaborated with, numerous ensembles across the U.S., including the Minnesota Orchestra, Latitude 49, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, Eighth Blackbird, Imani Winds and the FLUX, Spektral, and Pacifica Quartets. He has won three BMI Student Composer Awards, including the William Schuman Prize for Best Score, and his music has been featured at the Aspen and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals, and Wellesley Composers Conference. He holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Augusta Read Thomas and Shulamit Ran.

The music of award-winning composer and pianist LILIYA UGAY (Nashville Symphony ComposerLab Fellow) has been performed in many countries around the globe. Recipient of a 2016 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2017 Horatio Parker Memorial Prize from the Yale School of Music, she has collaborated with the Nashville and Albany Symphonies, New England Philharmonic, Yale Philharmonia, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Molinari Quartet, Antico Moderno, Omnibus ensemble, and violist Paul Neubauer among others. Her music has been featured at the Aspen, New York Electroacoustic Music, June in Buffalo, and Darmstadt New Music Festivals, and the Venice Biennale. During 2017-2018, she is working on a new opera as Resident Composer at the American Lyric Theater. An Uzbekistan native, she is currently a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music studying with Aaron Jay Kernis. Besides new music, she is passionate about the music of the Soviet-era repressed composers, whose work she regularly champions in lecture-recitals.

Copland House bios

CULTIVATE Director DEREK BERMEL has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, New Jersey, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles and Westchester Philhamonics, the New York Youth Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, Eighth Blackbird, the Guarneri String Quartet, Music from Copland House and Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (U.K.), Figura (Denmark), violinist Midori, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianists Christopher Taylor and Andrew Russo, among others. His many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, and Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and Cary Trust; and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri. He is Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and a former Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, will serve as 2018-19 Composer-in-Residence of the Seattle Symphony.

MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE (MCH) is the internationally-acclaimed touring ensemble-in-residence at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home near New York City. Hailed by The New York Times for “illuminating essential truths about the music,” Music from Copland House occupies a special place on the musical scene as the only wide-ranging American repertory ensemble journeying across 150 years on the U.S. musical landscape. MCH has been engaged by Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Yale College (for a 2017-18 residency), Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, the Caramoor, Cape Cod, Bard, and Ecstatic Music Festivals, National Public Radio, the European Broadcasting Union, and many other leading presenters. The ensemble records for Arabesque, Koch International, and the COPLAND HOUSE BLEND labels, and is regularly featured on Copland House’s popular main-stage concert series at the historic Merestead estate near New York City. Inspired by Copland’s peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH also presents a wide variety of educational and community outreach activities. MCH concerts feature a stellar roster of performers led by four of the ensemble’s five much-admired Founding Artists – clarinetist-composer Derek Bermel, pianist Michael Boriskin, violinist Nicholas Kitchen, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith – and including an array of outstanding Principal and Guest Artists.

COPLAND HOUSE is an award-winning creative center for American music based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in New York’s lower Hudson River Valley. Praised by The New York Times for “all the richness of its offerings,” it is the only composer’s home in the U.S. devoted to nurturing and renewingAmerica’s rich musical heritage through a broad range of programs, and fostering greater public awareness and appreciation of our nation’s composers and their work. Building upon Copland’s seminal artistic and personal legacies, it furthers this mission through multi-faceted support for composers, live and recorded public performances, and in-school and on-site educational programs. Among its many honors are the American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction, and Westchestermagazine’s recognitions as “Best of the Decade” and “Best of Westchester.”Support for Copland House’s 2017-18 season comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, ArtsWestchester, Ruth M. Knight Foundation, Westchester Community Foundation, and Friends of Copland House.

by BWW News Desk May. 23, 2018