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  • LAPA
  • Six Participants Announced For The Los Angeles Philharmonic's National Composers Intensive 2017
  • Nov. 14, 2017
  • Program Invites Young Composers from the U.S. and Mexico to Create Works to Be Premiered by wild Up During LA Phil's Noon to Midnight Marathon Contemporary Music Festival on November 18 at Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Los Angeles, CA (November 14, 2017) - Now in its third year, the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive (NCI) program expands internationally for the first time, inviting young composers (ages 18 to 30) from Mexico and the U.S. to create new works for the acclaimed Los Angeles-based modern music collective wild Up. This year's program kicked off during the LA Phil's CDMX: Music From Mexico City festival in October, during which participants traveled to downtown L.A. to work with two-time Latin Grammy-nominated, and one of Mexico's foremost composers, Gabriela Ortiz; renowned composer and Director of the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) Andrew Norman; and Artistic Director of wild Up Christopher Rountree, to rehearse and refine their works. In addition, participants observed LA Phil rehearsals, attended performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and participated in talks with renowned artists including Enrico Chapela, Diana Syrse, and Felipe Waller, and the National Coordinator of Music and Opera of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) José Julio Díaz Infante. Composers return to Los Angeles in mid-November for a dress rehearsal and performance of their works.

    The Intensive will conclude with the newly composed works receiving world premieres on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall, performed by wild Up conducted by Christopher Rountree, on November 18 at 4 PM. The performances will be part of the LA Phil's Noon to Midnight: A Day of New Music marathon contemporary music festival. Following the program, participants receive a live recording of wild Up performing their works. 

    Since 2015, the LA Phil's National Composers Intensive has brought together contemporary American composers, both those who are established and those with careers in the making. An outgrowth of the LA Phil's Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program, the National Composers Intensive invites up to ten composers, ages 18 to 30, to create, rehearse, and workshop new compositions to be performed and recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall or other public venues. The young composers write for new music ensembles, like wild Up, and take lessons, receive coaching, and attend masterclasses with internationally renowned composers. NCI has aligned with LA Phil music festivals like Next on Grand, Noon to Midnight, and, most recently, CDMX: Music From Mexico City. All program and travel expenses for invited composers are covered by the LA Phil. 

    The National Composers Intensive demonstrates the LA Phil's commitment to the evolution of living music on a national scale, and supports new music from genesis, to creation, to commission, to performance. These programs serve as models for the creation and performance of new music, which is at the very heart of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's identity.


    Program Details:  
    Saturday, November 18, 2017, 4:00 PM 
    Noon to Midnight: A Day of New Music 
    LA Phil's National Composers Intensive
    wild Up
    Christopher Rountree, conductor 

    David BIRD Bellona (world premiere) 
    Tonia KO Very Tall Very Bright (world premiere) 
    Aldo LOMBERA In (E)Motion (world premiere) 
    Nate MAY The Living Form Contains Its Own History (world premiere) 
    Erika VEGA Icebergs Breaking Under Cloudy Skies (world premiere) 
    Juan Andres VERGARA Lines: Desert Whispers (world premiere) 

    The participants for the National Composers Intensive 2017 are:  

    David Bird (b. 1990) is a composer from Southern California. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and currently studies composition with Georg Friedrich Haas at Columbia University. His work explores the dramatic potential of electroacoustic and mixed media environments, often focusing on the relationship between technology and the individual. The Australian magazine Limelight described his work as an "intricate timbral universe... tickling the ears in such a new way" and the Dutch Music blog Nieuwe Noten described his compositional approach as "...exceedingly disturbing, alienating, cold and at times quite aggressive." A review from Pitchfork's Altered Zones has described his expansive sound as, "vibrant, shirt-staining, color squirting... amidst swirling layers of white noise and choir... I do believe a lie-down is in order." His work has been performed internationally at venues and festivals such as the MATA festival in New York City; the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands; the Wien Modern Festival in Vienna, Austria; the SPOR festival in Aarhus, Denmark; the IRCAM Manifeste Festival in Paris, France; and the Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Spain. 

    Tonia Ko (b. 1988) holds a DMA from Cornell University, where she studied with Steven Stucky and Kevin Ernste. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, she earned previous degrees from Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music. Tonia's music has been lauded by The New York Times for its "captivating" details and "vivid orchestral palette." Her interests in texture and physical movement play into a larger theme of interdependency between visual art and music. Tonia's music has been performed by ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, Volti, New York Youth Symphony, Flux Quartet, orkest de ereprijs, Eastman Wind Ensemble, and New Morse Code. She has been featured at Nief-Norf Summer Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Shanghai New Music Week, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Tonia has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, Composers Now, as well as residencies at Copland House, Djerassi, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is represented by Young Concert Artists as 2015-2017 Composer-in-Residence. Her explorations as an artist have sparked interdisciplinary connections- most prominently Breath, Contained, an ongoing project using bubble wrap as a canvas for both art and sound. 

    Aldo Lombera
    (b. 1990): Bachelor in Composition and Music Theory from the CIEM, graduating as Fellow and Associate in Composition (FLCM) and (ALCM) and Licentiate in Music Literacy Theory of Music (LMusLCM) from The London College of Music. He has participated in composition workshops conducted by Enrico Chapela, Enrique Mendoza, Víctor Rasgado, Luca Belcastro, Hebert Vázquez, Ignacio Baca Lobera, Luis Jaime Cortéz and Marcelo Toledo. He has won several awards, such as the "Nuestra América Prize" in the International "Nuestra América" (2012), the Award for Latin America in the International "Zvi Zeitlin Memorial" (2014), the winning work in the National for Percussion Ensemble (2013) and the winning work in the National for Symphony Orchestra "Ciudad Sinfónica"(2015), among others. He was also selected to represent Mexico in UNESCO´s 2014 IRC and as a grant recipient of PECDA-FOCAEM 2014/15 and CMMAS "Prácticas de Vuelo" 2016/17 programs. His music has been performed in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Malaysia, Spain and the United States by interpreters such as the José White String Quartet, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, Baquetofonía Percussion Ensemble, Cuatro Puntos, Atrapasueños Duo, Iracema de Andrade, Irvine Arditti, Beatriz Martínez, Cynthia Martínez, Fonobox Orchestra and the Michoacán Symphony Orchestra among others. 

    Nate May (b. 1987) is a composer and keyboard improviser whose music draws on research and imagination, often treating contemporary issues of place, migration, environment, and identity with textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and a taste for repurposed sounds. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a "fascination, love, and respect for the people" of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State - premiered by singer Kate Wakefield (Lung) and MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir - and his monodrama, Dust in the Bottomland, sung by lyric bass Andrew Munn. Large-scale collaborations include the world-touring work Spiral by choreographer/dancer Wanjiru Kamuyu, and Kalahari Waits, the debut album of indigenous experimental trio Khoi Khonnexion, produced during a year in South Africa. His chamber and electronic works have been commissioned, performed, and/or recorded by Adam Sliwinski (Sō Percussion), Quartetto Indaco, Patchwork Duo, Brianna Matzke and Hajnal Pivnick, and Thea Rossen. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, and is enrolling at Yale in the Fall of 2017. His work has received support from the Telluride Association, ArtsWave, People's Liberty, and the Berea College Appalachian Sound Fellowship. 

    Erika Vega (b. 1987) studied violin at the National School of Music UNAM with Mikail Tolpygo and Arón Bitrán, composition with Mario Lavista at the National Conservatory of music and Gonzalo Macías at the School of arts BUAP. Thanks to a scholarship given by the Mexican government, she traveled to Europe in 2012 to obtain a Master's Degree in Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Peter Swinnen and, at the same time, studied electronic music with Kasia Glowicka and violin with Kati Sebestyén, graduating with a distinction "cum laude." It was in this travel that, through composition workshops, she took master classes with Murail, Ferneyhough, Fuentes, Lindberg, Czernowin, and Reynolds y Aperghis, among others. She has won awards at the Eight International Jurgenson Competition for Young Composers at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the call for scores 2015 from Odysseia ensemble in Belgium, and at the Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Music Workshop/Competition 2016 in Austria. Since August 2016, Erika Vega has engaged in artistic research of the music/movement relationship, in collaboration with P.A.R.T.S. research studios, as part of the Advanced Master Program in Contemporary Music curated by ICTUS ensemble at the Royal Conservatory/School of Arts Ghent. 

    Juan Andrés Vergara (b. 1990) is a composer, producer and guitarist from Mexico City with an intuitive and empirical approach to music supported by a classical formation. He studied contemporary composition at Centro de Investigación y Estudios de la Música. He also has Licenciate and Fellow degrees from London College of Music. His music has been premiered by some renowned soloists and ensembles, like Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Quinteto de Alientos de la Ciudad de México, Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán, and Jeffrey Zeigler; and has been awarded in many competitions. In 2015 he was selected to represent Mexico at UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers in Estonia and he has also won "Nuestra América" composition competition held by Cuarteto José White. He has been producing music for media since 2008 and has participated in short films, feature films, documentaries, multimedia installations, and advertisement. He is starting to include combinations of live electronics and instruments in his compositions; and he currently mixes studio work with composing, songwriting, and performing live in indie projects that range from folk to rock music.

    Tickets for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2017/18 season are available for purchase at, in person at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or by phone at 323.850.2000. 

    wild Up is the Los Angeles contemporary music ensemble heralded as "Searing. Penetrating. And thrilling" by Fred Child of Performance Today and "Magnificent" by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Rountree, the 24-piece group blurs the borders between classical music, rock and performance art, believing music is a catalyst for shared experience, and that a concert venue is a place to excite, challenge and provoke a community of listeners. Since forming in 2010, wild Up has collaborated with orchestras, rock bands and cultural institutions around the world. 

    A unique offering among American orchestras, the LA Phil's Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for high school-age composers to become a part of the LA Phil's thriving new music community. The innovative, multi-year program offers students a high level of consistent and intensive focus on the process and production of music composition, giving them the tools and freedom necessary to shape the future of concert music. Fellows are guided through the creative process from start to finish by internationally acclaimed composer and Program Director Andrew Norman, Lead Teaching Artist Sarah Gibson, and Teaching Artist Thomas Kotcheff. Students work with LA Phil musicians and guest artists in frequent reading sessions; hear their pieces performed by the LA Phil, chamber groups, and other orchestras; attend more than 20 concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl each year; and engage with many of the world's greatest living composers.   

    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 May, 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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