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Sean Friar

Sat 8.3 | Noise Gate

SEAN FRIAR (b. 1985)

Sean Friar’s music combines the spontaneity and directness of his roots in blues piano improvisation with an expansive and exploratory classical sensibility. Slate Magazine describes his music as “refreshingly new and solidly mature…and doesn’t take on airs, but instead takes joy in the process of discovery [and] in the continual experience of suspense and surprise…”  Friar is currently Lecturer of Composition at UCLA, and a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2007. His primary teachers have been Steven Mackey, Paul Lansky, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Paul Chihara.

Friar composes for ensembles both within and outside the realm of traditional concert music, and his recent commissions run the gamut from string quartets and wind quintets to a junk car percussion concerto and music for laptop orchestra. His music has been performed throughout the world by ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, Argento Ensemble, So Percussion, Crash Ensemble (Ireland), Ensemble Klang (Netherlands), American Composers Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, Alter Ego (Italy), Psappha (UK), Darmstadt Staatsorchester (Germany), Newspeak, Janus, Quintet of the Americas, Present Music, Orkest de Ereprijs (Netherlands), and Matmos. Festivals featuring his music include Apeldoorn, Aspen, Bang on a Can, Bowdoin, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, GAUDEAMUS Muziekweek, International Young Composers Meeting, La Pietra Forum for New Music, Music: Cognition, Technology & Society, Norfolk, Nuova Consonanza, Nuovi Spazi Musicali, RadialSystem at Berliner Philharmonie, SONiC, and the Venice Biennale.  In December, his music will be performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic on their Green Umbrella series.

The youngest composer to win the Rome Prize in over 25 years, Friar’s honors include the Aaron Copland Award; Charles Ives Scholarship; a Chamber Music America Commission; four ASCAP Young Composer Awards; Lee Ettelson Award; the First Music Award; Renee B. Fisher Award; among others. His music is recorded on the New Amsterdam, Innova, Darling, and Crescent Phase record labels.

Friar was selected by Maestra Alsop for a Festival commission through an ongoing collaboration with composer John Adams to spotlight the next generation of promising composers, and the world premiere performance of Noise Gate takes place on Saturday, August 3, 2013.

Visit Sean Friar's Website