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In the Works

Fri 8.3 5:15pm

Friday, August 3, 5:15pm
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
FREE Orchestra Concert

You’ll find yourself at the very center of contemporary music-making with a special concert featuring new works by three young composers—Alexandra Bryant, Michael Foumai, and Zhangyi Chen—conducted by emerging conductors. All are studying in the prestigious Conductors/Composers Workshop. Don’t miss the excitement when the creative sparks fly!


Alexandra T Bryant


Hailed as a “promising composer” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Alexandra T Bryant has been lauded for her “ability to convey myriad moods through clear thematic materials and coloristic contrasts.” The 2008 world premiere of her piece Apostrophe was presented by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in Severance Hall. In addition to being commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, she has received commissions from William Preucil, the Aeolus Quartet, the Santa Fe Youth and Tacoma Youth Symphony Associations, Scordatura Music Society, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Born in Western Washington, Bryant is a 2010 Master’s graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where she studied under Pierre Jalbert and Arthur Gottschalk. In May of 2008, Bryant completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition under the guidance of Margaret Brouwer and Paul Schoenfield from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In the summer of 2010, she was a Composition Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival studying under Sydney Hodkinson. Studies have also included those with George Tsontakis at Aspen, the Bowdoin International Music Festival with Samuel Adler and Claude Baker, Tyler White at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute, the Czech-American Summer Music Institute with Ladislav Kubik, and Robert Hutchinson at the University of Puget Sound.

Bryant is currently attending the University of Maryland where she is pursuing her Doctoral Studies in Composition. She is a recipient of the school's Flagship Fellowship and the School of Music's Dean's Fellowship. Bryant has served on the faculty of the Luzerne Music Center as composer-in-residence.


Chen Zhangyi
(b. 1984)

Hailed by The Straits Times as “a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape,” Chen Zhangyi represents a rising generation of young Singaporean composers. He read music at the Peabody Institute and the National University of Singapore. His composition teachers include Michael Hersch, Kevin Puts and Peter Edwards. In masterclasses, he had worked with Christopher Theofanidis, David Smooke and Christopher Rouse.

Chen has collaborated with ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and most frequently with Singapore-based string orchestra re: mix. With the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, he conducted the Japanese premiere of his orchestral work Rain Tree at the Asian Music Festival in July 2011. A month later, his Ariadne’s Love emerged as a winner of the Abbey Road Studios Anthem Competition culminating in a recording by Eric Whitacre, Eric Whitacre singers and the London Symphony Orchestra. The winning work was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, “The Choir” and dubbed as “ from a choral voice of the future...”

An avid violinist and conductor, Chen studied with long-time Singapore Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Alexander Souptel, baroque specialist Risa Browder; conductors Harlan Parker, Ya-hui Wang and John Boyd. Violinist of the Charm City Baroque, he has appeared as soloist with the Baltimore Baroque Band, and as concertmaster of the Peabody Chamber Opera Orchestra. He has also worked with Julie Andrijeski and Midori in masterclasses. Apart from composing and premiering his own works, Chen enjoys performing and championing works of his contemporaries.


Michael Foumai


Named Composer of the Year by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Michael-Thomas Foumai was awarded the 2012 Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School and First Prize in the 4x4 Prizes in Composition from the University of Oklahoma. His music has been recognized with two Broadcast Music Inc. composition awards, the Arthur and Mary Platsis Prize from the University of Michigan and was named winner of the American String Teachers Association Merle J. Isaac Composition Competition. He has received grants from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, Argosy Foundation and honors from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the Presser Foundation and the American Prize.

Foumai’s works have been performed across the globe and his orchestral works have been performed and read by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, New England Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Daegu Contemporary Music Orchestra the Orchestra Unleashed, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, University Orchestras of Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Hawaii and the Hawaii Youth Symphony. His chamber works have been performed by Alarm Will Sound, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble DuoPlus and Ebb and Flow Arts among others.

Foumai holds a Bachelor in Music Composition from the University of Hawaii, a Masters in Music Composition from the University of Michigan (UM) and is currently a doctoral fellow at UM.



Photos from prior workshops by r.r. jones | Young composer photos are contributed