BMP: NEXT GENERATION
MAYA MIRO JOHNSON
We're thrilled to announce the first-round finalists of our BMP: Next Generation initiative to discover the most exciting new opera-theatre and music-theatre compositional voices. These ten composers were chosen from an application pool of 117 entries in a nationwide open competition. Their works will be featured on a digital program, streamed from National Sawdust in Brooklyn on May 27, 2021.
First launched in 2017-18, the BMP: Next Generation program was established to help BMP stay connected to a new generation of composers, singers and artists just coming out of school. Aspiring composers from coast to coast are invited to submit vocal works up to ten minutes in length. BMP Creative Producer Beth Morrison and Executive Director Jecca Barry select ten first-round finalists from these applicants and then produce an evening of new music out of these submissions. Two composers are then chosen by a panel of invited professionals in the field for a second-round competition, returning the following year to each showcase a new and original 30-minute work. Ultimately, one of these two finalists will receive a commission for an evening-length work, including the development and World Premiere production of their project.
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Gabriel Fynsk (b. 2001) is a Brooklyn-born and Scotland-raised emerging artist and composer whose music has been described as “remarkably unique and colorful,” requiring "a sensitive and experienced ear." Through his eclectic music, Fynsk aims to translate from intimate childhood experiences and his continuous study in continental philosophy, literature, and art through the European Graduate School. Fynsk has previously worked with ensembles such as Ars Futura and the Converge Quartet and will be performed next year by the Orlando Philharmonic as a winner of the National Young Composer’s Challenge. His mentors have included Paul Schoenfeld, Christopher Cerrone and Nico Muhly; he is currently studying with Bright Sheng in his second year of pursuing a B.M. in Composition at the University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Gartman (b. 1996) is a soprano and composer based in New York City. She is committed to the contemporary dramatic stage as both a composer and performer. Her compositional works are based on tangible, melodic themes and are often through-narratives commenting on the current social sphere. Gartman’s compositions have been featured across the country from Los Angeles (Songfest), to New York City (Manhattan School of Music), Burlington (New Music on the Point), and near Sheboygan, Wisconsin – Gartman’s hometown. Her voice has reached a similar span of audiences as both a principal and ensemble singer in opera, as well as a concert soloist. Gartman’s achievements have earned her the Theodore Presser Music Award and recognition as an ASCAP finalist, among other awards. Gartman is in current pursuit of her Masters of Music Degree in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music under professors Susan Botti (composition) and Lucy Shelton (voice).
Eli Greenhoe (b. 1994) is a composer, songwriter, and guitarist hailing from Brooklyn, New York. His concert works have been commissioned and performed by such artists and ensembles as loadbang, Bergamot Quartet, Aki Takahashi, S.E.M. Ensemble, and George Manahan, among others. His music has been programmed at the Bang on a Can, Chatter, Yellow Barn, Ostrava Days (CZ), and Tokyo to New York (JP) festivals. In 2018 he was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A performing songwriter since age 10, Greenhoe has led bands in New York City and elsewhere nearly his entire life. Greenhoe is also active in interdisciplinary collaboration: most recently he scored Sanctuary, a film by Max Bowens, which was selected to be screened at the 2020 Maryland Film Festival. Greenhoe is currently pursuing a DMA at the Yale School of Music, where he completed his M.M. in 2018.
Gabrielle Herbst (b. 1986) is a composer and vocalist seeking honesty and intimacy in her music. She’s received commissions from Roulette, the Jerome Foundation, Nouveau Classical Project, Duo Noir, Experiments in Opera, Fresh Squeezed Opera, and contributed to the opera Magdalene for PROTOTYPE Festival 2020, with residencies including Watermill Center, Exploring the Metropolis, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her compositions have been presented at National Sawdust, The Stone, Issue Project Room, HERE Arts Center, MATA, and Lincoln Center Atrium. Her album Sympathy was released on Software Recording Co. Tour highlights included David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival, London, Pop Kultur Festival, Berlin, Andy Warhol Museum, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, The Great Escape, UK, The Wick presented by Pitchfork, and a series at Roulette with Missy Mazzoli curated by Meredith Monk. Her album, Empty Me, was released on Double Double Whammy. She graduated from Yale School of Music with an M.M. in composition.
Jens Ibsen, composer/tenor, is a multidisciplinary artist whose vocal talents have led him to performances from Dubai to Shanghai, with stops along the way on German television, at Carnegie Hall, and the UN. Ibsen was a principal soloist and the first African-born member of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. As a composer, Ibsen’s works span from solo repertoire to orchestral works, as well as electroacoustic music. At Pepperdine University, Ibsen was one of the three Pickford Composers commissioned to write music for silent film for the Mary Pickford Foundation‘s Up Against the Screen project in 2015. Ibsen has also produced site-specific performances in the Bay Area during his tenure with the Museum of Joy as their musician-in-residence. Ibsen performs in New York and San Francisco as a freelance vocalist, singing everything from early music to world premieres with ensembles such as The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and OS Ensemble.
Laura Jobin-Acosta is a motivated and passionate composer. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in classical composition from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Laura Kaminsky and Kamala Sankaram. Jobin-Acosta is a 2021 IDEA Opera Resident Artist hosted at the National Opera Center. Jobin-Acosta realized her compositional skills by attending the Walden Creative Musicians Retreat in 2017, where she wrote a piece for Mivos Quartet that was premiered. While still in graduate school, she was commissioned to compose The Seven Last Words of Christ by Calvary-St. George Episcopal Church in Manhattan. Jobin-Acosta's unique multi-cultural upbringing and singing background is reflected in her music, which can be described as beautiful, weird, and full of dialogue. She has significant local and international singing experience that expands to Munich, Vienna, and Israel, and regularly performs new music in New York City, where she resides.
Maya Miro Johnson is an interdisciplinary creator who considers her work philosophy not constrained to logic and reason: • Exorcising hereditary ghosts • Corroding supremacy paradigms • Affirming proletariat value of the quotidian/enigmatic • Manipulating dualities. Recipient of both Schuman & Surinach Prizes in the 2020 BMI Student Composer Awards, Johnson made her professional debut in 2019 with a commission from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Next season includes record label debuts with Inna Faliks & HOCKET; works for Zeitgeist, loadbang, Johnny Gandelsman, David Michalek, B.K. Zervigon & J.T. Hassell; & an artist residency at the Sarasota Music Festival*. Maya has studied at NYO-USA, Luna Composition Lab, BUTI, Fresh Inc Festival, soundSCAPE Performance/Composition Exchange, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, & Aspen Conducting Academy*. She currently holds the Tureck Bach Research Institute Fellowship at the Curtis Institute of Music. With oboist & composer Sarrah Bushara she forms the performance art duo ~.
Described as “stark” by WNPR and “darkly lyrical” by The New York Times, a winner of the Second International Hildegard commission award and a 2019 recipient of Opera America’s Discovery Grant, Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s music has been performed at numerous festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. A founding member and co-director of Iranian Female Composers Association, Nourbakhsh is a strong advocate of music education and equal opportunities. She is currently a Teaching Artist at Brooklyn Music School, an adjunct faculty at Molloy College, and a co-director of Peabody Conservatory Laptop Ensemble, while finishing her doctorate at Stony Brook University.
Timothy Peterson’s music has been performed in the US, Europe, and Australia at venues ranging from art galleries and distilleries to concert halls such as Lincoln Center. His vocal works have been presented by New Opera West, N.E.O Voice Festival, Calliope’s Call, Hartford Opera Theater, and One Ounce Opera. A 2018 fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, Peterson holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Southern California and undergraduate degrees in composition and comparative literature from the University of Michigan. Upcoming events include residencies at Blue Mountain Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the West Coast premiere of his trio Talk It Out at the 2021 HEAR NOW Music Festival, and a world premiere by the New Sounds Quartet commissioned by the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.
Huan Sun is a contemporary music composer who is inspired by Chinese ancient culture (literature, visual art, and music), Peking Opera, Chinese folk music and Western music. Her musical style transcends the boundaries of ancient and modern; east and west. Huan Sun’s chamber art song won the first prize in “The 9th Yanhuang Art Song Composition Competition”. Her first orchestral work The Garden of Arcadia has been premiered and performed by China Youth Symphony Orchestra. Huan Sun was born in Qinhuangdao, China in 1994. She had a strong interest in music at a very early age. She received a Bachelor degree from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Huan Sun moved to the United States to further her education, entering the composition program at the Mannes School of Music with a merit scholarship, under the study of Dr. Huang Ruo.
May 27, 2021
from National Sawdust in Brooklyn
BMP: Next Generation is made possible by commissioning underwriting support from Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.