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Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

The 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows range in age from 13 to 17 and hail from all over the U.S., including Springfield, MO; Louisville, KY; Pasadena, CA; Los Altos, CA; and Fayetteville, NY. They are: Olivia Bennett (age 17), KiMani Bridges (age 17), Madeline Clara Cheng (age 15), Ebunoluwa Oguntola (age 14) and Sage Shurman (age 13). Honorable Mentions were awarded to Nicole Balsirow, Emily DeNucci, Helen Feng, Jordan Millar, and Emily Singleton.

Luna Composition Lab addresses the gender gap in the field of classical music by inspiring young self-identifying female, nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals to compose. Founded in 2016 by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid - the first composer to have been commissioned by Los Angeles' four major classical music institutions - and 2019 Grammy nominee Missy Mazzoli - one of the first two women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera - with NYC's Kaufman Music Center, Luna Lab provides mentorship and performance opportunities to girls and young women from eighth grade through college freshmen.

During the 2019-20 season, the five aspiring teen composers will be mentored by established female composers: Ellen Reid, Reena Esmail, Kristin Kuster, Gity Razaz and Tamar Muskal. The Fellows will receive one-on-one coaching and a high-quality recording of their work, and will gain access to a network of professional composers and performers. In April, the five Fellows and their mentors will spend a week in New York City attending performances, networking events and masterclasses.

The 2019-20 Luna Lab commissions will be premiered at Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall on April 29, 2020, at 7 pm. The performance will feature ensembles from Kaufman Music Center's Face the Music teen new music program and Special Music School High School along with players from NYC's top conservatory programs - Juilliard Pre-College, Mannes Prep at The New School's Open Campus and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College.

Luna Composition Lab was nominated for the 2019 Classical:NEXT Innovation Award. The program has garnered attention from The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Forbes, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and NY1 News. In 2016, MusicalAmerica named Mazzoli and Reid Innovators of the Year for their work with Luna Lab.

"I look forward to welcoming the Luna Lab fellows to Kaufman Music Center each year," says Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Kate Sheeran. "Luna Composition Lab is one of the ways we expand our reach, bringing our goals of access, mentorship, and innovative music education programs to young people from across the United States."

Luna Lab co-founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid say, "This year we received nearly twice as many applications as we did last year, and we were dazzled by the originality, depth and potential displayed in each score we received. Our five 2019-20 fellows hail from all corners of the country, have very unique modes of expression, and together represent an exciting new era in American music."

About the 2019 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Olivia Bennett

Olivia Bennett (age 17) is a composer, pianist and cellist from Springfield, Missouri. Her work has been performed by various ensembles, including the Columbia Civic Orchestra, Mizzou String Quartet, Springfield Youth Symphony, the Interlochen Philharmonic and Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra. She is a 2018 Interlochen Arts Camp alumna and a 2019 Boston University Tanglewood Institute alumna. Olivia was selected as a 2019 American Composers NextNotes winner and is a five-time winner of the Creating Original Music Project. She was also awarded a winner of the 2017 and 2019 Missouri Composers Project. In addition, Olivia plays cello in the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

KiMani Bridges

KiMani Bridges (age 17), a senior at duPont Manual Magnet High School/Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky, is a flutist and composer. She has been playing the flute since she was 11 and just recently started composing in 11th grade. She participates in her school's Symphonic Band, Chamber Ensemble and composition class. She has received numerous distinguished ratings for flute in KMEA Solo and Ensemble, has performed at Walt Disney World and the Field Museum, and has participated in multiple summer music camps. She has had her pieces performed at the University of Louisville, in her school's New Works Festival, and recently was part of the Loretto Project's Pathways Initiative Program. KiMani hopes to pursue a career in music as she continues to express herself though her art form.

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Madeline Clara Cheng

Madeline Clara Cheng (age 15) is a composer, pianist and saxophonist from Los Altos, California. Her compositions have won awards from the MTAC Composers Today State Contest and the NFMC Junior Composers State Contest. She has also performed her compositions at the Sun Valley Music Festival and PianoTexas International Festival. In summer 2019, Madeline attended Boston Conservatory at Berklee's High School Composition Intensive. Outside of school, she plays in Stanford Jazz Workshop's Miles Ahead Big Band. Madeline also serves as president of her school's Key Club and is organizing a benefit concert to raise money for pediatric trauma prevention.i??

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Ebunoluwa Oguntola

Ebunoluwa Oguntola (age 14) is a composer, violinist and pianist who lives in Fayetteville, New York. She started music at the early age of 3 and began composing at 11. Ebun takes independent lessons in composition at Syracuse University and has been active in her local community through sharing her music. For example, in her area, she has participated in young composers concerts and camps in which her songs were played for an audience. She enjoys writing different types of pieces, sharing them with others, and challenging herself in different aspects of music.

Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Luna Composition Lab Fellows

Sage Shurman

i??Sage Shurman (age 13), who lives in Pasadena, California, studies composition with Professor Ian Krause at UCLA. She finds inspiration in her composition through classical greats such as Beethoven, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, and also through her athletic pursuits on the soccer field. Sage began her musical studies at age three on the piano and has played as a soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, performing Schroeder, Mozart and Poulenc piano concertos. She recently placed in the American Protégé competition and performed at Carnegie Hall. Sage is currently a freshman at Flintridge Preparatory School and, when not immersed in music, she plays competitive soccer on LA Surf USSDA.

Missy Mazzoli

Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli was recently deemed "one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York" (The New York Times) and "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart" (Time Out New York). Mazzoli is the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and her music has been performed all over the world by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, Scottish Opera, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, the Detroit Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, JACK Quartet, cellist Maya Beiser, violinist Jennifer Koh, pianist Kathleen Supové, Dublin's Crash Ensemble, the Sydney Symphony and many others. In 2018 she made history when she became one of the two first women (along with composer Jeanine Tesori) to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. That year she was also nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Classical Composition" for her work Vespers for Violin, recorded by violinist Olivia De Prato.

Ellen Reid

Ellen Reid is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m. Reid's work is largely collaborative and takes the form of opera, chamber music, electronic pop songs, scores for film and theater, and immersive interactive media. Reid's work has been hailed as "ineffably moving" by Mark Swed of The LA Times, "radiant" by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, and it's been said that her vocal writing would "make you believe that the mythical sirens really existed" (KCRW). Upcoming and recent projects include a 45-minute commission for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an orchestral work for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, two commissions from the LA Philharmonic in one season, music for Buster's Mal Heart-starring Rami Malek-at the Toronto International Film Festival, and a sound installation for HBO. Reid was listed as one of Music America's 30 Professionals of the Year in 2016 for her work with Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program for young self-identified female, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers she co-founded with Missy Mazzoli. Reid received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She splits her time between her two favorite cities - Los Angeles and New York.

Kaufman Music Center is where music lovers, from curious fans to renowned performers, come together to explore their musical passions. Founded in 1952 as a community music school, today's Kaufman Music Center is NYC's premier center for pre-college music education and home to Merkin Hall; Lucy Moses School, New York's largest community arts school; Special Music School, the celebrated K-12 public school that teaches music as a core subject; and the acclaimed youth new music ensemble Face the Music. Visit KaufmanMusicCenter.org.


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