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Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...

Article

Alison Arnold

(b London, England, June 9, 1981). Indian sitār player and composer, daughter of ravi Shankar . Like her father, she is a solo classical performer and an innovative composer and collaborator, exploring musical fusions of the Indian and Western classical traditions and global popular styles.

She began taking sitar lessons with her father when she was nine, studying exclusively with him. At age 13 she gave her debut sitār performance in New Delhi, and made her first recording of North Indian classical music on her father’s four-disc compilation In Celebration (1996). She toured and played sitār with her father while still in high school. At 16 she performed her father’s Concerto no.1 for Sitar and Orchestra with the LPO under Zubin Mehta. In 1997 she conducted an Indian orchestra for her father’s collaborative recording with George Harrison, The Chants of India.

One year before graduating from high school, she released her first solo classical album, ...

Article

Brendan Higgins

(b Chattanooga, TN, Sept 10, 1946). American composer and writer on music. He received degrees in music from Harvard College (BA 1968) and from the Yale School of Music (MMA 1977, DMA in Composition 1982), studying under earl Kim and jacob Druckman . He also took composition lessons with betsy Jolas as a Tanglewood Fellow in 1977. He has served as a guest professor and lecturer at Harvard College (1989), Tufts University (1989–), and the University of Arizona (2002–3), and a professor of composition, music history, and theory at Boston Conservatory (2004–). Among his awards as a composer are an NEA Composers Grant, two Massachusetts Artists Council Fellowships, and a commission from Chamber Music America.

His compositions include five works for orchestra, a symphony for winds, numerous chamber works, Magus for cello and electronic sound, and the theatrical work ...

Article

Stephen Montague

revised by Kelly Hiser

(Arthur )

(b Kankakee, IL, March 22, 1942; d San Rafael, CA, Sept 25, 1996). American composer, trombonist, conductor, and double bassist. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied trombone with Robert Gray and composition with Kenneth Gaburo, herbert Brün , and salvatore Martirano (BM in performance 1965). He studied jazz improvisation with lee Konitz and electronic music with richard b. Hervig at the University of Iowa (1970–71). He was a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble (1961–2) and the Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players (1963–6) and was an associate artist at the University of Iowa Center for New Music and New Performing Arts (1969–74). From 1974 to 1984 English lived in Europe, where he performed widely as a soloist and with jazz and new music ensembles, at festivals, and on radio. He collaborated with his wife Candace Natvig, a singer and violinist; in ...

Article

George J. Grella

(b Arlington, MA, Dec 17, 1954). American composer, singer, broadcaster, and journalist. He taught himself to play drums, piano, and guitar as a teenager, after seeing Soft Machine open for Jimi Hendrix when he was 13. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design (BA 1976), where he played jazz piano, sang, composed chamber music, and organized free-jazz ensembles. He moved to New York and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, producing work for Paul Bley’s label Improvising Artists and for composer La Monte Young, while making music on the side. Garland followed the twin paths of piano improvisation and composition for chamber ensembles in the minimalist style and later joined Nigel Rollings’s band Ad Hoc Rock; with Rollings he sang and played drums, guitar, and keyboards and appeared at The Kitchen, Carnegie Hall, and in the Noise Fest at White Columns (1981). In ...