2017 Composition Faculty

Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann (Ithaca College, NY), Melinda Wagner (Juilliard), and Stefano Gervasoni (Paris Conservatoire)
Guest composer José María Sánchez-Verdú
Lectures on special topics by composers Gregorio Jiménez (Conservatorio Superior de Música Joaquín Rodrigo, Valencia, Spain) and Jason Thorpe Buchanan (the [Switch~ Ensemble] & VIPA Festival)

Faculty Members:

Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann (Ithaca College, NY, USA)
Head of VIPA Composition Program
jvgrossmannJorge Villavicencio Grossmann’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe by ensembles such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Orquesta Filamónica de Bogotá, Peruvian National Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Aspen Sinfonia, Kiev Camerata, Orquesta de la Universidad del Norte (Paraguay), Boston Musica Viva, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien, Da Capo Chamber Players, Seattle Chamber Players, Jack Quartet and Amernet Quartet. His works find inspiration in a wide range of subjects, from medieval music to Latin American modern art. His awards include a Fromm Music Foundation Commission, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, the Aaron Copland Award, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, Vitae-Associação de Apoio à Cultura (Brazil) and the Nevada Arts Council; the Jacob Druckman Award from the Aspen Music Festival, Copland House Borromeo String Quartet Award, first prize in the New England Philharmonic Call for Scores, and grants from the American Music Center, St. Botolph Club Foundation, and Meet the Composer. His residencies include the Copland House, MacDowell Colony, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. He has been commissioned by organizations such as the Society for New Music, American Liszt Society, Nevada Music Teachers Association, ALEA III and the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. Before his appointment at Ithaca College, he served on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was also director of NEXTET, UNLV’s new music ensemble, and founder and co-director of N.E.O.N., Nevada Encounters of New Music festival. He is currently director of áltaVoz, a Latin American composers collective. For further information, please visit his website: www.shadowofthevoices.com.

Melinda Wagner (Juilliard School of Music, NY, USA)
VIPA Faculty Member
350_wagnerCelebrated as an “…eloquent, poetic voice in contemporary music…” [American Record Guide], Melinda Wagner’s esteemed catalog of works embodies music of exceptional beauty, power, and intelligence. Wagner received widespread attention when her colorful Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Since then, major works have included Concerto for Trombone, for Joseph Alessi and the New York Philharmonic, a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for Emanuel Ax, and Little Moonhead, composed for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as part of its popular “New Brandenburgs” project. Noted for its “…prismatic colors and…lithe sense of mystery…”[Washington Post], Extremity of Sky has been performed by Emanuel Ax with the National Symphony (on tour), the Toronto and Kansas City Symphonies, and the Staatskapelle Berlin. Championed early on by Daniel Barenboim, Wagner has received three commissions from the Chicago Symphony; the most recent of these, Proceed, Moon, is to be premiered by the CSO under the baton of Susanna Mälkki in 2017. Other recent performances have come from the American Composers Orchestra, the United States Marine Band, BMOP, the American Brass Quintet, the Empyrean Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Among honors Wagner has received is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP. Wagner was given an honorary doctorate from Hamilton College, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. A passionate and inspiring teacher, Melinda Wagner has given master classes at many fine institutions across the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Eastman, Juilliard, and UC Davis. She has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and Smith College, and has served as a mentor at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yellow Barn. Ms. Wagner currently serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music. www.melindawagnermusic.com

Stefano Gervasoni (Paris Conservatory)
VIPA Faculty Member
Stefano-GervasoniBorn in Bergamo in 1962, Stefano Gervasoni began studying composition in 1980 on the advice of Luigi Nono: this encounter, as well as others with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Helmut Lachenmann, turned out to be decisive for his career. After attending the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Stefano Gervasoni went on to study with György Ligeti in Hungary in 1990, and then, in 1992, he attended the Course in Composition and in Computer Music organised by Ircam in Paris. His first three years in France laid the foundations for an international career that eventually led him to be “lodged” at Villa Medici in 1995-1996.
With commissions from such prestigious institutions as the WDR, the SWR, the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Radio France, IRCAM, the Casa da Musica in Porto, the Festival Archipel in Geneva, the Divertimento Ensemble in Milan, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva, the Maerzmusik festival in Berlin, the Ars Musica Bruxelles, the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, the French Ministry of Culture, Milan Teatro alla Scala and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Stefano Gervasoni has established himself as one of the most important Italian composers of his generation. His catalogue – which includes chamber and vocal music, concertos, works for orchestra, for ensemble and an opera (Limbus-Limbo), commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Percussions de Strasbourg (2012) – was first published by Ricordi, from 1987, and then, from 2000, by Suvini Zerboni.
For more information, please visit his website: www.stefanogervasoni.net

José María Sánchez-Verdú 
Guest Composer
sanchez_verdu_smallBorn in 1968 in Andalucia, Spain, lives in Berlin and Madrid.
 He studied composition, musicology, and orchestral conducting at Real Conservatorio Superior de Música Madrid (RCSM) and at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt with H. Zender. He studied conducting with G. Asensio and A. Tamayo and composition also with F. Donatoni. He has a degree in law (Universidad Complutense Madrid). His music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Recherche, KNM Berlin, Kaleidoskop Solistenensemble, Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Hamburger Philharmoniker, Stutgart Radio Orchestra, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Orquestre de la Suisse Romande, Luzener Sinfonieorchester, Orquesta Nacional de España, and many others in festivals such as Ultraschall Berlin, ECLAT Stuttgart, MärzMusik Berlin, Münchener Biennale, Musica Viva Munich, Ars Nova Donaueschingen, Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Beethoven Festpiele, Musicadhoy Madrid, Wien Modern, Salzburg-Biennale, Musica Nova Helsinki, Ars Musica Bruxelles, Warchau Autumn Festival, la Biennale di Venezia, etc. His music theater proyects (with light and space dramaturgies, etc. like ATLAS, GRAMMA, AURA, El viaje a Simorgh, Libro de las estancias, etc.) were performed until now at the Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Luzerner Theater, Münchener Biennale, Teatro Real Madrid, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in many other festivals (Hamburg, Venice, Granada, Buenos Aires, Cairo, etc.). International awards include the Kompositionspreis der Junge Deustche Philharmonie (Frankfurt 1999), Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikstiftung (Munich 2000). Prize of the Bergische Biennale (Wuppertal 2001), Premio Nacional de Música (Madrid 2003), Award for Artistic Excellence Villa Concordia (Bamberg 2014), etc. From 2014 he is Vertretungsprofessor for composition at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover. He was invited as lecturer and as composition teacher in many courses in Spain and in other places as the IEMA-Ensemble Modern Academy, la Biennale di Venezia, Sibelius Academy Helsinki, Musikhochschule of Munich, Bremen, and Frankfurt, UdK Berlin, Warsau Autumn Festival, etc. www.sanchez-verdu.com

Gregorio Jiménez (Conservatorio Superior de Música Joaquín Rodrigo, Valencia, Spain)
Lecturer, Specialist in Computer Music
jimenezBorn in Valencia, Spain, composer Gregorio Jiménez was the founder of the Electroacoustic Music Laboratory from the Valencian Music Conservatory (LEA) and has been its director since 1996. He is a professor of electroacoustic composition and music technology in this centre. He was president of Spain’s Electroacoustic Music Association, as well as the CIME secretary. His works have been presented at various events in Spain, including the following: Granada International Festival; Alicante International Music Festival; Ensems (Valencia); JIEM (Music IT and Electronics Conferences – Madrid); Nits d’Aielo (Valencia); Meeting Point (AMEE); Spanish National Radio (Ars Sonora),etc.
In other countries: Futura Festival (Crest-France); the 1st Symposium on Computer Music (Corfu, Greece); Electroacoustic Spring in La Habana (Cuba); University of Campinhas (Brazil); Next Wave Festival (Australia) and Noise Festival (Mexico City); Synthèse de Bourges Festival (France); NWEAMO Festival (San Diego, USA); Cervantes Institute (Paris); Audio Art Festival (Krakow, Poland); Sound Visions (Morelia, Mexico), etc. He has been comissioned from the Valencian Institute for Music, the Spain Ministry of Culture, the Electroacoustic Music Institute in Bourges, and was a guest composer at EMS in Stockholm. He was elected by the SGAE to represent Spain in the Spring Festival in La Habana 2000, and has composed music for other media such as theatre, television and dance. Particularly noteworthy is the series “Vent de Mar” broadcast by RTVV-Channel 9.

Jason Thorpe Buchanan (composer, Executive Director of VIPA, Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble])
JasonThorpeBuchananmixerJason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer, Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble] and Executive Director of the VIPA Festival. Commissioned and performed internationally by ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound (USA), Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Interface, Ensemble Nikel, Ensemble Linea, Insomnio Ensemble, EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, Slagwerk Den Haag, Eklekto Percussion, Mivos Quartet, Nonsemble 6, IKTUS Percussion, The Industry, wild Up, the [Switch~ Ensemble], OSSIA, FÜNF+FÜNF Festival, and the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, among others. Nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in 2015. Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt (2014), The Industry’s FIRST TAKE in L.A. (2015), and the MATA Interval Series in NYC with the [Switch~ Ensemble]. “Hunger is a kind of training session in mental disintegration… An ungodly opera needs ugly music, singers who produce primal sounds, an electric guitar that sounds scraped raw, a wailing orchestra effects, cuts the ear like a knife. Buchanan delivers.” – LA Times. Honors and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) in Hamburg (Germany), a fellowship and commission from Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles for Talea+Exaudi (2016), Artist-in-Residence USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway (2015), American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014 & 2015), Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize, Winner of Iron Composer (2014), Winner of newEar Composer’s Competition, commissions from Mizzou International Composers Festival, International Horn Society, Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), German/American Fulbright-Kommission, Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands), Eklekto Percussion (Switzerland), NY Virtuoso Singers, BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, and others. He has served as course instructor in electronic music and composition, as well as assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with Brad Lubman as a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music. More information at: www.jasonthorpebuchanan.com