Liew Kong Meng

Kongmeng is a Singaporean composer. He was recently awarded the top prize at the 2013 Goethe Institut Young Composers in Southeast Asia Competition (Bangkok, Thailand) and the 3rd prize at the 2014 Asian Composers League Festival Young Composers Competition (Yokohama, Japan) where he was also the Singapore representative. His music has been read and performed by musicians such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Mosaik, Quatour Bozzini, the Australian Brass Quintet, Ensemble Kujoyama, and the EDQ Woodwind Quintet, at festivals and workshops such as the Bozzini Lab (Canada), the Academie de Musique, Francaise de Kyoto (Japan) and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra Young Composers Workshop (Singapore). Currently, he has an interest in psychology, music and emotion, and his compositional approach involves the development of systems and processes within the construction of music, while simultaneously focusing on a cognitive perception of sound. He is also influenced by his Christian faith in the conceptualisation of his pieces.

In 2011, Kongmeng was awarded a full scholarship to study composition with Ho Chee Kong at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, the music faculty of the National University of Singapore, where he is currently a fourth year undergraduate student.

Read a mini-interview with Liew Kong Meng

Wen Liu

Wen Liu (born 1988) is a Chinese composer and media artist, based in Vienna since 2005. She is recipient of the 2012 ‘Talent Prize’ given by Austria-1/ORF, and since then has work publications by Universal Edition (UE). She is selected for the ‘in Vivo Dance’ together with Alban Richard and Ensemble Intercontemporain at IRCAM in the context of the 2013 ‘ManiFeste’ festival.

She is commissioned by AsianArt ensemble(Berlin),composition premier in Konzerthaus Berlin 2015, by Steirischer Herbst Musikprotokoll 2015 to write a new piece for Ensemble Recherche, by Biennal Taschenopernfestival Salzburg to write a mini opera piece for the premier running in September 2015, by China Radio Symphony Orchestra for Wen Liu portrait concert 2014, by KRKA Wind Orchestra Slovenia for a double concerto with saxophone soloists Simon Sirec and Danijel Lauko,premiered in December 2013, by Ernst Kovacic and his string trio ‘Zebra’ for a piece to be premiered at the festival ‘Musikprotokoll - Steirischer Herbst’ in 2013.

Wen has won many composition prizes, such as first prize in the 2012 International Composition Competition ‘Francisco Escudero’ – with work publication by Premera Edicion Spain, 2010 Theodor-Körner Fonds, under the Patronage of the Austrian President, 2009 Josef Trattner Composition Competition, 2012 Fidelio Creation Competition.

Wen’s works have been featured at international festivals, such as Wien Modern 2008, Expo Shanghai 2010, International Computer Music Conference 2012, Stockholm Fringe Fest (Stoff) 2012, Dimanche Rouge Paris 2012, Herne Hill Music Festival London 2012, Hörfest - Austrian Festival for Contemporary Art 2010, Music-Festival Grafenegg 2009, with percussion soloist David Cossion, under the conduction of Tan Dun, Jeunesse Austria 2009 ‘Podium young artists’, Jakopičeva dvorana Slovenia 2011, Chamber music Days Germany 2008. She has been invited to attend the contemporary dance/music Festival 'Crossings' in Johannesburg (South Africa) 2010. And as ‘Composer in Residence’ of Atlantic Music Festival 2012 in US, also to give a lecture about Contemporary Art at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta(Indonesian) August 2010.

Wen’s works have been heard at concert venues around the world, including most major Viennese halls (Konzerthaus, Musikverein, etc), as well as the US, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia and China. Her compositions have been broadcasted by radio stations in Austria (Ö1) and South Africa, Finland.

As a media artist, Wen is interested in video, dance, electronics, and other forms of multidisciplinary projects. Her recent prize-winning project ‘Monster’ together with audio-visual artist Marian Weger is a collaboration with dancer, electronics and video projection, which has been performed in Vienna, Paris and Slovenia. In 2013 in conjunction with Phace Ensemble the project will be expanded to a full theatre production. She was also the invited composer for a 2012 Dance Production ‘Risk to fail’, which took place at Theater Reutlingen Die Tonne, Germany. In 2011 she contributed music for a music theatre production ‘Alice Schalek – Die letzten Tage der Menschheit" in Graz, Austria. She is a member of electronic computer music ensemble ICE, which has been active in Austria.

Wen Liu graduated Master of Composition with highest honours at Conservatory Vienna. She is preparing for her composition PhD study in USA 2015.

Read a mini-interview with Wen Liu

Piyawat Louilarpprasert

Piyawat Louilarpprasert is a younger generation Thai composer whose works were premiered and performed by several established ensembles both locally and internationally. The ensembles that performed his compositions include, for instance, Ensemble Mozaik, ASEAN Contemporary Ensemble, University Cincinnati Chamber Players, newEar, Salaya Modern Ensemble, and Mahidol University Symphonic Band. His works were accepted to several international composition festivals such as 47th Summer Course for New Music Festival in Darmstadt, Asian Composers League Festival in Japan, Thailand International Composition Festival, and TubaMania International Festival. He won a number of composition awards such as 2013 Young Thai Artists Awards, 2012 Thailand Symphonic Band Composition Competition by Ratchaphat Bansomdejchaopraya University (2nd prize), and 2013 Young Composers in Southeast Asia Competition. Recently, he was commissioned by the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, which will premiere his new composition in its next season. Louilarpprasert is currently a senior composition student with minor in conducting at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand. His mentors and teachers include Valeriy Razayev, Roger Petersen, Jiradej Setabundhu, and Pamornpan Komolpamorn.

Read a mini-interview with Piyawat Louilarpprasert

Helga Arias Parra

Helga Arias Parra was born in Bilbao, Spain. She obtained her piano diploma in the city of Granada. After that she began her composition studies in the same city and later in the conservatory Giuseppe Verdi of Milan and the conservatory of Parma, where she studied composition and computer music with Mario Garuti and Javier Torres Maldonado.

Besides, she has received lessons from other composers such as Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Mark André, Toshio Hosokawa, Alberto Posadas, Gabriel Erkoreka, Dániel Péter Biró, Ken Ueno, Cristóbal Halffter, Dominique Schafer and Javier Álvarez among others and participated in masterclasses with Helmuth Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Philippe Manoury, José María Sánchez Verdú, Trevor Wishart or Daniel Teruggi.

She has been awarded in the international contest “Città di Udine”, the RCSM Victoria Eugenia de Granada contest for Symphonic Orchestra, the shut up and listen! Electroacustic festival in Vienna or the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik Competition 2014.

Her music has been performed in several festivals and music halls such as EMUFEST of Rome, the Klangwerkstatt in the Konzerthaus Berlin, Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, USA, Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva (Mexico), Domaine Forget (Canada), Casa del Suono in Parma (Italy), Etchings Festival (France), Echoraum Vienna, Experimentalstudio Academy of the SWR Freiburg, 3rd Forum for Young Composers in Cascais (Portugal), Sonutopias 2014 (Santiago de compostela, Spain or ZKM Karlsruhe (Germany) by ensembles such as International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), Vertixe Sonora, Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, ECCE ensemble, Taller Sonoro, Sond'arte electric ensemble, Ensemble Cepromusic, Ensemble Progress Berlin and others.

Currently she is a Computer Music Master's student at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien in Karlheinz Essl's class and a postgraduate Composition student at the Kunstuniversität Graz with Beat Furrer. In june 2015 she will be part of the Manifeste Academy at the IRCAM (Paris).

Read a mini-interview with Helga Arias Parra

John Pax

John Pax (1992) studied composition at the University of Western Australia with Dr. Chris Tonkin and is currently completing his honours degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium with Dr. Elliott Gyger. In 2014/15 he participated in a year-long composition programme with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In September 2015 he will begin PhD studies at Harvard University.

Katharina Roth

Katharina Roth started composition in 2003 when she met Tilo Medek. 2009 she began her studies at the University of Music in Lübeck with Dieter Mack and 2011-2012 she studied composition with Daniel D'Adamo at the Conservatoire de Reims (France). She finished her Bachelor studies of composition in 2014 and now continues her piano studies with Prof. Jaques Ammon. 2013 she obtained a 2nd price at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb for her piece Kleine Erzählungen, 2014 the Karlsruher Kompositionspreis for Hit him when he cry out for percussion solo. She worked with the ensembles L'Instant Donné, Analogue Translation, IEMA, hand werk and Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart.

Read a mini-interview with Katharina Roth

Hakan Ulus

Hakan Ulus (*1991 in Buxtehude/ Germany) is a German-Turkish composer. Since early childhood, he gained experience in composition. He studied composition with Ernst Helmuth Flammer, Adriana Hölszky, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf and Tristan Murail at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and at the HMT Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig. In 2013, he completed his BA in composition with distinction at Mozarteum University Salzburg. He participated in various masterclasses with composers, such as Brian Ferneyhough, Chaya Czernowin, Dieter Schnebel, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, Peter Ablinger, Dieter Mack and Pierlugi Billone. Furthermore, he has been a participant at the Donaueschinger Musiktage Next Generation Composers Workshop 2011 - 2013, at the Internationale Darmstädter Ferienkurse 2012 and at the Harvard Summer Composition Institute Residency 2014. He received fellowships (e.g . Harvard Summer Composition Institute Residency 2014, Turkish Cultural Foundation 2014, Arbeitsstipendium Land Salzburg 2014, Erasmus 2013, Ordentliches Stipendium Mozarteum 2014), prizes (e.g. Recherche Composition Prize 2011), won call for scores (e.g. Donaueschinger Musiktage Next Generation 2011, Platypus Echoraum Wien 2012) and got commissions (e.g. City of Munich 2014, Ensemblia Festival 2013, Ensemble Aventure 2013, International Society For Ecmelic Music Salzburg 2012). His works are performed by renowned ensembles such as Ensemble Recherche (Freiburg), Ensemble Aventure (Freiburg), Talea Ensemble (New York), Ensemble Platypus (Vienna) and Ensemble Black Pencil (Netherlands) at international festivals of contemporary music (e.g. Salzburg Biennale, KlangNetz Dresden, Beethovenfest Bonn, Ensemblia Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage Next Generation, KunstKulturKirche Frankfurt, Aventure Konzertreihe Freiburg, Aussichten). He is founding member and artistic director of Tempus Konnex, an Leipzig based Ensemble and association of composers, interpreters, musicologists and philosophers. His music was broadcasted in German and Austrian radio stations. In addition, studies in musicology (Master) at the LMU Munich and publications in Musik & Ästhetik and Wolke Verlag. Currently, he is completing his Master´s degree under Tristan Murail at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. He is stipendiary of the International Ensemble Modern Academy 2015/16.

Read a mini-interview with Hakan Ulus

Jon Yu

Jon Yu (b. 1988) is a Taiwanese-American composer and guitarist whose music explores ways in which modes of behavior can be recontextualized and/or juxtaposed to articulate poetic frameworks. He has received fellowships from festivals such as the June in Buffalo Festival and the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat. His works have been performed throughout the United States by ensembles and soloists such as Ensemble Signal, Wet Ink Ensemble, Brien Henderson, Chad Goodman, and Jarring Sounds. Recent projects include a commissioned piece for poet and flutist Wayla J. Chambo. He received his B.A. in Music from University of California, Santa Cruz, studying under Hi-Kyung Kim, John Sackett, and Ben Leeds Carson; and his M.A. in Music Composition from San Francisco State University, studying under Richard Festinger and Benjamin Sabey. He has also participated in master classes and private lessons with composers Joshua Fineberg, Eve Beglarian, Josh Levine, Hilda Paredes, among others. Jon currently resides in San Francisco, California, where he composes and teaches while working as production manager for the Center for New Music and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

Read a mini-interview with Jon Yu

Kevin Zhang

Kevin Zhang's (b. 1988) work has been recorded on Perishable Records and heard at the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Make Music New York, Puerto Rican Sound Art Fair, Redshift Society; and at the NACUSA National, Oregon Bach, Studio 300, UCDavis Arts’ Music and Words, UCSB Primavera, UCSD Spring, and Westfield New Music festivals. Performers of his music have included the American Creators, CMU New Music, Contemporary Consort, Generous, Negative Zed, Now Hear, Ossian, Palimpsest, Red Note, and soundSCAPE ensembles; the NEC Honors, Radnofsky, and SŌ Percussion quartets; and the members of the London Sinfonietta, red fish blue fish, and UCI Opera.

Kevin grew up in New York and lived in Boston and London before moving to Southern California in 2010. Currently, he is completing a PhD at the University of California, San Diego, where his adviser is the composer Roger Reynolds, and where he also studied with Lei Liang, Katharina Rosenberger, and Rand Steiger.

Read a mini-interview with Kevin Zhang