Young Composers

composer Stephanie Simon

A common thing to see when walking into a high school band or choral rehearsal room is posters of great composers hanging on the walls. Inevitably, they show elderly men, often with beards and clothing clearly belonging to centuries past. So it’s easy to forget that much of their noteworthy work was written when they were young, long before they became famous.

The Winds’ upcoming concert at the Panza Gallery features a number of pieces written by young composers. Opening the program is Viaggio by Stephanie Simon. Ms. Simon completed her masters‘ degree in composition at Carnegie Mellon University in 2018; we recorded her piece for the school in 2017, and liked it so much we premiered it on our concert series later that spring. Even younger are the composers of two miniatures by Emily Larrimer and Katy Pietruskinski, who were respectively in sixth and eighth grade when they were students of mine in the MEET THE COMPOSER residency in the 2000s. Both pieces will be performed in wind quintet settings that I made for the Winds.

And Mladen Pozajic, subject of the previous post about this concert, was just a twenty-year-old student at the Zagreb Academy of Music when he penned his Tri Stavka.

R. James Whipple