Thomas Kotcheff (MM ’12, composition), a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Composition program, recently collaborated with the Argus Quartet to create a music video of his work, scratch cradle. The quartet, which includes alumni violinists Jason Issokson (MM’10) and Clara Kim (DMA ’15), along with violist Dana Kelley and cellist Joann Whang, originally commissioned the piece in 2015. In an article for the website I Care If You Listen, which premiered the music video, Kotcheff described Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 as a major influence for the wildly frenetic work.
A winner of numerous awards and commissions, including the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Kotcheff has previously served as a composition fellow in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composers Intensive and at the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School. As a pianist, he specializes in new music and frequently performs with Thornton Composition faculty member Sarah Gibson as the HOCKET piano duo.