Composition News

Julia Adolphe premieres new work with LACO

March 21, 2017

Julia Adolphe (MM ’12, composition), a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Composition program, premiered a new work with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) last week as part of the ensemble’s Sound Investment commission series. The 13-minute piece, Shiver and Bloom, which the Los Angeles Times described “beautifully scored,” was conducted by LACO music […]


Juan Pablo Contreras receives the 2017 Presser Graduate Award

February 23, 2017

Juan Pablo Contreras, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Composition program, has received the 2017 Presser Graduate Award, which honors exceptional graduate students who have the potential to make a distinguished contribution within the field of music. Composition program chair Donald Crockett said that Contreras has been granted a “wonderful and rare opportunity,” through […]


Alumnus Mark Robson’s Piano Spheres performance praised by the L.A. Times

February 8, 2017

Pianist and USC Thornton alumnus Mark Robson (MM ’89) presented an adventurous program as part of REDCAT’s Piano Spheres series at REDCAT last month, featuring works by Stockhausen, Glass, and Rihm. Robson also premiered new work by the Los Angeles composer Daniel Rothman. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times described Robson’s Piano Spheres performance […]


Faculty and students honored at the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Awards

January 24, 2017

Last month, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awarded several USC Thornton faculty, students, and alumni at the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Honors event in New York City. Distinguished Professor of Composition Morten Lauridsen was presented with the Life in Music Award. Thornton Composition alumnus Daniel Allas (’15) and graduate students Tommy Dougherty, […]


The New York Times calls “Play” by Andrew Norman “a revolution in music”

January 20, 2017

Play, a 47-minute orchestral work by celebrated composer and USC Thornton faculty member Andrew Norman (’02, MM ’04), was the subject of “Andrew Norman’s ‘Play,’ a Symphony That Levels Up,” an article in the January 16 issue of The New York Times. Music critic David Allen wrote admiringly of Norman’s “wizardry” and “achievement”, calling his […]


Vincent Ho appointed music advisor for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

January 9, 2017

USC Thornton Composition alumnus Vincent Ho (DMA ’05) has been named music advisor for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. As the advisor, he will consult with members of the orchestra’s planning team to discuss the new music repertoire. Paul Dornian, President and CEO of the of the orchestra, noted that “Vincent is a very well-known Canadian […]


Bill Biersach receives award for SH[eye]N band

December 16, 2016

Faculty member Bill Biersach of the USC Thornton Composition department has received a Silver Medal from the Global Music Awards for his improvisational jam band, SH[eye]N. The band, which includes Biersach on Chapman Stick and Ralph Loynachan on percussion, won distinction for “virtuosic improvisation, album and creativity/originality” for its recent album, “Opus 10: Big Percolator.”


Juan Pablo Contreras wins Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize

December 9, 2016

Juan Pablo Contreras, a doctoral candidate of the USC Thornton Composition program, recently won the Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize with his work, Mariachitlán. Written under the guidance of Composition chair Donald Crockett, the work will be performed by the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, under guest conductor Miguel Salmón de Real, on December 9 and 11, 2016. […]


“The New Yorker” features Ted Hearne’s oratorio, “The Source”

December 8, 2016

The Source, a contemporary oratorio by composer and USC Thornton faculty member Ted Hearne, was a subject of “Modern Opera Thrives in L.A.,” an article in the December 12 issue of The New Yorker. Music critic Alex Ross wrote admiringly of Hearne’s “mesmerizing and disquieting collage of vocal, instrumental, and recorded sounds,” which was presented […]


Jules Pegram receives award at ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop

December 5, 2016

Alumnus Jules Pegram (BM ’13, Composition) received the Harold Arlen Film & TV Award at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Film Scoring Workshop this past summer. The workshop gives selected composers the opportunity to learn about music in the film industry from mentors who are studio executives, agents, attorneys, editors, and […]


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