Emerging Composers Study with Distinguished Guest Composers in Summer Conference

July 24, 2015
Distinguished Faculty of the 2015 Composers Conference Rehearse

Since its inception in 1945, more than 800 composers and many more musicians have shared their work through the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Workshops. The conference is the oldest and most respected program of its kind, and it finds its home at Wellesley.

Each year, 10 emerging composers are selected from a field of more than 100 qualified candidates to participate as fellows in a comprehensive program of study, collaboration, and critique, culminating in public concerts that showcase their work.

“For two weeks every summer, our campus is home to the most intensive laboratory for challenging new music in the United States,” says Martin Brody, Catherine Mills Davis Professor of Music at Wellesley. “It’s a unique opportunity to come into contact with the latest works of the most promising emerging composers in the US and beyond—performed brilliantly by a fabulous performance staff.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Mario Davidovsky has guided the Composer’s Conference for over 40 years. Davidovsky enlists a corps of high caliber professional musicians to participate, both as performers for the public concerts and as faculty for the conference’s complementary Chamber Music Workshops. The workshops provide talented amateur musicians the opportunity to rehearse and perform chamber music, as well as attend master classes, lectures, and open conference rehearsals to expand their knowledge of the art form.

Every year, the conference’s distinguished faculty includes two esteemed guest composers who mentor the fellows through the program. For 2015, the conference welcomes Edward Jacobs and David Sanford. Jacobs’ work has been recognized with a Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, whose citation describes Jacobs’ music as “engaging…and intellectually demanding.” Sanford’s honors include a BMI Student Composer Award, a Koussevitzky Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Samuel Barber Rome Prize Fellowship.

“Over the decades that the Composers Conference has been in residence at Wellesley, it has had a profound impact on American musical life, and an extraordinary array of the finest composers in the country have joined us here,” said Brody.

Music lovers are invited to join in as well. Concerts, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled for 8:00 PM in Houghton Chapel on various dates throughout the conference. This fall, Wellesley will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Composers with a special presentation concert on Sunday, November 8 at 3:00 PM in Jewett Auditorium.