I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and my family moved to Newport News, Virginia when I was nine. When I was thirteen, my middle school orchestra played an arrangement of “The Great Gate of Kiev” from “Pictures at an Exhibition”, and I decided that I wanted to become a composer. I moved to New York City for college, and have there since 2004.
My music is often concerned with dramatic narrative, and I often work with voices. In my operatic work, I am particularly interested in bringing characters to life onstage by engaging directly with their inner emotional life – much like an actor might. I love the beauty of choral sound, and take great joy in writing for vocal ensembles. In my instrumental music, I am interested in bringing characters and scenes to life within a purely acoustic context. My music has been presented by organizations and individuals including Fort Worth Opera Festival, The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Novi Cantori, Triad: The Boston Choral Collective, American Opera Projects, The Holy Cross Chamber Singers, The Secret Opera, bass-baritone Matthew Burns at the Spoleto Festival USA, North / South Consonance, the Society for New Music, Boston Metro Opera, C4, organist Ben Sheen, and the Young New Yorker’s Chorus. My undergraduate studies were at Columbia University, where my primary teachers in composition were Joseph Dubiel and Sebastian Currier. I’m also a tenor, and I studied voice with Jane McMahan and Robert Osborne. From 2011 to 2013 I was a masters degree student in composition at The Juilliard School, studying with Robert Beaser. I also participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Yale School of Music’s New Music Workshop at Norfolk.
Some of my recent activities include a 2017-2018 Opera Genesis Fellowship at the Hermitage Artist Colony, a 2016 residency in New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, the selection of opera-in-development “Legendary” for a March 2015 performance as part of Opera Index’s “New American Opera Previews” at the Manhattan School of Music, a 2014 commission from flautist Kathleen Winters and the Urbana Public Arts Commission, and a 2013-2014 fellowship with American Opera Projects’ “Composers & the Voice” program (with librettist Jason Kim). Recent and upcoming performances include a new work for the Cheah-Chan Duo (2018), a scene from “Legendary” with OperaRox’s Queer Opera Festival (2018), scenes from “Legendary” on Fort Worth Opera Festival’s 2016 “Frontiers” program, the premiere of “…a clear view…” for tenor and baroque ensemble with New Vintage Baroque, and the premiere of “Dust World” for baritone and string quartet as part of the multi-composer opera “American Gothic.” With composers Julia Barry and Matt Frey, I help to organize the “Inside The Underground” series for new vocal music at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe. I am also active as a tenor in the New York City area, and frequently work with contemporary composers as both a choral singer and as a concert planner and administrator.