Summer Festival Spotlight: Asha Srinivasan

Born in Utah and brought up in India and the USA, Asha Srinivasan creates music that combines elements from two different cultures. An assistant professor of music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, Srinivasan (pictured) is one of eight resident composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

She is part of an musical extended family – her mother Lalitha is a professional singer of Indian film songs – and began taking voice lessons at age 6, learning the classical music of Southern India. As a adult composer blending Indian Carnatic ragas with Western concepts of form and progression, Srinivasan has earned numerous honors and awards for her music, including winning the BMI Foundation’s first Annual Women’s New Music Commission Competition in 2006.

She has had electronic pieces performed at ICMC, June in Buffalo, SEAMUS, Spark, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, Electronic Music Midwest, and The Women in New Music Festival, and won commissions from the Flute/Cello Commissioning Circle, Sequoia Chamber Players, clarinetist E. Michael Richards and others. Her original electro-acoustic opera, The Fallen Nutcracker, was premiered by Landless Theatre Company in Washington, D.C for a run of sixteen performances in 2003.

More recently, Srinivasan’s 2007 composition “By the River Savathi” was selected for a performance at the prestigious Orchestra of St. Lukes’ “Notable Women Festival – a Celebration of Women Composers”. In 2011, her Carnatic-influenced “Dviraag,” an eight-minute work for flute and cello, was selected by a jury of four composers from China, Thailand and the United States to be performed and recorded at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival.

Srinivasan got her B.A. in music from Goucher College, and M.Mus. in computer music composition and M.Mus. in music theory pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory. She then earned her D.M.A. in composition from University of Maryland, College Park. You can read more about (and by) her at Lawrence University’s composition blog, and hear two of her award-winning compositions in the embedded players below.

Asha Srinivasan’s Dviraag, as performed during the Thailand International Composition Festival 2011

Srinivasan’s Alone, Dancing, featuring flutist Laura Heinrichs, recorded March 2009 in Cambridge, MA. This composition won second prize in the Peabody Conservatory’s Prix d’Ete Competition in 2005.

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