Composers Festival spotlight: Emily Koh

Resident composer Emily Koh comes to the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival by way of Singapore, her place of birth, and Boston, where she currently is a Ph.D. candidate in composition and theory at Brandeis University.

A bassist as well as a composer, Koh also serves as a visiting faculty member at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, director of concert series at the Boston New Music Initiative, and principal bass for the New England Philharmonic.

Her music is characterized by timbral extremes, and has been described as “beautifully eerie” (New York Times), and “subtly spicy” (Baltimore Sun). Koh’s works have been played at venues in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Finland, Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States by a variety of ensembles and performers, including Talea Ensemble , New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, and many others.

Koh is a graduate of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Her honors and awards include the Asian Composers League’s Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and the Parma Student Composer Competition, as well as numerous commissions and grants.

You can hear samples of Emily Koh’s music in the embedded YouTube and SoundCloud players below.

“in retro|re-intro:spect” for sinfonietta, written for the 2011 Composers Conference at Wellesley College and performed by the Purchase Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Dominic Donato, on November 29, 2012 at SUNY Purchase College’s Recital Hall

“bridging:isolation” (2013) for clarinet, violin and piano, recorded by the Talea Ensemble in March 2014 at Brandeis University

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