Announcing the Panelists for the 2016-17 EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency

David Johnston

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We are delighted to announce the panelists for the 2016-17 EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency. Panels took place on May 11th and 12th at the National Opera Center. This is the eighth round of this program, which places five composers in six-month residency at a cultural facility. This year we are pleased to add the Queens Museum as one of our facilities!

Many thanks to our panelists for their expertise in selecting the five resident composers for the coming year.  A complete list of this year’s Composer residents is available here.


According to the Los Angeles Times, composer and performer Eve Beglarian “is a humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist.” She was awarded the 2015 Robert Rauschenberg Prize from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for her “innovation, risk-taking, and experimentation.”Beglarian’s current projects include Lighten Up, a multimedia music-theater piece about visionary visual artists in America; the long-term undertaking A Book of Days, text/music/visuals, one for each day of the year; and BRIM, the ensemble she has created to perform the repertoire she has created in response to her 2009 journey down the Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle. Beglarian’s concert music has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the American Composers Orchestra, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Voices of Ascension, and the Paul Dresher Ensemble, among many others.

UndergroundSystem1BannerFlutist Domenica Fossati is an electrifying performer whose spontaneous whistling rolls have found a home with modern composers, including Harvey Sollberger, Robert Dick and Michael Gordon. She is the co-founder of Concert Black, a trio who draw upon their diverse musical backgrounds for their songwriting, improvisation, and commissioning of today’s emerging composers. Influenced by a wide range of musical styles, her work oscillates gracefully between art music and pop, working with artists such as Kenny Werner, Miguel Zenon, and members of Antibalas. Domenica is the front-woman of Underground System, one of the only afrobeat groups to feature a female lead singer. Trilingual and acquainted with the Ghanaian Ewe language, her lyrics and knowledge of traditional West African dance grant her work authenticity. She is also flutist in Latin Grammy nominee Mariachi Flor de Toloache, NYC’s first and only all­-women mariachi group. Ms. Fossati earned her M.F.A. at New York University with Robert Dick, where she also served as adjunct faculty.


KOUYOUMDJIAN headshot- 2015-hi-resMary Kouyoumdjian is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition, to progressively blend the old with the new. Commissions include those from the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, and Alarm Will Sound among others. Kouyoumdjian is pursuing her D.M.A. in Composition at Columbia University, is co-founder of New Music Gathering and teaches composition at the NY Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program.


Kamala HeadshotPraised as “strikingly original” (NY Times), Kamala Sankaram has received commissions from Beth Morrison Projects, HERE Arts Center, Opera on Tap, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, among others. Awards, grants, and residencies include: Jonathan Larson Award, NY Innovative Theatre Award: Outstanding Production of a Musical (Miranda), Vox Pop Award: Best Eclectic Album (Bombay Rickey), NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, the MacDowell Colony, the Watermill Center, The Civilians, HERE Arts Center, CAP21, Exploring the Metropolis/Con Edison, the Hermitage, and American Lyric Theater. Upcoming, her opera, THUMBPRINT will appear in the 2016/17 season at LA Opera and her band, Bombay Rickey, will present their hit opera-cabaret in London.


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