Aaron Jay Kernis
Winner of two 2019 Grammy Awards (including “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” for his violin concerto for James Ehnes), a Pulitzer Prize, Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and Nemmers Award, AARON JAY KERNIS is one of America’s most performed and honored composers. His music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide, and he has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne (AU) Symphonies, Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber and Minnesota Orchestras, Walt Disney Company, The Knights, San Francisco Girls and Brooklyn Youth Choruses, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Sharon Isbin to name a few. His works have been recorded on Nonesuch, Naxos, Phoenix, Onyx, Signum, Virgin Cedille, and Argo, with which Mr. Kernis had an exclusive recording contract, and many other labels. Recent and upcoming are discs including his new flute concerto with flutist Marina Piccinini and Leonard Slatkin/Marin Alsop conducting the Peabody Symphony; his third string quartet (“River”) as part of the Jasper Quartet’s The Kernis Project; the Grammy-winning recording of his violin concerto for James Ehnes with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot;; and the Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero of recent orchestral music. He is the Workshop Director of the Nashville Symphony Composer Lab and, for 15 years, served as New Music Adviser to the Minnesota Orchestra, with which he co-founded and directed its Composer Institute for 11 years. Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller’s book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series.
2024 GUEST FACULTY
Praised by The New York Times as "vivid and dramatic," the music of Carl Schimmel (b. 1975) is dense with literary and musical references, often humorous, and combines intensity of expression with a structural rigor which is influenced in part by his mathematics background. In weaving his musical narratives from poetry, art, and even unusual words, he strives to construct emotional and culturally complex sound worlds that excite the listener's imagination. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s Joseph Bearns Prize, the Lee Ettelson Award, commissions from the Fromm and Barlow Foundations, and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Schimmel has received honors and awards from many organizations, including New Music USA, ASCAP, SCI, the New York Youth Symphony, and the National Federation of Music Clubs. His works have been performed in Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and at other venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and he has been granted residencies at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He has received performances and commissions from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, California EAR Unit, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, North/South Consonance, Quintet Attacca, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, the Da Capo Chamber Players, counter)induction, and many others. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany Records, New Focus Recordings, Arizona University Recordings, Navona Records, Blue Griffin, and Crescent Phase labels. A graduate of Duke University (Ph.D.), the Yale School of Music (M.M.), and Case Western Reserve University (B.A. Mathematics and Music), he is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. He was born in Pensacola, FL, and raised in Wakefield, RI; he currently lives in Grinnell, Iowa, with his wife Mariko and their two children, Otto and Thora.
2024 RESIDENT FACULTY
Elliott Miles McKinley
Elliott Miles McKinley has had music performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Commissions include those from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, the SOLI Chamber Music Ensemble, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Martinů String Quartet, the Mirari Brass Quintet, and the Janaček Trio. The Minnesota Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Czech Radio Symphony have performed his orchestral music, and his works have been featured in international festivals; he is the recipient of a number of awards, grants, and fellowships including those from BMI, ASCAP, SCI, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, and Indiana University. McKinley earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, and University of Minnesota. He has taught at the University of Tennessee, Washington and Lee University, and is currently Associate Professor of Music Composition, Theory, and Technology at Roger Williams University.
Described by Textura as “that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication,” Jennifer Bellor is a versatile composer whose music draws on a variety of influences in addition to classical music, such as progressive rock, pop, and jazz. Some of her favorite projects have included collaborations with classical and jazz musician, visual artists, animators, videographers, radio actors, and robotic arm engineers. Her music has been presented by ensembles, organizations and festivals including Washington National Opera, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Clocks in Motion Percussion, American Composers Orchestra Jazz Composer Orchestra Institute Readings, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra featuring Grace Kelly, Carnegie Hall DCINY Series, Transient Canvas, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, UNLV Wind Orchestra, Eastman Saxophone Project, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Saxophone Ensemble, Finland’s Kaarina Week, and many other soloists, chamber groups, and large ensembles in the US and abroad. Bellor earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. She is on the music composition faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series, Nextet.