Under the artistic direction of Steven Schick, newly composed music has become an integral part of the Festival’s repertoire. Each summer a living composer is selected to visit Breckenridge and have their work featured on chamber and orchestra performances. The opportunity to interact with and get to know a composer of a particular piece of music provides both audiences and musicians a unique perspective on its performance, one which also offers valuable learning for the composer.
This program is generously underwritten by Paul Finkel & Barbara Strauss.
Asher Tobin Chodos is a pianist, composer and musicologist. He is a graduate of the Dave Brubeck Institute, Columbia University (where he studied ancient Greek and Latin) and the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a Ph. D. in 2019. He has played with some of the biggest names in jazz music, and his compositions have been performed by many noted contemporary music ensembles. Ongoing projects include an academic study of the automated music recommendation industry (think of Spotify and Pandora), and an opera about the life of Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. You can see more about these and other projects at www.tobinchodos.com.
Past Resident Composers
Fiddler, composer, and storyteller Max Wolpert conjures up monsters and myth where the traditional, classical, and theatrical meet.
Drawing from tradition both musical and mythological, Max Wolpert makes music inspired by stories from around the world. Whether built upon the verve and bounce of an Irish jig, the endearing asymmetry of a Welsh pipe tune, or the drive of a Virginian breakdown, Max’s pieces are crafted with taut detail and a flair for the dramatic honed over years as a pit musician, conductor, and orchestrator for theatrical productions.
Max is dedicated to music education and a passionate advocate for new music. He teaches privately and at workshops throughout New England and the Midwest, and serves on the faculty for the Rocky Ridge Music Academy and Mountainside Music Academy. Max encourages his students and collaborators to explore stories and traditions that spark the imagination, and to bring forth the outlandish, the macabre, and the magic inherent in music.
Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016. He received a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by musical groups including Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds and American Composers Orchestra. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He is also the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, the 2015-16 Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Musical Director for the 2017 Ojai Festival. He holds a doctorate in music cognition from University of California, Berkeley.