New York-based composer Nina C. Young writes music characterized by an acute sensitivity to tone and color, manifested in aural images of vibrant, arresting immediacy, according to her artist’s bio. Young serves as assistant professor in the Department of the Arts in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS). Since joining Rensselaer last fall, she has been working on several projects, including the development of a new multimedia opera, “Making Tellus: Sketches of a Cosmogram for the Anthropocene.” Young will share highlights regarding the new piece during AXIS: The Art_X Interdisciplinary Seminar planned for April 25.
Young is the recipient of the 2015-16 Frederick A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Rome, a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jacob Druckman Prize, and the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award. Her music has also been recognized through commissions and awards from institutions such as the American Composers Forum, Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Jerome Foundation, the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM), and the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS).
Young received her Ph.D. in musical arts from Columbia University, where she was an active participant at the Columbia Computer Music Center. She received a master’s degree in music composition from McGill University, and a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in ocean engineering and music; in addition, she held a research assistantship at the MIT Media Lab.
“The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences responds to the world’s greatest challenges with agenda-setting research on human societies, institutions, minds, arts, and cultures,” said Mary Simoni, dean of HASS. “We are thrilled to have Professor Nina Young as one of our newest faculty members. Her prolific compositional oeuvres span the breadth of genres emblematic of music at Rensselaer. Professor Young adds a new voice to a chorus of dedicated faculty who are committed to excellence in our music program.”
We are thrilled to have Professor Nina Young as one of our newest faculty members. Her prolific compositional oeuvres span the breadth of genres emblematic of music at Rensselaer. Professor Young adds a new voice to a chorus of dedicated faculty who are committed to excellence in our music program.”
Recent commissions include a bassoon pocket concert for Brad Balliett and the Metropolis Ensemble, Agnosco Veteris for Robert Spano and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, When Eyes Meet for Wild with support of the American Composers Forum’s National Composition Competition, EarPlay—a viola concerto for Jocelin Pan and Ensemble Echappe—as well as new works for the American Brass Quintet.
Today, Young’s interests are headed in the direction of collaborative, multidisciplinary works. For example, earlier this year, while in Rome, Young worked with choreographer Miro Magloire and the New Chamber Ballet to develop a site-specific piece, Temenos, around the intersections of movement, architecture, and sound at the Tempietto Del Bramante. In addition, in May, the American Composers Underground will premiere Out of whose womb came the ice—commissioned by the Jerome Foundation—a work for baritone, orchestra, electronics, and generative video commenting on the ill-fated Ernest Shackleton Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
Young’s works have been presented by leading cultural institutions such as Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery, the Whitney, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next on the Grand, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Liquid Music Series. She also currently serves as co-artistic director of the New York-based new music sinfonietta Ensemble Echappe.