Phil Acimovic was born and raised in New England. He currently studies composition at UC Davis with Pablo Ortiz. His music is calm but messy, organized but flexible, energetic but not dramatic. He has composed works for percussion, string quartet, reed quintet, and orchestra. In addition to writing concert works, he was involved in the Lake Tahoe Sonification Project, creating a sonic environment from Lake Tahoe weather data.
Addie Camsuzou is a composer and violinist from the central coast of California. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory/composition from Sacramento State University, where she studied composition with Dr. Stephen Blumberg, and violin with Ian Swensen and Anna Presler. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in music composition.
Josiah Tayag Catalan is a Filipino-American who was born in New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a degree from Sacramento State, School of Music in Music Theory and Composition, where he studied with Stephen Blumberg and Leo Eylar and violin with Anna Presler and Ian Swensen. In 2012, he was chosen to represent the music department by composing a piece for the annual One World Initiative campaign, in which selected students and faculty engage, lead, and raise awareness in the community around a central global issue.
Composer and Chinese flutist Yu-Hsin Chang is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition and theory at UC Davis. She received her previous degrees (MFA, BFA) from Taiwan. Her works include solo, chamber, and orchestral pieces for both Western and Chinese music instruments, and have been performed by soprano Tony Arnold, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Daedalus Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Chai Found Music Workshop, and the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra.
Samuel Clark-McHale (b. 1992) is an American composer currently residing in Davis, CA. His works have been performed by, among others, Ensemble Signal, Quartetto Indaco, and the Illinois Modern Ensemble at venues and festivals including June in Buffalo and the highSCORE New Music Festival. His piece metallic cocaine bebop for Pierrot ensemble was a 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award Finalist.
Jonathan Favero is a graduate student in Music Composition and Theory at the University of California, Davis, and a Mellon Public Scholars Fellow. His compositions often have an ontological impetus, such as his second String Quartet, which contemplates violence as a seemingly inherent trait of human nature. His research interests include music in social movements, spirituality in music, and arts education in the U.S. criminal and juvenile justice systems. Additionally, Jonathan serves as Co-President of the UC Davis Music Department Graduate Student Association.
Born and raised in central Illinois, Daniel Godsil (b. 1982) is a composer of chamber, orchestral, vocal, electronic, and film music, currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Composition and Theory at the University of California, Davis. He holds an MFA in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he studied with John Fitz Rogers, John Mallia, and Jonathan Bailey Holland. He also holds a BM in Music Composition from Webster University.
Fang-Wei Luo is a Taiwanese composer who holds his master’s degree in music from Taipei National University of the Arts and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at UC Davis. Fang-Wei is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions, and his pieces have been performed in many cities in Asia and North America. His music focuses on the balance between the simplicity of musical materials, intricacy of acoustic atmosphere, and implications of the composer’s innermost feelings, depicting the solitude, dreams, and suffering of disadvantaged minorities. In recent years, he has placed emphasis on writing pieces for specific political issues or unjust treatments, particularly Taiwan’s independence and arduous situation, which are entangled with his belief in music writing.
Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Aida Shirazi is a Ph.D. student in composition and works with Pablo Ortiz. Shirazi’s music is described as “well-made” and “affecting” by The New Yorker.
She holds her B.A. in classical piano from Tehran University of Art (Iran), and her B.M. in music composition and theory from Bilkent University (Turkey). She studied santoor (traditional Iranian dulcimer) with Parissa Khosravi Samani.
A Sacramento native, Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and American parents. His music aims to explore new worlds both sonically and expressively, incorporating “impressionistic textures and large melodic gestures” (SF Classical Voice), resonant sonorities, and lively rhythms. Ryan is deeply inspired by the wonder of natural world and the tremendous beauty and complexity of everyday life.
Alex Van Gils (b. 1987) is a composer and bassist whose music is influenced by his love of classical music and jazz, and especially by his practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Sarah Wald was born in Chicago. She attended Columbia University in the City of New York for her bachelor’s degree in music with a focus in composition. While at Columbia, Sarah studied composition with Tristan Murail and Arthur Kampela, as well as with Robert Lombardo in Chicago. She also studied flute with Sue Ann Kahn. Sarah then studied with Conrad Susa and David Garner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for her master’s degree in composition. For her master’s thesis, she composed and produced Elegy for a Lady: a Music Drama in One Act.