Student Profile

Philip Acimovic
Ph.D. in Composition, 2018

Phil Acimovic

Phil Acimovic is a composer and gamelan musician in Easthampton, MA. He writes quiet, austere music for solo and chamber ensembles. In 2018 he served as Artist-In-Residence at the Cold Hollow Sculpture Park in VT. Acimovic’s music taps into abstract emotional states, the quiet corners of the mind that are obstructed in our hyperactive world. His most recent project is a set of solo instrumental works inspired by abstract visual artists and complementing the disquietude of the Covid pandemic. His works have been performed by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble, the St. Louis Symphony, and at various new music festivals across the country. Acimovic studied Javanese Gamelan for two years in Central Java and performs regularly around the northeast U.S.

Acimovic teaches music theory at Clark University since Fall 2021. He previously taught music theory at Smith College and has directed Javanese Gamelan ensembles at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Mynah Music School, Tufts University, and Smith College.

Awards / grants / Performances

Artist-in-Residence, 2018, Cold Hollow Sculpture Park: He served as their first ever artist-in-residence and gave a public presentation on his compositions. This was a major turning point being invited to serve as artist-in-residence while still a graduate student at UC Davis.

Performance, 2018, St Louis Symphony – Quiet Streams for orchestra (dissertation piece) Performed at UC Davis as part of Revision/s festival. This was an opportunity to work with a major American orchestra under the direction of one of the most prominent conductors, David Robertson.

Commission, 2017, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble – Reverent Murmurs for 2 pianos Performed in Feb 2018 at Berkeley Piano Club & SF Conservatory. This was a professional commission from a leading new music ensemble. The piece was performed three times and reviewed by multiple critics in the SF Bay Area.

Bilinski Fellowship, UC Davis – Dissertation Year Fellowship, a highly regarded fellowship at UC Davis for a doctoral student in the final year of study.

Performances at various summer new music festivals, 2016-2018: June in Buffalo (Buffalo, NY); Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (Boston, MA); New Music on the Point (VT); Oregon Bach Composers Festival (Eugene, OR). These are leading festivals around the country to showcase modern music by young composers.

Graduate Student Association Travel Award, 2017: This award was to attend a performance of music written for the Eureka Musical Minds California graduate student festival in Fullerton, CA.

Grant, 2014, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts: The grant was for a collaborative sound installation at UC Davis called the Lake Tahoe Sonification Project. We used the grant money to purchase equipment needed for the installation.

Provost Fellowship, 2013-14, UC Davis – First Year Fellowship

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