top of page


Seven Emerging Composers Chosen for Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute

Composers will travel to Minneapolis for Orchestra’s acclaimed professional training program, directed for the third year by Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts and co-presented with the American Composers Forum Institute runs from January 30 to February 3, 2017, highlighted by February 3 Minnesota Orchestra concert conducted by Osmo Vänskä

Seven emerging composers have been selected as participants in the Minnesota Orchestra’s 14th annual Composer Institute, Institute Director Kevin Puts announced today. The selected composers, whose works encompass a variety of musical styles, were chosen from a pool of 212 candidates through a highly competitive process. They will be in Minneapolis from January 30 to February 3, 2017, for rehearsals, seminars and mentoring sessions, as well as a public “Future Classics” performance of their works on Friday, February 3, with Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducting the Minnesota Orchestra in concert at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.

The 14th annual Composer Institute participants are Katherine Balch, of Boston, Massachusetts; Michael Boyman, of New York, New York; Judy Bozone, of Plano, Texas; Michael-Thomas Foumai, of Honolulu, Hawaii; Tonia Ko, of Ithaca, New York; Phil Taylor, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Conrad Winslow, of Brooklyn, New York.

“The competition was fierce this year, with a record-breaking number of applicants whose work members of the adjudication panel described as ‘an embarrassment of riches and a testament to the potential of this generation of composers,’” said Composer Institute Director Kevin Puts. “The seven composers who will participate in the 2017 Institute write with assuredness and panache in their own distinctive, memorable voices. I look forward to February 3 when we’ll hear all seven of these wonderful pieces in one evening!” Other members of the selection committee were Grammy Award-winning American composer Michael Daugherty; Gemma New, a New Zealand-born conductor and current music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada; and Sean Shepherd, former Composer Institute participant and recent Composer Fellow of the Cleveland Orchestra.

In addition to the seven composers chosen to participate in the Composer Institute, the panel named the following composers as alternates: Nina Young, Jiyoung Ko, Will Healy and Ryan Lindveit. In addition, these composers were designated as runners-up: Shuying Li, William Cooper, Natalie Dietterich, Michael Seltenreich, Jonathan Cziner and Joseph Bohigian. Cited for honorable mention are: Igor Santos, Saunder Choi, Baldwin Giang, Michael Betz, Matthew Brown, Hermes Camacho, Matthew Ricketts, Sky Macklay, Patrick O’Malley, Saad Haddad, Sean Calhoun, Scott Miller, Chason Goldschmitz, Timothy Page, Nathan Shields and Alex Berko.

Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute:

Acclaimed program presented for 14th time The Composer Institute, widely recognized as a leading professional training program for emerging symphonic composers, is co-presented by the Minnesota Orchestra and the American Composers Forum. Now in its third year under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts, the Institute is an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched during the 1995-96 season. Many of the 120 composers who have previously taken part in Perfect Pitch and the Composer Institute have gone on to receive major commissions, awards, grants and additional performances of their works. Composer Aaron Jay Kernis was the Composer Institute’s founder and directed it for 11 seasons. The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute is generously supported by the Amphion Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, Minnesota Orchestra Director Emerita Hella Mears Hueg, a longtime advocate of new music, has provided major funding to the Institute through 2020.


Friday, February 3, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra Osmo Vänskä, conductor Kevin Puts, Composer Institute director

KATHERINE BALCH Leaf Catalogue MICHAEL BOYMAN Tightrope Walker JUDY BOZONE Spilled Orange MICHAEL-THOMAS FOUMAI Music from the Castle of Heaven TONIA KO Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide PHIL TAYLOR Chiaroscuro CONRAD WINSLOW Old Motion Parade



Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

Published prices include a non-discountable facility fee that ranges from $2 to $5 per ticket. For single ticket purchases, there are no service charges for in-person transactions. There is a $6 service charge per transaction for all phone, fax or mail orders. Save $1 by purchasing tickets online or by having the Orchestra e-mail your tickets. (This charge is waived for subscribers and group purchasers ordering by phone, mail or in person.) Subscription packages are subject to a one-time $8 processing fee. No refunds. Some fees and restrictions may apply to ticket exchanges. All sales are final. All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute is generously supported by The Amphion Foundation, The American Composers Forum, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Hella Mears Hueg, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2016-17 season. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations (612) 371-5628 •

Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator (612) 371-5625 •

bottom of page