Inside YSM: Krists Auznieks, composer

Krists Auznieks

Meet composer and DMA candidate Krists Auznieks ’16MM, who spoke to us recently about what drew him to the Yale School of Music.

“I wanted to study at YSM firstly because of the faculty,” he said. “I highly value their diversity, and the prospect of being able to study with all of them was one of my main motivations. The relatively small size of the composition department means that it really is a community. We know one another’s music and we get to hear it at various points in its development. It is absolutely fascinating to see your peers grow and develop. It teaches one not only about musical development within a single piece of music, it reveals larger patterns behind the path of a young composer. It helps to see how regardless of the variety of aesthetic camps present on a single campus there are fundamental commonalties that our paths share, both humanly and musically. The composition department is a miracle within a miracle. The sheer talent that I am surrounded by is truly humbling. We see one another in the composition seminar every Thursday but you read about all of them in The New York Times or see them on TV over the weekend. That’s how high Yale composers’ presence is in the ‘real world.’ This is not an isolated department. Rather, it is constantly engaged with the world, with other spheres of human activity, with other arts and artists.”

Auznieks has also tapped into the vast resources the wider University has to offer.

“My opera ‘NeoArctic,’ which was premiered couple of months ago at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, talks about the Anthropocene and climate change, and I would not have been able to go into such depth if I did not have the resources that Yale could provide: countless talks given on the campus on the topic, availability of the specialists in the field — these were the resources that allowed me to attain the depth of knowledge that was necessary for the production of such a complex work,” Auznieks said. “Another work that grew directly out of my studies at Yale is the project that I am currently doing with the Contemporaneous ensemble in New York. It involves texts from philosophy and East Asian religions that tackle concepts of the self and nothingness and these ideas grew directly out of the corresponding courses that I took at Yale.”

Auznieks’ “Light Stills” will be performed on an April 13 New Music New Haven concert featuring music by YSM faculty composer David Lang and graduate-student composers.

(Photo by Girts Ragelis)

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Published March 24, 2017
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[ students & alumni ]

YSM composers highlighted in Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival

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Aaron Jay Kernis

The Yale School of Music is playing a significant role in the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival. This year’s festival, “Songs of the Rolling Earth,” features a slew of YSM faculty, students, and alumni, including Aaron Jay Kernis, Loren Loiacono ’12 MM, composers collective Sleeping Giant, and all 13 graduate students in the YSM composition studio.

On June 11, the orchestra will perform Simple Songs by YSM composition faculty member Aaron Jay Kernis. A mystical work for soprano and chamber orchestra, Simple Songs sets the texts of famed composer Hildegard von Bingen, Japanese writer Ryokan, and Rumi. The concert will also feature the world premiere of Loren Loiacono‘s Sleeping Furiously. MORE

Published June 7, 2016
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[ concerts ]

Yale Philharmonia plays New Music for Orchestra Dec. 10

13-004 Yale Philharmonia — Yale School of Music 2013The Yale School of Music presents the annual New Music for Orchestra concert on Thursday, December 10 at 7:30 pm. The concert presents new works by up-and-comping student composers, performed by the Yale Philharmonia.

Works on the program include: Krists AuznieksScarlet Sounds, Katherine Balch‘s Leaf Catalogue, Natalie Dietterich‘s aeolian dust, Brian Heim‘s ANOTHER FOREST, an excerpt from Dylan Mattingly‘s Visions of Johanna, Liliya Ugay‘s Oblivion, and Tiange Zhou‘s One Choice. All the composers are currently studying at the Yale School of Music.

YSM conducting fellow Heejung Park will lead the Yale Philharmonia for the evening. MORE

Published November 24, 2015
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[ concerts ]

New Music New Haven series features Paul Lansky Nov. 19

Paul LanskyThe New Music New Haven series at the Yale School of Music continues on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 pm, featuring the music of guest composer Paul Lansky alongside works by YSM composition students.

A pioneer in the field of computer music, Paul Lansky has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. His music has been widely performed and recorded. He has been the subject of the documentary My Cinema for the Ears,  directed by Uli Aumüller, and in 2002 was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Electroacoustic Music. He serves on the faculty of Princeton University. MORE

Published October 28, 2015
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[ concerts ]

New Music New Haven to feature guest composer Bryce Dessner March 5

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Bryce Dessner

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert featuring music by guest composer Bryce Dessner on Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 pm. The concert also includes music by six YSM student composers: Krists Auznieks, Natalie Dietterich, Ian Gottlieb, Brian Heim, Michael Laurello, and Tiange Zhou.

The concert will stream live on the School of Music’s website.

WATCH LIVE

The program will feature two pieces by Dessner, a Yale School of Music alumnus who has won recognition as a composer as well as for his work in the Grammy-nominated band The National. His string quartet Tenebre was a 2010 commission by the acclaimed Kronos Quartet. His work Murder Ballads, written for a sextet of strings, winds, percussion, and piano, was commissioned in 2013 by the new music ensemble eighth blackbird. MORE

Published February 20, 2015
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