In an effort to increase professional opportunities for emerging composers, Musiqa has selected two early career composers to write new works for its LOFT concert series at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

The Musiqa Artistic Board has chosen Nicky Sohn, a doctoral student at Rice University Shepherd School of Music as 2020-21 Emerging Composer Fellow. The Emerging Composer Fellowship identifies promising artistic talent and provides mentoring from acclaimed Houston area composers, and professional opportunities in an innovative contemporary music chamber ensemble.

The Musiqa Artistic Board has chosen Tianyi Wang for its Emerging Composer Commission program, a national competition for early career composers. Mr. Wang is a Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate at New England Conservatory of Music.

Since its founding in 2002, Musiqa has brought new compositions and composers to Houston, while simultaneously expanding opportunities for our city’s homegrown artists. Our Emerging Composer competitions continue this mission by providing artistic and administrative support to early career composers and connecting them to young artists and students in our community.

About Nicky Sohn

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional-orchestra, the wide-ranging talent of composer Nicky Sohn is sought after across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Characterized by her jazz-inspired, rhythmically driven themes, Sohn’s work has been described as “like John Adams’ ‘Short Ride in a Fast Machine’ on steroids” (YourObserver), “dynamic and full of vitality” (The Korea Defense Daily), and having “elegant wonder” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). As a result, Sohn has enjoyed commissions from the world’s preeminent performing arts institutions, including sold-out performances at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The National Orchestra of Korea, the New York Choreographic Institute at New York City Ballet, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sohn’s music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, Grammy-winning soprano Jessica Rivera at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy, and Misato Hanawa at Tokyo City Opera. She was recently commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s to write a new orchestral work scheduled to be premiered in 2021. Her music has been featured at renowned music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, Ars Nova with Unsuk Chin and the Seoul Philharmonic, and Chelsea Music Festival with Ken-David Masur, among others.

Nicky Sohn is currently pursuing a fully-funded doctoral degree at the The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University and holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music. She is grateful to her pedagogues, which include Robert Beaser, Anthony Brandt, Chris Theofanidis, and Richard Danielpour.

About Tianyi Wang

Born in China, Tianyi Wang is an award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist, whose music vocabulary is diverse and much inspired by subjects beyond music. Tianyi’s repertoire spans over solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, electronic, as well as film scoring, his works have been performed both nationally and internationally, including Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany), impuls Festival (Austria), Festival Mixtur (spain), CEME (Israel), iNEnesemble (Russia), Audiograft Festival (UK), Ashmolean Museum (UK), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, MISE-EN New Music Festival, Boston New Music Initiative, New Music on the Bayou, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Electronic Music Midwest, Kaleidoscope MusArt, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, UPS Piano Trio, Collage New Music Composer Colloquium, One Quiet Plunge, Hawaii Public Radio, Et Lux Radio, NACUSA, and SCI Regional and National Conferences. Mr. Wang is a National Finalist of the 2019 American Prize, an Honorable Mention of the 2019 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and a semifinalist of the Symphony Number One Call for Score 4. He is the winner of 2018-19 NEC Honors Composition Competition, 2018 BMOP/NEC Composition Competition, 2017 Longy Orchestral Composition Competition, 2016 Sanya International Choral Festival (China), and a recipient of China National Arts Fund. Tianyi is a member of Millennium Composers Initiative. His music has been released by ABLAZE and NAVONA.

Besides being a composer, Tianyi Wang’s outstanding piano skill won him the 2012 William Jewell Artist Competition and led to his concerto debut with Liberty Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Tianyi Wang collaborated with London Symphony Orchestra in a recording production at Abbey Road Studio, London. In 2015, he founded and directed Qinyin Chamber Ensemble and led public performances throughout the city of Changchun, China. Tianyi’s research paper on Xibo music was featured at the 31st International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Tianyi has studied at William Jewell College (B.S. Composition, Mathematics; summa cum laude; Honor Graduate), Moscow Conservatory, Longy School of Music of Bard College (M.M. Composition), and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is continuing his musical journey as a Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate at New England Conservatory of Music.