The nief-norf Summer Festival is pleased to announce composer Aaron Helgeson as our Call for Scores Winner. Thank you to everyone who submitted a composition for consideration. We were delighted to receive such diverse and creative work from all around the world.
Aaron Helgeson's composition nothing from nothing (is black are white) for flute and vibraphone will be performed at the nief-norf Summer Festival's closing concert on June 6, 2014 at 7:30pm.
Aaron Helgeson is an internationally recognized composer for the stage and concert hall, bringing a cutting-edge sensibility to acoustic instrumental and vocal music. His work – described by the New York Times as “simultaneously virtuoso display and engaging instrumental drama” and the Oberlin Review as “nothing short of mesmerizing” – explores the poetic boundaries of musical perception, drawing on the diverse fields of phenomenology, acoustics, literature, and cognitive science to create surreal and evocative sonic universes.
With recent performances across the US and Europe at venues including the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, IRCAM’s Manifeste 2012, the 2013 World New Music Days in Vienna, and the 2014 MATA Festival in New York, his music has been championed by such ensembles as the Arditti String Quartet, New York piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire, acclaimed French chamber choir Les Cris de Paris, and Finland's flagship new music group Uusinta. Recordings of his music are availabe on Carrier Records and Oberlin Music, with a forthcoming portrait album on Innova in 2014.
A former Fletcher Jones Fellow at the University of California, he has received prizes and accolades from ASCAP, the Fulbright Institute, American Composers Forum, and the Eiler Foundation. Also an occassional essayist, he recently penned an article for an upcoming issue of Perspectives of New Music entitled What is phenomenological music and what does it have to do with Salvatore Sciarrino?
His latest projects include a song cycle on fragments from medieval French troubadour poetry commissioned by Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, the title track for renown clarinetist Richard Hawkins' new CD A place toward other places, and an anti-oratorio for choir and orchestra based on the lives and music of Norwegian immigrants in the American Midwest during the Children's Blizzard of 1888.
Helgeson currently resides in Ohio, where he is Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.