To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are highlighting all the amazing women composers that have works included in our 2022-23 season. Learn more about Yukiko Nishimura, Jessie Montgomery, Julie Giroux, and Valerie Coleman:
Yukiko Nishimura, Composer/Pianist, was born in Japan. She graduated from the Tokyo University of Arts in 1990. In 1991, she began private study with Dr. Alfred Reed at the University of Miami, and in 1993 she continued her studies with Dr. Richard Danielpour at the Manhattan School of Music. Among her honors is a special mention at the 15th and 26th International Competition for Original Band Composition in Corciano, Italy, and the 6th Aoyama Award. Since 1996, she has given concerts consisting entirely of her own music in Japan. Wind Symphony will perform her piece “Flying Away” as part of our May 7 Spring Concert Series.
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Young Peoples Orchestra (YPO) performed Jessie Montgomery’s piece “Starburst” as part of our winter concert series. Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation and the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Since 1999, Montgomery has been affiliated with The Sphinx Organization, which supports young African American and Latin string players, and has served as composer-in-residence for the Sphinx Virtuosi, the Organization’s flagship professional touring ensemble. A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and a former member of the Catalyst Quartet, Montgomery holds degrees from The Juilliard School and New York University and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University. She is a Professor of Violin and Composition at The New School.
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In our winter concert series, Wind Symphony performed “One Life Beautiful” by Julie Giroux. Giroux was born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. She was 13 when she published her first piece for concert band. With over 100 film, television, and video game credits, Ms. Giroux has collaborated with dozens of film composers, producers, and celebrities, including Samuel Goldwyn, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Celene Dion, Paula Abdul, Michael Jackson, Paul Newman, Harry Connick Jr., and many others. Projects she has worked on have been nominated for Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Golden Globe awards. Ms. Giroux has won individual Emmy Awards in “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Direction”. In June 2018, Ms. Giroux completed her 5th Symphony, “Sun, Rain & Wind”. The piece has been performed at music festivals all over the world.
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In our upcoming spring concert on May 7th, YPO will perform “Umojia” by Valerie Coleman. Coleman is regarded by many as an iconic artist who continues to pave her own unique path as a composer, GRAMMY®-nominated flutist, and entrepreneur. Former flutist of the Imani Winds, Coleman is the creator and founder of this acclaimed ensemble whose 24-year legacy is documented and featured in a dedicated exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Committed to arts education, entrepreneurship, and chamber music advocacy, Coleman created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival in 2011, a summer mentorship program in New York City welcoming young leaders from over 100 international institutions.
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Save the date to come and hear some of these beautiful pieces performed live at our spring concert at Carnegie Music Hall on May 7th! Do you have a favorite female composer or musician that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!