Nina C. Young

Composer and Sound Artist

  • Full Bio
    Nina C Young - composer
    New York-based composer Nina C. Young (b.1984) writes music characterized by an acute sensitivity to tone color, manifested in aural images of vibrant, arresting immediacy. Her experience in the electronic music studio informs her acoustic work, which takes as its given not melody and harmony, but sound itself, continuously metamorphosing from one state to another.

    Young's music has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, Inscape Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Orkest de ereprijs, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Divertimento Ensemble, Either/Or, the JACK Quartet, mise-en, Scharoun, Sixtrum, and Yarn/Wire. Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize in Musical Composition, Young has received a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award, Aspen Music Festival's Jacob Druckman Prize, and honors from BMI, The International Alliance for Women in Music, and ASCAP/SEAMUS. Young has held fellowship residencies at the Aspen and Atlantic Music Festivals, the Nouvel Ensemble Modern's 2014 FORUM, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

    Recent commissions include a bassoon pocket concerto for Brad Balliett and the Metropolis Ensemble, Agnosco Veteris for Robert Spano and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, When Eyes Meet for wild Up with support of the American Composer Forum’s National Composition Competition, EarPlay – a viola concerto for Jocelin Pan and Ensemble Échappé, as well as new works for the American Brass Quintet, cellist Anssi Karttunen, and pianist Marilyn Nonken.

    Young’s interests are now headed in the direction of collaborative, multidisciplinary works. While in Rome, Young worked with choreographer Miro Magloire and the New Chamber Ballet to develop a site-specific piece, Temenos, around the intersection of movement, architecture, and sound at the Tempietto Del Bramante. In September she designed a soundscape and interactive performance in Morningside Park for the Processional Arts Workshops 2016 Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE, presented by Miller Theatre. Young recently collaborated with performance artist and women’s rights activist Erin Helfert for a presentation (Federal Hall) of RITE OF PASSAGE - a performance, with 8-channel interactive audio, about Helfert’s 5-year rape trial in Moroccan Court. In May 2017 the American Composers Orchestra Underground will premiere Out of whose womb came the ice (commissioned by the Jerome Foundation) – a work for baritone, orchestra, electronics, and generative video commenting on the ill-fated Ernest Shackleton Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17. Young is collaborating with vocal bassist Andrew Munn and the Nouveau Classical Project on an evening-length, interdisciplinary cantata titled Making Tellus: Sketches of a Cosmogram for the Anthropocene – a work for voices, mixed chamber ensemble, sustainable fashion, and interactive media that addresses the current socio-political conversation surrounding human intervention and the Earth’s rapidly changing geology.

    Young completed her doctorate at Columbia University, with Fred Lerdahl, George Lewis, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Brad Garton, where she was an active participant at the Columbia Computer Music Center. In 2011 she earned a Master's degree in music composition from McGill University. While in Montreal she worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) and as a studio and teaching assistant at the McGill Digital Composition Studios. Nina completed her undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) receiving degrees in ocean engineering and music, in addition to holding a research assistanship at the MIT Media Lab.

    Young is an Assistant Professor in the Arts Department of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and a Visiting Composer at the Peabody Institute. She serves as Co-Artistic Director of NY-based new music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé. Her music is published by Peermusic Classical.

    Current as of March 2017.
  • Education

    • Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - DMA program, summer 2017
    • McGill University - Schulich School of Music - M.Mus [2008 - 2011]
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Media Lab) - Research Assistant [2006 - 2008]
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - B.S. in Music; B.S. in Ocean Engineering [2003 - 2007]
  • Awards

    • Koussevitzky Foundation Commission from the Library of Congress - for Making Tellus
    • 2015 Rome Prize in Musical Composition
    • IRCAM Cursus 2015-16 - selected composer
    • 2015 American Composers Forum National Composition Competition - winner of new commission for wild Up.
    • Willapa Bay AiR Artist Residence (July 2015)
    • Creative Dialogue VII - Kallio-Kuninkala, Finland - selected composer (Jan-Feb 2015)
    • Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts - composer Residency (Jan 2015)
    • Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2014)
    • Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival (2014)
    • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Composer Institute - 2014 - Selected composer (Fata Morgana)
    • Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum - 12th International Forum for Young Composers (Nov. 2014) - selected composer
    • 2014 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award - First Prize (Traced Upon Cinders)
    • Nutrire la Musica International Composition Competition - Finalist and commissioned composer for 2015 Milan Expo
    • Libby Larsen Prize - 2014 IAWM New Music Competition (Remnants)
    • Aspen Music Festival - Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies Fellow (summer 2014)
    • 4th Annual Lake George Music Festival Composition Competition - winner (Memento Mori)
    • 2014 RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition - Honorable Mention (Tethered Within)
    • 2014 New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions - Honorable Mention
    • 2014 SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition - Finalist (Tethered Within)
    • American Composers Orchestra (ACO) 2013 Underwood New Music Readings - Audience Choice Award (Remnants)
    • Tanglewood Music Center - Composition Fellow (summer 2013)
    • 2012-13 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition - 1st place (Sun Propeller)
    • 2012-2013 USF New-Music Consortium Call for Scores winner, electronic category (Sun Propeller)
    • Wild Rumpus Commissioning Project Winner
    • University of Iowa SCI Conference competition winner (Sun Propeller)
    • Sixtrum Young Composer Lab
    • Atlantic Music Festival Composer Fellow (summer 2012)
    • Pauline Oliveros Prize (2011 IAWM New Music Competition) (Kashchei)
    • Columbia University Faculty Fellow - Department of Music
    • 17th International Young Composers Meeting with the Orkest de ereprijs
    • 2010 BMI Student Composer Awards (Kolokol)
    • Pauline Oliveros Prize - Honorable Mention (2010 IAWM New Music Competition) (Kolokol)
    • McGill University Student Composer-in-Residence
    • McGill University Shapiro Fellowship
    • US State Department Fusion Arts Exchange Fellow, 2007
  • Festivals

    • Willapa Bay AiR Residency (July 2015)
    • Aspen Music Festival and School - guest composer (July 2015)
    • Creative Dialogue VII - Sibelius Academy / Kallio-Kuninkala / Musica Nova Helsinki, Finland (2015)
    • Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts (January 2015)
    • 12th International Forum for Young Composers - Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (2014)
    • Third Practice Festival 2014 - featured composer
    • Lake George Music Festival - featured composer (2014)
    • Aspen Music Festival and School - Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies (Fellow, 2014)
    • SEAMUS Conference (March 2014)
    • Tanglewood Music Center - Composition Fellow (Summer 2013)
    • SEAMUS Conference (April 2013)
    • New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival - NYCEMF (April 2013)
    • N SEME - National Student Electronic Music Event, Temple University (March 2013)
    • Bennington Chamber Music Conference - Composer Fellow (August 2012)
    • Atlantic Music Festival - Composition Fellow (July 2012)
    • N SEME - National Student Electronic Music Event, Peabody Institute (November 2011)
    • 17th International Young Composers Meeting - Orkest de ereprijs (February 2011)
    • SEAMUS Conference (January 2011)
    • Domaine Forget, New Music Session, NEM (August 2009)
    • European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) (July 2009)
    • European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) (July 2008)
    • Fusion Arts Ensemble, UNESCO (April 2008)
    • Fusion Arts Exchange (Summer 2007)
    • Aspen Summer Music Festival Edgar Stanton Recording Institute (July 2006)
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Nina C. Young - composer