Composers Now: Dialogues

Co-presented by ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation

Friday, November 30, 2018, 7:30pm

Steinway Hall
1133 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY

FREE with RSVP // Click here to reserve your tickets

Composers Now, Steinway, ASCAP and The ASCAP Foundation co-present Dialogues, an evening of performance and town hall-style conversation between composers and audience. The November 30th event features ASCAP composers Courtney Bryan (New Orleans), Felipe Lara (Brazil, US), and Zibuokle Martinaityte (LATGA)(Lithuania, US) hosted by Composers Now Founder/Artistic Director Tania León.


Courtney Bryan, a native of New Orleans, La, is "a pianist and composer of panoramic interests" (New York Times). Her music is in conversation with various musical genres, including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals, and hymns. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Bryan's compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM), and Columbia University (DMA) with advisor George Lewis, and completed an appointment as Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Bryan is an Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University's Newcomb Department of Music, and serves as a board member of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans (MASNO), Composers Now, and New Music USA.

Bryans work has been presented in a wide range of venues, including Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Symphony Space, The Stone, Roulette Intermedium, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery, Bethany and Abyssinian Baptist Churches, and Ojai Music Festival. Upcoming commissions include compositions for the Jacksonville Symphony, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, Aperture Duo, Davóne Tines, and collaborations with writers Sharan Strange and Ashon Crawley, and artists Amy Bryan, Alma Bryan Powell, and Tiona McClodden. She has two independent recordings, "Quest for Freedom" (2007) and "This Little Light of Mine" (2010).

Praised by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist" whose works are "brilliantly realized", "technically formidable, wildly varied", and possess "voluptuous, elemental lyrics", Lara's work which includes orchestral, chamber, vocal, film, electroacoustic, and popular music has been commissioned by leading soloists, ensembles, and institutions such as the Arditti Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Claire Chase, Conrad Tao, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Duo Diorama, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Modern, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and also performed by the Ensemble Recherche, Ilan Volkov, JACK Quartet, KNM Berlin, Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Peter Eötvös, Steven Schick, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

His compositions have been presented by Aspen Music Festival, Centre Acanthes (France), Acht Brücken Festival (Germany), Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK), Ars Musica (Belgium), Art Institute of Chicago, Aspekte Festival (Austria), Budapest Music Center, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Darmstadt, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Frankfurt Musikfest, Huddersfield, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart, Philharmonie de Paris, and Tanglewood's Festival for Contemporary Music, TimeSpans, to name a few.

Lara holds a B.M. in music composition and film scoring from Berklee College of Music, an M.M. in composition from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. from New York University. Lara was also a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is Associate Professor at Boston Conservatory, Faculty at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute, and Lecturer at Harvard's Department of Music.

Described by WQXR as a "textural magician," Zibuokle Martinaityte is a New York-based Lithuanian composer whose works explore the tensions and longings of identity and place. She creates sonic environments where musical gestures emerge and disappear within transparencies and densities of sound layers. It's music that slides on the very blades of emotions.

Ms. Martinaityte's "A Thousand Doors To The World" was commissioned by the Lithuanian Radio to celebrate Vilnius being named the Culture Capital of Europe in 2009. The premiere was broadcast by Euroradio to an audience of 4 million. 

Her US commissions include the MATA, Look+Listen and Other Minds festivals as well as the Barlow Endowment. Zibuokle has received residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Aaron Copland House, the Millay Colony, Harvestworks, Djerassi and the Cité des Arts (Paris).

Her recent projects include an hour-long multimedia piece "In Search of Lost Beauty,",scored for piano trio, electronics, and video projections to be released on Starkland in 2019 and a solo CD "Horizons" of orchestral and large ensemble works, released in 2017 by LMIC.

Founder and artistic director Tania León leads the organization since 2010. Composers Now features a broad spectrum of performances in concert halls, jazz mobiles, opera stages, experimental spaces, conservatories, museums and other musical venues. Symphony Space served as an incubator for the development of the Composers Now Festival. The Fund for the City of New York invited Composers Now to become a project partner in 2013. Amy Roberts Frawley served as the first Program Director from 2013 to 2017. Mary G. Madigan was appointed Executive Director in June 2017. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.