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Molly Joyce

Pittsburgh, PA            

Composer and performer Molly Joyce’s music has been described as one of “serene power” (New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “impassioned” (The Washington Post). Her works have been commissioned and performed by ensembles including the New World, New York Youth, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, and the New Juilliard, Decoda, and Contemporaneous ensembles. Additionally, her work has been presented at TEDxMidAtlantic, Bang on a Can Marathon, Classical:NEXT, VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival, and featured in outlets such as Pitchfork, WNYC’s New Sounds, Q2 Music, I Care If You Listen, and The Log Journal.

Upcoming projects include chamber opera Relapse with librettist James Kennedy, commissioned by Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and to be premiered at the Kennedy Center, an evening-length collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Jerron Herman, and debut solo album featuring her voice, vintage toy organ, and electronics.

Her debut EP, Lean Back and Release, was released in January 2017 on New Amsterdam Records to much acclaim. Featuring violinists Monica Germino and Adrianna Mateo, the EP was praised as “energetic, heady and blisteringly emotive” by Paste Magazine and “arresting” by Textura. Additionally, Molly’s music has been included on solo albums from pianist Vicky Chow, cellist Nick Photinos, both on New Amsterdam Records, and on pianist Brianna Matzke and violinist Hajnal Pivnick’s duo album On Behalf.

Past seasons have seen commissions and collaborations with Avi Avital, Barak Ballet, Vicky Chow, Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble, Present Music, The Riot Ensemble, Mike Truesdell, and VONK Ensemble, among others. Additionally, Molly has received ASCAP’s Leo Kaplan Award, as part of the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, grants from New Music USA, the Jerome Fund / American Composers Forum, and residencies at AIR Krems an Der Donau, ArtCenter/ South Florida, De Link Tilburg, Embassy of Foreign Artosts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Villa Sträuli, Titanik, The Watermill Center, and Willapa Bay AiR.

As a performer, Molly often plays on her vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay and has performed on in multiple capacities; including solo, with toy piano, and with a beatboxer. She is additionally active as a DJ, spinning under the moniker “DJ MJ.”

Molly is a graduate of The Juilliard School (graduating with scholastic distinction), Royal Conservatory in The Hague (recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant), and Yale School of Music. She is an alumnus of the National YoungArts Foundation, and has studied with Samuel Adler, Martin Bresnick, Guus Janssen, David Lang, Hannah Lash, Missy Mazzoli, Martijn Padding, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Lean Back and Release

Commissioned by violinist Adrianna Mateo, Lean Back and Release was written in the winter of 2013 in New York City, and recently performed on the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon. Upon starting the work, I knew that I wanted to create a very gradual descent for the violin in range that drives the whole piece. Therefore, I also wrote two accompanying violin tracks in order to propel this descent. Lean Back and Release is dedicated to Adrianna Mateo, whom I am deeply grateful to have as a collaborator in my life.

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YousaidShesaidHesaid – One

Created in collaboration with playwright Christopher Oscar Peña, director Austin Regan, and pianist Patrick Jones, YousaidShesaidHesaid juxtaposes modern perspectives with Schubert’s masterpiece song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin. Written to be performed in rep with the classic work, YousaidShesaidHesaid traces the same timeline as Schubert’s work, but from the experience of the other character in the story, who until now has historically had no voice – the “girl of the mill” herself. Composed for a single female voice and the same period instrumen

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