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Kerwin Young

Atlanta, GA      

Kerwin Young is a prolific composer whose works acknowledge and celebrate indigenous and/or forgotten cultures, legendary heroes, and social commentary; fused with an international and historical use of extended harmonic and orchestration practices. Highly passionate for orchestral composition, Kerwin has composed seven symphonies, written ballets suites, orchestral fantasies, and an opera. Kerwin Young is an American treasure waiting to be discovered.  Mr. Young is seeking a residency with a major symphony orchestra.

Kerwin holds Bachelor of Music (’12) and Master of Music degrees in music composition (’15) from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he studied with Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Bobby Watson. 

Awards and Accolades: 2019 recipient of the ACO-EarShot residency with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  2017 U.S. Cultural Ambassador for Hip-Hop (Egypt). 2016 Sphinx Organization Mpower Artist Grant with Tami Hughes. 2014-2015 composer residency with the Chicago Modern Orchestra. 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction (Public Enemy). Grammy nominations (1989-present).


Cello Fest 2016 showcased the St. Louis premiere of Cellet, a masque for 10 cellos. The work was commissioned by Catherine Lehr Ramos, with additional funding from the UMKC Women’s Council.
The work features choreography by Palestinian dancer Mohammad Ghraiz.

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A Composers Passion

Oboe (Titus Underwood), Piano (Peter Henderson)

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