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Zach Sheets

New York, NY   

Zach Sheets (b. 1991) enjoys a diverse life as a composer, chamber musician, and orchestral flutist. Zach currently serves as Principal Flute, Lyndon Paul Lorusso Chair, of the Cape Cod Symphony, and as the flutist and executive director for the [Switch~ Ensemble]. An active freelancer, he has further performed with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Boston Ballet, the Albany Symphony, the Portland Symphony, the Slee Sinfonietta, Ensemble Signal, and the Encounters Ensemble. During the summer, he has performed as part of the Klangspuren Ensemble Modern Academy, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Colorado College Music Festival Orchestra, and the June in Buffalo Festival. Zach was invited to perform in both the Astral Artists 2015 National Auditions and the Concert Artists Guild 2015 Victor Elmaleh Competition, and was the 1st prize winner of the inaugural Tal Perkes Scholarship. Thanks to generous funding from New Music USA, he undertook a six-city recital tour in spring of 2016 with Wei-Han Wu, featuring 4 newly commissioned works for flute and piano by Katherine Balch, Ashkan Behzadi, Gabriel Bolaños, and David Clay Mettens.

As a composer, Zach was recently honored as the recipient of the 1er prix du jury and the Lorraine Vaillancourt Prize at the 2016 FORUM International des jeunes compositeurs. His works have been performed by such groups as the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble InterContemporain, the Talea Ensemble, the Callithumpian Consort, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Brattle Street Chamber Players, cellist Séverine Ballon, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, and many others. He was featured in a performance of his own solo flute work, that colors the stone, at the 2015 Spoleto Festival USA, and recently completed a new work as part of the 2015 ManiFeste Academy at IRCAM in Paris. He has been honored as a recipient of the 2015 Belle S. Gitelman award, the 2014 Bernard Rogers Prize, a 2013 Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, and a John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship, which supported summer study at Fontainebleau and the Mozarteum Summer Academy.

Zach holds an M.M. in composition and an M.M. & Performers Certificate in flute from the Eastman School of Music, where he was a teaching assistant in computer music and an instructor in flute and composition lessons for non-majors at Eastman and the University of Rochester. He holds a BA in Music and French Literature from Harvard University. Originally from Vermont, he lives in New York. 

Light on Water

“Light on Water” by Rand Steiger

Performed by Zach Sheets and Wei-Han Wu in October 2014 in Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School of Music.

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dare-gale, speaks and spells

This work for saxophone duo was commissioned by Phil Pierick and Noa Even of Ogni Suono, as part of a Saxovoce—a project exploring the saxophone and the human voice. The players also whistle, sing, whisper, and speak. The architecture of dare-gale, speaks and spells is inspired by two poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the harmonic and melodic language took shape based on audio recordings of Phil and Noa reading the two poems. Their personality, tone of voice, and speaking cadence are thus woven even into the work’s most elemental ideas.

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Run Before Lightning

Run Before Lightning (2004) by Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012)

Zach Sheets, flute | Wei-Han Wu, piano
Live concert recording from November 19th, 2015
Hatch Recital Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY

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