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Anna Clyne and the Berkeley Symphony

Anna Clyne joins the Berkeley Symphony as composer-in-residence from 2016-2019.

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Anna Speaks to UC Berkeley Composition Students

Posted on February 28, 2018 by Berkeley Symphony

“You’ve got to NOT be crippled by it, by history, but inspired by it.” — Anna ClyneNew Music USA MusicAlive Composer-in-Residence.

Earlier this month (February), we had the pleasure of listening in as Anna Clyne described her process of composition at the UC Berkeley Composition Colloquium, hosted by Myra Melford & Ken Ueno. With projections of her exquisitely painted graphic scores and works by her collaborators in the visual arts, she gave a glimpse inside the mind of one of today’s finest composers, a fantastic world where sight and sound blend to produce musical inventions of astonishing power and beauty.

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Berkeley Symphony Musicians Perform in BAMPFA’s Full Series Curated by Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne, March 31, April 29, & May 29, 2018

Posted on February 22, 2018 by Berkeley Symphony

BERKELEY, CA (February 13, 2018) – Berkeley Symphony’s Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne will curate three programs of contemporary music featuring Berkeley Symphony musicians as part of UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s Full concert series. The performances will take place at BAMPFA on Saturday, March 31, Sunday, April 29, and Tuesday, May 29, each at 7p. In the first concert, titled “Pairs,” Berkeley Symphony musicians and friends play compositions by the Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellows paired with pieces written by their mentors: Aiyana Braun with Jennifer Higdon; Ursula Kwong-Brown with Myra Melford; Peter Shin with Ted Hearne; and Anna Clyne with Julia Wolfe. For the second concert, titled “Symphony and Ballet,” Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellows join forces with the choreographers and dancers of Berkeley Ballet Theater to explore what magical results occur when music meets dance. World premieres of small-ensemble pieces written by Aiyana Braun, Peter Shin, and Ursula Kwong-Brown are matched with work by choreographers Laura O’Malley, Keon Saghari, and Vanessa Thiessen. At the final concert, “Cities,” Berkeley Symphony musicians and friends perform six small-ensemble pieces by composers in The Future of Orchestral Culture, an international fellowship program developed by a consortium of musical institutions across the globe: Berkeley Symphony, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Music and Drama Hamburg, Symphoniker Hamburg, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.


Well-established as a presenter of major contemporary orchestral works, Berkeley Symphony continues its steadfast commitment to presenting original and unique programs with new music commissioned by living composers, many of whom have developed an ongoing creative and collaborative relationship with the Symphony. Since its 1979-80 season, Berkeley Symphony has performed 65 world premieres, 28 U.S. premieres, and 21 West Coast premieres. In recognition of its leadership in commissioning and creating new music, the Orchestra has received the prestigious ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award in 10 of the past 13 seasons. In December, Berkeley Symphony and composer Anna Clyne were awarded a three-year Music Alive grant for a composer residency, beginning in 2017, one of only five U.S. orchestra-composer pairings selected by New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras for the honor. The residency is designed to involve Clyne in a far-reaching, immersive collaboration with Berkeley Symphony, involving the creation of new work, collaboration with other Berkeley arts institutions, music education, community outreach and multidisciplinary activities.



Earlier this year, three young composers were selected from a national candidate pool to participate in the inaugural Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellows program. The new Fellows include Aiyana Tedi Braun, currently a student at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia; Ursula Kwong-Brown of New York City; and Peter Shin of Kansas City. The composers will receive mentorship from Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne while developing two compositions to be performed by Berkeley Symphony. During the first season (2017-18), each composer will develop a new work for chamber ensemble, while in the second season (2018-19) they will produce a new work for chamber orchestra. The 2017-2018 season culminates in a public reading session as part of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) Full series, where the composers will have their music rehearsed, performed, and professionally recorded. The first of these sessions will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at BAMPFA. In addition to being mentored by Ms. Clyne, the Fellows receive artistic and career guidance from the Symphony artistic staff, orchestra musicians, and renowned mentor-composers and industry professionals to further develop professional skills. The goal for participating composers is to develop a composition style that is deeply personal and artistically true, yet designed to enter the standard orchestra repertory.


Aiyana Tedi Braun (b. 1997) is a pianist and composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Aiyana studies under full scholarship as the Edith Evans Braun Fellow. She is currently in the composition studio of Dr. Jennifer Higdon, and during her time at Curtis, she will also study with Dr. Richard Danielpour, and Dr. David Ludwig. She has had several orchestral works performed by orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic at the age of 15, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony and the De Capo Players. She has worked with members of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, as well as others.


Ursula Kwong-Brown (b. 1987) is a composer and media artist from New York City. Her work has been performed in diverse venues including Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge in New York and the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her awards include the Bowdoin Festival Composition Prize, the Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” prize, the Longfellow Chorus “Director’s Prize,” Columbia University’s Sudler Arts Prize, and UC Berkeley’s George Ladd Prix de Paris and Nicola de Lorenzo Prizes. Ursula received her Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2010, graduating with honors in music and biology, and studied abroad at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2012, she started a combined M.A./Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley with support from a Mellon-Berkeley fellowship. After earning a Master of Arts in music composition in 2014, she expanded her focus to include New Media studies and has been experimenting with sound spatialization at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies, and learning about design and interface aesthetics at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Ursula plans to graduate in 2018 with a Ph.D. in New Media & Music.


Peter Shin (b.1991) is currently based in Los Angeles.  In addition to being named a Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellow, Peter’s recent honors include a Carnegie Hall premiere in May 2018 with the New York Youth Symphony/First Music Orchestra Commission; a 2017/18 Fulbright Research Grant to South Korea to compose an orchestral work at Seoul National University; a 2017 Aspen Music Festival composition fellowship; and selection in the 2017 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, as well as the 2017 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Edward T. Cone Composition Institute. He was a winner in the graduate division of the SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission, a 2017 Cohan Collective residency led by Robert Cohan of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the 2017 USC Jimmy McHugh Endowed Composition Prize. Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Peter received his Master’s degree from the University of Southern California, studying with Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, and Frank Ticheli; and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, studying with Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers, and Erik Santos.



London-born Anna Clyne is a Grammy-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Described as a “composer of uncommon gifts and unusual methods” in a New York Times profile and as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, Clyne’s work often includes collaborations with cutting-edge choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians worldwide. Appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti, Clyne served as a Mead Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2015. She also recently served as Composer-in-Residence for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during the 2015-2016 season and for L’Orchestre national d’île-de-France from 2014-2016. She has been commissioned by such renowned organizations as American Composers Orchestra, BBC Radio 3, BBC Scottish Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and the Southbank Centre, and her work has been championed by such world-renowned conductors as Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, Riccardo Muti, Leonard Slatkin, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.



The Residency of Anna Clyne is made possible through Music Alive, a residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. This national program is designed to provide orchestras with resources and tools to support their work with composers and new music, capitalizing on the power of composers and their creativity to build new paths for orchestras to heighten their relevancy and deepen their relationships with their communities. Major funding for Music Alive comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



Berkeley Symphony is one of six member organizations in an international consortium to promote innovation in orchestral performance through an international fellowship program titled “The Future of Orchestral Culture.” With the University of Music and Drama Hamburg, Symphoniker Hamburg, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the fellowship program gives eight recent graduates of the participating conservatories the opportunity to spend a full academic year researching and exploring new directions in orchestral management and performance.



Berkeley Ballet Theater (BBT), founded in 1981, provides rigorous classical ballet training to students of all ages in a diverse and nurturing environment. A place where all can dance, BBT’s commitment to access and equity is reflected in its inclusive community supported by merit-based scholarships, need-based financial aid for Youth Divisions dancers, Work Exchange programs for adult dancers, and free classes for individuals affected by Parkinson’s disease.



An internationally recognized arts institution with deep roots in the Bay Area, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a forum for cultural experiences that transform individuals and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. BAMPFA is UC Berkeley’s premier visual arts venue, presenting more than 450 film screenings, scores of public programs, and up to twenty exhibitions annually. With its vibrant and eclectic programming, BAMPFA inspires the imagination and ignites critical dialogue through art, film, and other forms of creative expression.  



Saturday, March 31, 2018, 7p – Full: Pairs

BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley


Sunday April 29, 2018, 7p – Full: Symphony and Ballet

BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley


Tuesday May 29, 2018, 7p – Full: Cities

BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley

TICKETS: Entrance to the Berkeley Symphony Full concerts is included with BAMPFA admission ($13 general; $11 for non-UC Berkeley students, 65+, disabled; free for BAMPFA members; UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff; 18 & under; one adult per child 13 & under).


Composer Anna Clyne is the Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Berkeley Symphony. She will be in residence for three years from the 2016-2017 season through the 2018-2019 season. Follow her residency through the blog posts above.

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Berkeley, California

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Last update on February 28, 2018

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Berkeley, California
Recognized nationally for its spirited programming, Berkeley Symphony has established a reputa­tion for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classical European and American repertoire. It has been honored with an Adventurous Programming Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publish­ers (ASCAP) in ten of the past twelve seasons.…

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Brooklyn, New York


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