The deadline for Duo Axis' 2019-20 Commission Competition closed in December 2019. We were delighted to receive nearly 200 entries from composers across the globe. The breadth of talent and brilliant musical thinking was clear across the wide range of entries. Please join us in congratulating the winner of our 2019-20 Commission Prize!
David Bird is a composer and multimedia artist based in New York City. His work explores the dramatic potential of electroacoustic and multimedia environments, often highlighting the relationships between technology and the individual. His work has been performed internationally, at venues and festivals such as the MATA festival in New York City; the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands; the Wien Modern Festival in Vienna, Austria; the SPOR festival in Aarhus, Denmark; the IRCAM Manifeste Festival in Paris, France; the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wrocław, Poland; and the Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Spain. He has composed and collaborated with groups like the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Jack Quartet, the Bozzini Quartet, Yarn/Wire, the Talea Ensemble, Mantra Percussion, the Mivos Quartet, the Austrian Ensemble for Contemporary Music (OENM), AUDITIVVOKAL Dresden,
Ensemble Proton Bern, Loadbang, the TAK Ensemble, andPlay, and the Nouveau Classical Project.
He is a founding member of the New York-based chamber ensemble TAK, and an artistic-director with Qubit New Music, a non-profit group that curates and produces experimental music events in New York City. Read & listen more at:
Composer and trumpeter Oren Boneh writes music characterized by its energy and dynamism. Its foundation is made up of vastly contrasting characters, ranging from abrasive and mechanical to humorous and supple. The music plays with listener expectations of the characters’ behaviors in order to create unpredictability and friction. Oren has been commissioned and performed internationally by ensembles such as Vertixe Sonora, Alarm Will Sound, Quatuor Tana, Ensemble Meitar, Proton Bern, Loadbang, the Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Reconsil, Ensemble Regards, Ensemble Pentaèdre, the Playground, the Music From Copland House Ensemble, Architek Percussion, the Eco Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble and the Nebula Ensemble and at festivals such as Sonorities, Spaziomusica, Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, NYCEMF, Pulsar and the Electroacoustic Barn Dance.
First Prize winner of the 2017 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award Competition for his piece, Winter Walks that Gravel my Voice, Oren has been selected in numerous other competitions
such as the Franco Donatoni International Competition, the ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, the Loadbang Commission Competition, and Protonwerk. Oren has been a composer fellow at the Missouri International Composers Festival, Cultivate at the Copland House, Soundstreams, Tzlil Meudcan, CEME, Festival Mixtur, UC Davis Revision/s, and at the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Visby International Centre for Composers and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.
Oren is currently based in Paris where he is the recipient of the George Ladd Prix de Paris and is taking part in the 2019-20 IRCAM Cursus. Oren is also currently a PhD Candidate in composition at the University of California, Berkeley where he works with Franck Bedrossian and Edmund Campion. Supported by a Fulbright fellowship during the 2015-2016 year, Oren worked in Dresden, Germany studying composition and working at the Dresden Music Cognition Lab. Oren has previously studied at McGill University with Brian Cherney and Philippe Leroux, the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Hans Abrahamsen and Juliana Hodkinson, and the University of Denver with Chris Malloy and William Hill. Visit: http://www.orenboneh.com/
inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993) is a New York-based composer whose music focuses on combinations of various notational schemata, disparate and overlaid sonic plans, and collaborative unlearning of dominant vernaculars. She often writes magically real musics through the lens of personal identities, braiding a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with Andean heritage and a deep connection to land(s). Reviewers say her music constantly toes the line between "all turbulence" and "quietly focused" (National Sawdust Log).
inti has most recently been named one of JACK Quartet's inaugural JACK Studio artists; won the 2019 Hildegard Competition from National Sawdust, which culminated in the commission and premiere of Openwork, Knotted object // Trellis in bloom // lightning ache; been featured in the 2019 Underwood New Music Readings, which included the American Composer's Orchestra reading Symphony for the Body; and participated in the 2019 Mizzou International Composer's Festival, which featured Alarm Will Sound premiering Primavera Crown. inti loves reading poetry, particularly Danez Smith and Joy Harjo. She also curates for score follower, an online archive championing universal access to contemporary musics. inti honors her Quechua grandmother, who was the only woman butcher on the whole plaza central and used to fight men with a machete. Visit https://www.inticomposes.com for more and to listen.
Julia Mermelstein is a Toronto-based composer, originally from Halifax. Her music focuses on detailed tone colour, textures, and gestural movement that reveal evocative, immersive, and subtly changing soundscapes. She extensively works with electronics, blending acoustic and electronic sound worlds in seamless interactions. Her music takes influence from Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and ritualistic tendencies that shape her relationship to form, stillness, and sense of space. Julia’s extensive background in ballet has heavily informed her work whether choreography is explored with musicians or informing her creative process. Her work has been involved in a variety of mediums that include electronic, chamber music, orchestral, music for dance, and collaborative and multi-disciplinary works.
Julia’s music has been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles, including Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Barbara Pritchard, Blue Rider Ensemble, the Array Ensemble, Ensemble Arkea, Quatuor Bozzini, Toy Piano Composers Ensemble, Windermere String Quartet, among others.
Her compositions have been presented at CEMIcircles Intermedia Festival in Texas, OUA Electronic Music Festival in Osaka Japan, NAISA’s Deep Wireless Compilation, The Music Gallery, Festival of Original Theatre, and Open Ears Festival.
Julia received a B.F.A specializing in Composition under Dr. Georges Dimitrov from Concordia University, Montréal in 2013. She continued her studies with composers Linda Catlin Smith, Brian Harman, and Juliet Palmer. Julia is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers where she is currently Journal Editor.
Paul Novak (b. 1998) writes music that is lyrical but fragmented, exploring the subtleties of instrumental color and drawing influence from literature, art, and poetry. He has received numerous national awards, most recently from the ASCAP/SCI Commission, Tribeca New Music, Webster University, and YoungArts Foundation. Novak has participated in festivals across the country, including the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States Composer Apprenticeship, and was recently named one of six emerging composers selected to participate in the American Composers Orchestra 2020 Underwood New Music Reading. Novak has collaborated with ensembles including the Austin Symphony, Orlando Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, NYO-USA, the Amaranth and Rosco Quartets, Sō Percussion, Texas New Music Ensemble, NODUS Ensemble, MotoContrario Ensemble, Ensemble Ibis, Blackbox Ensemble, Face the Music, and Worcester Chamber Music
Society; he has worked on interdisciplinary projects with Rice Dance Theatre, poets Ming Li Wu and Erica Cheung, and the Bowdoin Museum.
Originally from Reno, NV, Novak is an undergraduate student at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he has studied with Kurt Stallman, Pierre Jalbert, Anthony Brandt, and Karim Al-Zand. Upcoming projects in Spring 2020 include a commission from the Texas New Music Ensemble, a soprano/contrabass duo for LIGAMENT, and a work for viola and ensemble for Sebastian Stefanovic.
Singaporean composer TAN Yuting writes music which explores the interaction of different sounds to form unique harmonies and textures. Yuting’s music has been performed in Singapore, USA, UK, New Zealand, and Italy. Her music has also been recognized with awards including first prize in the Macht Competition for Composition (2018), first prize in the Virginia Carty deLillo Composition Competition (2018), and third prize in the Prix d’Été Competition (2017) at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Past collaborations include performances by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, ~Nois, Alarm Will Sound, Now Hear This, Unassisted Fold, Ensemble Soundinitiative, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM) New Music Ensemble, and violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved. Yuting also enjoys working with artists and creators from other fields, and has collaborated with an artist to produce
an atmospheric electronic composition for an art installation, and with Singaporean poet, Dr. Tan Chee Lay, to create a song cycle from three of his poems about Singapore’s Chinatown.
Yuting is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Chicago on a full fellowship from the Division of the Humanities. She also holds Master of Music degrees in Music Composition and Music Theory Pedagogy from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Joint Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Composition with Honours (Highest Distinction), awarded jointly by the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore) and the Peabody Institute. Her principal mentors include Sam Pluta, Anthony Cheung, Oscar Bettison, and Ho Chee Kong. Apart from composition, Yuting also plays the piano and holds a Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Piano Performance. Visit for more and to listen.
Danniel Ribeiro is a Brazilian composer born in Bahia. In his native Brazil, Ribeiro studied with Paulo Costa Lima, Wellington Gomes and Agnaldo Ribeiro, composers associated with the Grupo de Compositores da Bahia (Composers Group of Bahia). Ribeiro has had lessons and attended workshops by composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Franck Bedrossian, Philippe Hurel, Zosha di Castri, Daniel D'adamo and Jérôme Combier. In 2012, 2014 and 2016, Ribeiro was awarded the FUNARTE national award for contemporary music in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In 2015, Ribeiro relocated to Montréal (Canada) where he graduated from the master's program in composition at McGill University, advised by Philippe Leroux. Currently, Ribeiro is based in Berkeley (California, USA) where he is a doctoral fellow in music composition at UC Berkeley studying with Carmine-Emanuele Cella, Ken Ueno and Edmund Campion. Ribeiro has worked with ensembles such as L’Instant Donné, Court-Circuit, Jack Quartet, Ensemble Paramirabo and ECO Ensemble