Current Composition Students

Nicholas ClineNicholas Cline

DMA candidate • • website

Nicholas Cline writes electro-acoustic music often drawing on sensuous as well as intellectual experiences of nature with the belief that music should reveal, challenge, and shape the listener’s understanding of the world. His music has been presented at festivals in the US and in Europe. He is featured on the SEAMUS electroacoustic miniatures recording series: Re-Caged and is a High Concept Labs sponsored artist. He holds degrees from Columbia College Chicago and Indiana University. He is completing a DMA at Northwestern University.

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills, First Year Music Theory

Alex TempleAlex Temple

DMA candidate • • website

A sound can evoke a time, a place, or a way of looking at the world. Alex Temple (b. 1983) writes music that distorts and combines iconic sounds to create new meanings, often in service of surreal, cryptic or fantastical stories. In addition to performing her own works for voice and electronics, she has collaborated with performers and ensembles such as Mellissa Hughes, Timothy Andres, the American Composers Orchestra, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and Spektral Quartet. She’s currently working on a DMA at Northwestern University and writing a podcast-opera about TV production company logos and the end of the world.

Courses taught at Northwestern: First and Second Year Aural Skills, Second Year Theory, Class Composition

LJ WhiteLJ White               

DMA candidate • • website                                 

LJ White's music centers around direct, focused and socially relevant expression, assimilating an unrestricted array of influences through unpredictable-yet-contagious rhythms, strange and evocative sonorities, self-evident gestures, and apposite forms. White has worked with some of the most exciting players in contemporary music, including Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble SIGNAL, the Spektral Quartet, Volti, Ensemble Dal Niente, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Talea Ensemble, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. White’s work has been featured at venues and festivals including REDCAT, the Ecstatic Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, June in Buffalo, CULTIVATE, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, New Music on the Point, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, and the Composers’ Conference at Wellesley College. His awards include the Craig and Janet Swan Prize, the Margaret Blackburn Competition, an Emil and Ruth Beyer Award, the Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composer Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Composition Competition, and the American Prize.

Courses taught at Northwestern: Aural Skills 1-6, Music Theory 1-3, Harmony for Non-Majors, Class Composition, Intro to Music

Katherine YoungKatherine Young

DMA candidate • • website

The curious timbres, expressive noises, and kinetic structures of Katherine Young’s electro-acoustic music explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and associations with the familiar and the strange. Ensemble Dal Niente, Wet Ink, Talea, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Spektral Quartet, Fonema Consort, Distractfold, Weston Olencki, and others have performed her music, and she looks forward to upcoming commissions from Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt and the CSO’s MusicNOW. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies her bassoon and employs a flexible electronics set-up. Collaboration is central to Katherine’s practice, and she has documented such work on numerous recordings, including a duo recording with Anthony Braxton and the multi-movement work Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight (Parlour Tapes+) created with violinist J. Austin Wulliman. She performs regularly with violist / scholar Amy Cimini in the duo Architeuthis Walks on Land, the members of Till by Turning, and her band Pretty Monsters. Katherine’s dissertation documents and analyzes Anthony Braxton’s Trillium J: The Non-Unconfessionables.

Courses taught at Northwestern: Class Composition, First and Second Year Aural Skills, First Year Music Theory

José Miguel ArellanoJosé Miguel Arellano

3rd year DMA • • website

Chilean composer born in 1985. His music has been performed in different countries like Chile, US, Italy, Canada and Spain. Arellano is currently working on his DMA with Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim.

Courses taught at Northwestern:  Introduction to Latin American Music (non majors)

Craig Davis PinsonCraig Davis Pinson

3rd year DMA • • website

Born and raised in Mexico City, Craig Davis Pinson is a composer interested in the relationship between abstract structural experimentation and intuitive musical impulse. Performance locations include London, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Maine, Mexico, and Italy, by ensembles such as International Contemporary Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble, The Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Quartetto Maurice. Readings have included artists such as Irvine Arditti and Parker Quartet. Davis Pinson was the winner of The Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble Composition Competition 2013-2014, his music has been featured in the online publication Boing Boing and in the Atlantic Music Festival, Fresh Inc, and highSCORE festivals. He has participated in masterclasses with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christopher Theofanidis, and Hilda Paredes. Davis Pinson holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from The Boston Conservatory. 

Courses taught at Northwestern: History of Rock

Luis Fernando AmayaLuis Fernando Amaya

2nd year DMA • • website

Born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Luis Fernando Amaya is a composer and percussionist. His music has been performed by artists such as the Arditti Quartet, Yuko Yoshikawa, Mauricio Náder, and Ensemble Dal Niente. As a performer, he is a member of the Latin American traditional music band Los Molotes and the improvisation quartet Barahúnda, Cuarteto; both based in Mexico City. Luis Fernando is currently a doctoral student in composition at Northwestern University studying with Hans Thomalla. 

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills

Noah JenkinsNoah Jenkins

2nd year DMA • • website

Noah Jenkins is a composer and violinist living in Chicago, Illinois. As a composer, upcoming projects include pieces for Ensemble Linea and Delgani String Quartet, and a new work for solo oboe. As a violinist, Noah is a member of turnEnsemble and Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and frequently collaborates with composers on new pieces. Noah holds degrees in composition and violin from the University of Oregon where he studied with Robert Kyr and David Crumb (composition) and Kathryn Lucktenberg (violin), and is currently a doctoral student at Northwestern University where he studies composition with Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim. 

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills

Liza SobelLiza Sobel

2nd year DMA •  website

Liza Sobel is a composer and singer whose work has been performed at Carnegie Hall; Le Poisson Rouge; Symphony Space; Aldeburgh Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme; Brevard Music Institute; Bowdoin’s International Music Festival; nief-norf Summer Festival; and Chamber Music Institute. Performers that have played her music include: Cygnus Ensemble; Third Coast Percussion; Creviston-Fader Duo; Nouveau Classical Project; Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble; West Point Woodwind Quintet; New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra; Skyros String Quartet; Helix; and Joseph Lin of the Juilliard String Quartet. Liza’s Requiem won the American Prize in the choral division and was a finalist in the BMI Young Composers Award. Her orchestra piece Tocsin was a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Award. Other awards Liza has won include a Fulbright scholarship, and Cornell’s endorsed candidate and/or finalist for the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, and Keasbey scholarships. Liza began her DMA in composition at Northwestern University this fall. She previously studied at Rutgers University’ Mason Gross Conservatory (MA); Cornell University (BA), and Manhattan School of Music (exchange student). She currently studies composition with Jay Alan Yim. As a singer, Liza regularly performs both new and standard repertoire, as well as her own music. Liza frequently performs music by living emerging composers, and many composers have written pieces specifically for her. Last summer she sang in the Castleton Artists Training Seminar festival, founded by the late Maestro Lorin Maazel. She currently studies voice at Northwestern with Theresa Brancaccio. 

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills

Mathew ArrellinMathew Arrellin • website

Mathew Arrellin’s music has been performed by chamber ensembles and soloists from across the US and Mexico, with premieres in the US, Mexico, and Spain. Additionally, he has collaborated with contemporary dancers and choreographers, and his pieces have been included in several choreography showcases. Arrellin holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory, composition, and cello performance from the University of New Mexico, where his primary composition teacher was José-Luis Hurtado. He is currently a doctoral student in composition at Northwestern University where he studies with Jay Alan Yim. 

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills

Daniel DehaanDaniel Dehaan • website

Daniel Dehaan is a composer, performer, and educator currently based in Chicago. He is a Doctoral student at Northwestern University studying music composition with a focus on digital music creation and performance. His principal composition teachers have included Jay Alan Yim, Hans Thomalla, Chris Mercer, and Marcos Balter. Daniel regularly creates and performs music designed to be site and system specific, crafting unique experiences for each performance. His works emphasize the physical presence of the audience and utilize specially designed multi-channel speaker installations to envelop his audiences in the sonic experience. From the KROME Gallery in Berlin, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to the Centro Cultural de España in Costa Rica, Daniel’s music has been performed at a variety of venues all over of the world. He has had the privilege of collaborating with many talented musicians, ensembles, and artists such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Dal Niente, GPS-Trans, Fonema Consort, and The Industry of the Ordinary. His work has been discussed by many publications including TIME Magazine, New Music Box, the Chicago Reader, BuzzFeed, and Business Insider. Recordings of Daniel’s music have been released on Navona Records and Parlour Tapes+, with plans for a new full length release in 2016. Daniel is currently the Digital Music Lab Manager at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches classes and private lessons in digital music composition, production and performance.

Courses taught at Northwestern: First Year Aural Skills, Introduction to Music Technology, Foundation of Music Technology

Michael Raymond MassoudMichal Raymond Massoud • website

Michal Raymond Massoud is a composer, a conductor, and a teacher. Born in Beirut, he has studied composition at McGill University with Chris Paul Harman, Jean Lesage and Brian Cherney, at Boston University with Joshua Fineberg and Richard Cornell, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, studying with Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim. Through his music, Michal attempts to address a schism in his personality between his Levantine origins and his Western, French upbringing. This has led him to compose works that tackle issues such as exoticism, improvisation, dramatization, and the aesthetic of fluidity. He is currently working on a quintet that uses new approaches to improvisation, as well as a theater opera that incorporates technology – earphones, specifically – in an important and radical way. He currently resides in New York.

Courses taught at Northwestern: First and Second Year Aural Skills, Second Year Music Theory, Composition