Erberk Eryilmaz

Dances of the Yoğurt Maker

Commissioned by Asylum Quartet (2014)

Turkish composer, pianist, conductor Erberk Eryılmaz was born in Samsun, Turkey in 1989. He started his music education when he was three and has studied at the Samsun Conservatory, Hacettepe University - Ankara State Conservatory and at the Hartt School. He has studied composition with Serdar Mukhatov, Stephen Gryc, Robert Carl, David Macbride and Leonardo Balada; piano with Nuran Taşpınar, Oxana Yablonskaya and Margreet Francis; conducting with Christopher Zimmerman, Edward Cumming, and Robert Page. He is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma in composition at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studies with Reza Vali. He has also had private studies with world-famous pianists such as Idil Biret, Andrej Jasinski, Vicenzo Balzani, Stanislav Pochekin, Felix Gottlieb, and composers Bright Sheng, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, William Bolcom, and John Corigliano.

Eryılmaz has received numerous awards such as 1st prize for his Sonata for Piano in the SCI/ASCAP(North East) Composition Competition, grand prize as a pianist at The Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, the Diemente Prize from the Hartt School's Composition Department, 2013 Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition with his Miniatures Set No.4, Silberman Chamber Music Competition with the performance of Crumb's "Vox Balanae", and he is also the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Student Composers Competition with Tepki 2 which also won Carnegie Mellon University, Harry G.Archer Orchestra Composition Competition, and his recent work, "Dances of the Yoğurt Maker" won 2014 Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition.

As a composer, pianist, and a conductor he has collaborated with many ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Hacettepe Chamber Orchestra, Gazi Chamber Orchestra, Hartt Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Foot in the Door, Carpe Diem and West End String Quartets as well as with musicians including Vakhtang Matchavariani, Dmitry Yablonsky, Leonard Slatkin, Edward Cumming, Glen Adsit, Andres Cardenes, Robert Black (from Bang on a can), and Esra Pehlivanli. He is the founder and former artistic director/conductor of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and co-founder/co-director of TEPKI music collective.

Eryılmaz has been featured several times on Turkish State Radio, WWUH in Connecticut, and also Açık Radyo in Istanbul. Turkish State Television produced a documentary based on his musical career as part of series called "The Succesful Turkish People in the United States". The Ministry of Education's required English Class Book for 7th grade elementary schools in Turkey includes a unit on Erberk Eryılmaz. His piece Tepki 1 (Reaction 1) was the subject of a short film by Aytaç Akkan Karagüzel.

His compositions, performances and recordings have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, and the Washington Post where his music has been described as a “dervish-like explosion”.

For more information, please visit Erberk's website.



The Vjola Suite

Arrangement by Asylum Quartet (2014)

Hailed by the New York Times as “dizzyingly versatile… an eclectic with an ear for texture… strikingly original and soulful”, Ljova (Lev Zhurbin) was born in 1978 in Moscow, Russia, and moved to New York with his parents, composer Alexander Zhurbin and writer Irena Ginzburg, in 1990. He divides his time between composing for the concert stage, contemporary dance & film, leading his own ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband, as well as a busy career as a freelance violist & musical arranger. Among recent collaborations are projects with Yo-Yo Ma, the Kronos Quartet, Gustavo Santaolalla, Osvaldo Golijov, and Alondra de la Parra. Recent commissions have included projects with the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, choreographer Aszure Barton, and filmmaker Josef Astor.

Ljova is the author of more than 70 compositions for classical, jazz, and folk ensembles, as well as scores to four feature and over a dozen short films. In 2005, Ljova was one of six composers invited to participate in the Sundance Institute’s Film Composers Lab. His music has been licensed by HBO, PBS, BBC, CNBC, and NHK networks, among many other independent projects. In 2007, Ljova worked as assistant to composer Osvaldo Golijov on his score to Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Youth Without Youth”, to which Ljova also contributed an original track, “Middle Village”. In 2008, Ljova was guest faculty at The Banff Centre in Canada, focusing equally on composition, arranging, and viola performance. More recently, Ljova has guest-lectured on film music at New York University, taught at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp, as well as at the Blaine Jazz Festival in Washington state.

His latest album, Melting River, focuses on music Ljova created for “Project XII”, on commission from Canadian choreographer (and Baryshnikov’s protege) Aszure Barton. Lost in Kino, his third album, focuses on recent film music, and features cues from films by Francis Ford Coppola, James Marsh, Basia Winograd, Lev Polyakov, Roman Khrushch, as well as performances by the Gypsy band Romashka, the Tall Tall Trees and the pipa virtuoso Wu Man.

Ljova released his acclaimed solo debut recording, Vjola: World on Four Strings, on Kapustnik Records, in 2006. Previously, he has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on the bestselling Sony Classical CD “Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon”, and with The Andalucian Dogs on the Deutsche Grammophon CD “Ayre”, featuring the music of Luciano Berio and Osvaldo Golijov. (Both CDs were nominated for several Grammy awards.) He has performed on tour with Savion Glover, and recorded with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, producer Guy Sigsworth, Nina Nastasia, Amy Correia, and the Electric Light Orchestra.

As an arranger, Ljova has completed dozens of musical arrangements for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Kronos Quartet, the rapper Jay-Z, Bond, Matmos, and others. He has also collaborated with composers Osvaldo Golijov and Gustavo Santaolalla, as well as the conductor Alondra de la Parra. Resulting from these collaborations are arrangements of musics from Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, Uruguay, as well as gypsy music from Romania and France.

Ljova grew up in a household filled with music, books and an unquenchable hunger for culture. His father, Alexander Zhurbin, is Russia’s foremost composer for film and musical theatre; his mother, Irena Ginzburg, is a distinguished poet, writer and journalist. He began violin lessons at age four with Galina Turchaninova, a celebrated pedagogue who also taught violinists Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. When not practicing, the pre-teen Ljova regularly overran his record player and played street hockey.

Ljova is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a pupil of Samuel Rhodes (violist of the Juilliard String Quartet). He has won numerous prizes as a composer, and appeared several times as soloist with orchestras, including as a winner of the Menschenkinderpreis from RTL TV (Germany).

For the latest news, downloadable mp3s and CD releases, please visit Ljova’s website at

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Ivan Božičević

Prayer Wheel / Coiling Clouds 

Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Call for Scores

Božičević completed studied in composition at the Belgrade Faculty of Music, and attended Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt in 1982 and 1984. He continued with organ studies at the Frankfurt Music Academy, and at Salamanca University in 1988 and 1990, specializing in early music. Until 2001 he worked at the Belgrade Faculty of Music and Academy of Arts in Novi Sad as a teacher of counterpoint, analysis and harmony. Since 2002 he has worked in Split, Croatia, as a freelance artist, and runs the jazz band SplitMinders. 

Božičević's opus encompasses three symphonies, orchestral, chamber, choral and soloistic works, as well as numerous electronic compositions. He is interested in a variety of genres (early and baroque, electronic, jazz, world music) and the possibility of “cross-fertilizations“ between those genres, always aiming for the stylistic amalgamation on a deeper level.

His works have been performed in Serbia, Croatia, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Ireland, Great Britain and the USA. Recordings of his pieces have appeared on Serbian national radio and television, Swedish national radio, and Croatian national radio and television. Božičević has received composition prizes in Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and USA (ArtsLink Fellowship Award, Garth Newel Prize, Aliénor Award, AGO/ECS Publishing Award, Prague Philharmonic Choir Prize, John Clare Society Award). He is one of the founding members of the Splithesis ensemble for new music in Split, Croatia. 

More information, please visit Ivan's website. 

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Polina Nazaykinskaya

Pavana pour Quatre

Winner, 2014 Call for Scores

Polina Nazaykinskaya was born in Togliatti, Russia on January 20, 1987 and has been studying music since the age of 4. After graduating with honors from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia with concentrations in violin and composition, Polina earned her Masters of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. Her professors at Yale included Christopher Theofanidis and Ezra Laderman. Currently Polina is pursing her Doctorate Degree in Composition at the Graduate Center City University of New York and studying with Professor Tania León. 

Over the last four years her music has been performed by the Russian National Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Olaf Philharmonia, the Boston Metro Opera, among others. Polina's music has garnered numerous national and international awards and received raving reviews in the press, including the New York Times. In 2010, "Sony-Music Russia" label released a CD that featured Polina`s symphonic poem "Winter Bells". 

For more information, please visit Polina's website.


Alan Thomas

Homage to Radiohead   

Winner, 2014 Call for Scores

The guitarist and composer Alan Thomas was born in Atlanta and completed his studies at Indiana University. Moving to England in 1997, he quickly established himself as one of the UK's foremost new music soloists and ensemble players following his first-prize win at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in Holland (becoming the only guitarist ever to take the top prize).

As a composer, Alan has written extensively for the guitar as well as for other instrumental combinations. His compositions draw freely on a broad range of styles and techniques, ranging from Renaissance polyphony to Ligeti and other modern masters. Other influences include the music of Africa and the Balkans, as well as computer sound processing and algorithmic composition. From these diverse sources he has attempted to create music that is both rigorously constructed and accessible.  

For more information, please visit Alan's website

Craig Levesque

Six American Folk Songs

Winner, 2014 Call for Scores

Dr. Craig Levesque (b. 1975) is a composer, arranger, copyist and horn player based in central New Jersey. His music has been performed throughout the country, and he has been commissioned by groups throughout the Northeast.

Dr. Levesque serves as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, where he has taught theory, analysis, ear training and orchestration. At the Westminster Conservatory of Music, he serves as chair of the Theory and Composition Department, and teaches horn, composition, theory and ear training. Dr. Levesque regularly with the The Westminster Winds (the faculty woodwind quintet of the Westminster Conservatory) and the Atlas Brass Quintet.

Dr. Levesque holds degrees from of the University of New Hampshire (B.A., Music Theory and Composition; M.A., Music History) and Rutgers University (Ph.D., Music Theory and Composition). His primary horn teachers were John Boden and Jean Rife, and his primary composition teachers were Niel Sir, Dr. Andrew Boysen, Jr. and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Charles Wuorinen. Dr. Levesque’s compositions and arrangements are available through Art of Sound Music.

Ryan Jesperson

For Sounds in Winter Nights

Commissioned by Asylum Quartet (2014)

Ryan Jesperson (1981) is a composer whose music is steeped in the modern practice of blurring genres and skewing expectations. Ryan holds degrees from Washington State University and The Hartt School, and earned his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he was a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellow and recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Dissertation Award. A winner of multiple awards and prizes, most recently the 2013 Verismo Trio Composition Award, the 2011 Gerald Kemner Prize for Orchestral Composition, the 2010 Beethoven Club/Belvedere Festival Composition Contest, and the 2009 British Trombone Society Composition Contest, Ryan’s compositions have been performed across North America and Europe, with recent performances in Hartford, Baltimore, Memphis, Boston, New York, Kansas City, Montreal, Sweden, Romania and the UK. Ryan is published through Sound Music Publications, Warwick Music, and his own imprint, Jazzperson Music.

For more information please visit Ryan's website.