Composer Portraits

Miller Theatre at Columbia University is one of the leading presenters of contemporary music in New York City and one of the most vital forces nationwide for innovative programming. Miller Theater focuses on presenting innovative and exceptional musical works, including many that are new or little-known in the United States. They regularly commission living composers and are deeply committed to increasing appreciation for contemporary music.
The mainstay of our new-music programming is our signature series, Composer Portraits. Each evening-length concert is a showcase of a single composer’s work.
Our 2016-17 Portraits series with support of EvS Music Foundation features eight composers and a number of important premieres. The series opens with tributes to two noted New Yorkers: Steve Reich and John Zorn. Next, music of Chinese-American composer Lei Liang will be featured, including the world premiere of a new work. In December, Miller Theater profiles young Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri, presenting the world premiere of a new work written for the acclaimed vocal ensemble Ekmeles and the piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Swiss composer Beat Furrer is the subject of a much-deserved Portrait in February, the program for which includes three important works that have never been played in New York. Miller Theater will be partnering with the Japanese composer Misato Mochizuki to present a Portrait of her work in March, including a work written especially for Yarn/Wire. The following month music by Johannes Maria Staud will be featured, including the United States premiere of a recent septet. Finally, in April, the theater closes the season with a Portrait of Swedish composer Klas Torstensson. For this concert, they will bring Ensemble SON—a Swedish quartet of saxophone, trombone, guitar, and percussion—to the United States to perform alongside Either/Or and share their experience with and intimate knowledge of this unique composer’s work. The composer is an integral partner in the development of these concerts. Repertoire is chosen to showcase the depth and breadth of their work. Miller Theater invites composers for residencies of five days or more, working closely with the musicians to prepare and refine each performance.


September 15, October 20, November 17, December 1, 2016; February 2, March 2, April 8 and 27, 2017
Miller Theater, New York


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