The melody is dropped into a reverberant atmosphere, where every note swirls around its own echo and the echo of others.
Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, the “irresistible” (San Francisco Chronicle) music of American composer Viet Cuong has been commissioned and performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as Sō Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, Alarm Will Sound, New York Philharmonic, PRISM Quartet, Albany Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Minnesota Orchestra, among many others. Viet’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his upcoming projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Viet also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical in his music, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His recent works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto, and a double oboe concerto. Currently the California Symphony’s 2020-2023 Young American Composer-in-Residence, Viet holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music (AD), Princeton University (MFA), and Peabody Conservatory (BM/MM).
Photo Credit: Phil Parsons
As the artistic director of Center for Musical Excellence, I am always on the look out for new and undiscovered talents. They come to me, sometimes, by my colleagues’ recommendations and other times through young artists’ own research about our organization. Tyson Davis and Andrew Bambridge are currently on our roster of CME Young Artists, whom we mentor. Patricio Molina is a CME alumnus. Theo Chandler, Ji-Young Ko, and Daniel Newman-Lessler applied for our Grant program, and I got to know their work through that process. I decide on young artists when I notice a deep passion and drive within them, plus a certain kind of sparkle in the personality and lots of humility. In addition to musical talents, I believe these are the qualities that will take the young artists far. CME’s motto is "Moving Musicians Forward". I’ve chosen our Discovery Composers based on these qualities, whom we felt we could easily move forward.
- Min Kwon