Berkeley Symphony's Under Construction Composers Program, enabling Bay Area emerging composers to work with a professional orchestra, has three participants this season: Andrew Vi-Luan Ly, Michael Nicholas, and Davide Verotta.
Each will write a symphonic work to be read and performed by Berkeley Symphony at the Under Construction New Music Concerts, Dec. 9 and March 24, 2013, in Berkeley's Crowden Music Center.
Music Director Joana Carneiro and Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Steven Stucky curate the concerts.
Ly is a current Ph.D. student in Music Composition at UC Berkeley. He holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University, where he was awarded the Southeast Asia Studies Summer Fellowship and Richter Summer Fellowship for the study of traditional music in Vietnam. He also holds an M.M. in Music Composition from the University of Southern California.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2007 Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State and the 2007 Chinese Cultural Scholarship awarded by the Chinese government.
Nicholas is also a current Ph.D. student in Music Composition at UC Berkeley. Originally from Los Angeles, Michael earned a B.A. in composition from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic, and an M.A. in composition from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.
He also studied at the Rimsky Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia where he took a preparatory course from the department of composition. In 2005, he won First Prize in Composition at the 15th Internationale Sommerakademie PragWienBudapest in Reichenau, Austria, for his work titled Zephyr.
Verotta attended the Milano Conservatory in Italy before moving to San Francisco to pursue his studies. After changing his academic focus to mathematics, he earned a Ph.D. in Biostatistics at UC Berkeley, before returning to his musical studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He earned his M.A. in composition from San Francisco State University.
His piano teachers include Isabella Zielonka, Robert Helps, and Julian White; composition teachers include Carlos-Sanchez Gutierrez, Richard Festinger, Ronald Calabiano, Josh Levine, Kurt Rohde, and Laurie San Martin. He currently studies with Allan Crossman in Oakland.