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Full Biography

Amelia Kaplan is a composer whose primarily gesture-driven music reflects the riotous mix of sounds and cultures cohabiting in our increasingly fragmented world. She seeks to create meaning by crafting, juxtaposing, and recontextualizing refined gestures, drawing on the myriad musical and non-musical sounds available from almost any time and place. In recent years her music has mostly responded to the ecological and political crises besetting our warming planet which we, as humans, seem to have no will to prevent.

Ms. Kaplan is a recent winner of a Copland House residency, and has had past residencies at MacDowell, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has received commissions from the International Mise-En Festival, the Bent Frequency Duo Project, DoublePlay Percussion Duo, Violet, The University of Chicago, and bassoonist Benjamin Coelho, among others. Her works have been performed at festivals around the world, including the Mise-En Festival, the Thailand International New Music Festival, numerous national and regional SCI conferences, SICPP, International Alliance for Women in Music, Wellesley Composers Conference, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, June in Buffalo, and others. Recordings are available on Albany, Ablaze, Centaur, and Navona Records, and her double reed compositions are published by TrevCo Music.

Ms. Kaplan holds degrees from the University of Chicago (PhD, A.M) and Princeton University (A.B.), and she received a Diploma di Merito from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and a Diploma from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau. She has been on the faculty at Ball State University since 2011, where she heads the department of theory and composition and directs the New Music Ensemble. She previously taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Iowa, and Roosevelt University.

Amelia Kaplan is a composer whose music reflects the riotous mix of sounds and cultures cohabiting in our increasingly fragmented world. She seeks to create meaning by juxtaposing, and recontextualizing refined gestures crafted from the myriad musical and non-musical sounds accessible in our wired environment. In recent years her music has mostly responded to the ecological and political crises besetting our warming planet.

Ms. Kaplan has won residences at Copland House, MacDowell, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has receive commissions from numerous ensembles and soloists, and her work has been performed at festivals around the world, including Mise-En, Thailand New Music Festival, SCI, SICPP, IAWM, Wellesley Composers Conference, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, and others. Recordings are available on Albany, Ablaze, Centaur, and Navona Records, and several compositions are published by TrevCo Music.

Ms. Kaplan holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, an AB from Princeton University, and diplomas from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau. She is Associate Professor of Composition at Ball State University where she teaches theory and composition and directs the New Music Ensemble. She previously taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Iowa, and Roosevelt University.

Amelia Kaplan is a composer whose music reflects the riotous mix of sounds and cultures cohabiting in our increasingly fragmented world. She seeks to create meaning by juxtaposing, and recontextualizing refined gestures crafted from the myriad musical and non-musical sounds accessible in our wired environment. In recent years her music has mostly responded to the ecological and political crises besetting our warming planet.

A recent recipient of a Copland House residency, Ms. Kaplan's works have been performed around the world, including at Mise-En, Thailand New Music Festival, SCI, SICPP, IAWM, Wellesley Composers Conference, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, and others. Recordings are available on Albany, Ablaze, Centaur, and Navona Records, and several compositions are published by TrevCo Music.

Ms. Kaplan holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, an AB from Princeton University. She heads the Theory and Composition Area at Ball State University where she directs the New Music Ensemble.

Amelia Kaplan is a composer whose music creates meaning by juxtaposing, and recontextualizing refined gestures crafted from the myriad musical and non-musical sounds accessible in our wired environment. In recent years her music has mostly responded to the ecological and political crises besetting our warming planet. A recent recipient of a Copland House residency, Ms. Kaplan's works have been performed at numerous festivals world wide. Ms. Kaplan holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Princeton University. She heads the Theory and Composition Area at Ball State University where she directs the New Music Ensemble.

Artist's Statement

My music is primarily gesture driven, privileging pitch, timbre, and shape equally. I embrace current sensibilities of form and rhetoric while continuing to draw on the “classical” tradition in which I was schooled. After all, history inflects everything, and ignoring it will never lead to positive results.

As a composer I believe performers are equal partners. Many of my pieces are written for specific players, and I take into account each performer's abilities, and to some extent, preferences, while keeping true to my own aesthetic.

I claim no specific camp of composition, but instead draw sounds and gestures from everything around me that I find interesting and surprising, and try to create meaning through combining and recontextualizing what I find.