Coffee and Conversation

Meet the Composers: A Conversation with Art Song Composition Award Winners

Sunday, June 24 • 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Presenters: Presenters: Matt Boehler (2017 Winner), Benjamin C.S. Boyle (2018 Winner), Lori Laitman, Carol Mikkelsen
Location: Montecristo 2-4

Join us for a conversation with the 2017 and 2018 winners of the NATS Art Song Composition Award, Matt Boehler and Benjamin C. S. Boyle as they discuss their compositions and careers. Join composer Lori Laitman and Carol Mikkelson, coordinator of ASCA as they lead this conversation.

About Matt Boehler

Matt_Boehler_206_cr-4x5.jpgPraised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for music that "harnesses considerable expressive power," Matt Boehler is a composer inspired by the limitless possibilities of the theater and the concert hall. His upcoming commission for Victory Hall Opera is a new piece inspired by marginalia found by the scholars of the Book Traces project at the University of Virginia. Recent commissions include instrumental works for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, choral service music for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (NYC), a song cycle for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as live incidental music and sound design for the new play That it all makes perfect by acclaimed San Francisco-based playwright Erin Bregman. Matt's song cycle, Foursquare Cathedral, winner of the 2017 Art Song Composition Award of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, was described by the judges as "absolutely brilliant, from the first note to the last.”

Having earned degrees in Theater Arts at Viterbo University, and in Opera Studies from Juilliard Opera Center, he recently completed his MM in Composition at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with David Conte. While studying composition at the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute in Paris, he received mentions in harmony, counterpoint and score reading. He was awarded first prize in SFCM's Bi-annual Choral Composition Contest and he was the inaugural recipient of their Kristin Pankonin Art Song Award.

About Benjamin C. S. Boyle

Benjamin_CS_Boyle_cr4x5.jpgComposer Benjamin C.S. Boyle's work encompasses a large variety of genres including opera, orchestral music, chamber music, choral music, art songs, and works for piano. Works have been commissioned and performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, the Kobe City Orchestra, the Crossing Choir and many others the world over. In 2008, at the piano, he gave the United States premiere of his Sonata-Fantasy with violinist Tim Fain at the Kennedy Center in Washington and Merkin Hall in New York. In 2005, Bachanalia Orchestra premiered the cantata To One in Paradise for string orchestra and four vocal soloists in New York. He was composer-in-residence with Young Concert Artists from 2005-2007 and represented by them for many years.

Boyle is particularly noted for his composition of art songs. A compendium of these works (Complete Songs and Melodies 1998-2014) including some 60 songs was published in 2016 by Rassel Editions. His composition, Spirits in Bondage, won first prize in the National Association of Teachers of Singing 2018 Art Song Composition Award. The work is based on the poetry of C.S. Lewis and arranged for Baritone and Piano. Richard Pearson Thomas, who served as final judge of the 2018 competition, writes of Spirits In Bondage that “…the quality of composition, the variation in color, and the excellent writing for voice are all undeniable.”