Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Visiting composer Aaron Holloway-Nahum

The department is very pleased to welcome the British-based American composer, recording engineer, conductor and arts entrepreneur Aaron Holloway-Nahum. As the conductor, founder and artistic director of Riot Ensemble, his efforts have contributed to the premiers of over 250 original works. Holloway-Nahum has showcased contemporary work from a variety of composers, including Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Ann Cleare, Kit Downes, Daniel Kidane, Liza Lim, Alexander Hawkins, Clara Iannotta, Lisa Streich and a new work by Georg Friedrich Haas performed in total darkness, for which he learned to (re)tune a piano. He is now also the technical director of Ensemble Nikel, for whom he facilitates performances and live-recordings in addition to strategic marketing and logistics work.

As a composer, his music has been performed in over one dozen countries across four continents, and is characterized by its detailed and ornate timbres, bold melodic unisons, and experimental narrative structures. Upcoming premieres include works for chamber orchestra Ensemble Echapée, the renowned Keuris Quartet and an Opera – his first – based on the true story of Donald Crowhurst. Selected as one of just two composers for the Peter Eötvös Foundation inaugural mentorship class, Holloway-Nahum has held a variety of fellowships over the past decade, including Tanglewood, Bang on a Can, Aspen, Cheltenham, a Copland House Residency, and many more. Notable past performances of his music include the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra (Hungary), Plural Ensemble (Madrid), and a full length film score recorded at Abbey Film Road. His latest pieces include the mixed media piece, Imaginary Children I: How I would Paint the Future (2020) (embedded below), an evocative and intensely personal reflection on sadness, isolation and joy.

As a recording engineer, Holloway-Nahum has produced as many as 20 albums per year from premier ensembles across the United States and Europe. His clientele includes Ensemble Intercontemporain, Arditti Quartet, Sandbox Percussion, and Adam Swayne. 

Holloway-Nahum will give a masterclass and lecture to PhD students in Composition on March 19th.