Young Composers Workshop Culminates in Ten World Premieres

Photo by James Holt

The Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop will conclude with a concert on June 5 featuring ten world premieres by student composers.

By Andrew Stiefel

Each year 10 local student composers are selected to participate in The Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop where they learn about everything from writing themes to preparing scores and parts. The workshop culminates with a concert of 10 world premieres played by Seattle Symphony musicians.

Photo by Brandon Patoc. Composer Aaron Jay Kernis met with students to discuss their music while he was in Seattle for performances of his new violin concerto.

This year the workshop is presented in partnership with University of Washington School of Music and features the instruments of American composer Harry Partch.

Partch was a composer who wrote in a tuning system called Just Intonation, and he invented and built a collection of fantastical musical instruments specifically designed for performing his music.

Under the guidance of Charles Corey, Director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium at the UW School of Music, the students learned about Partch’s instruments and met with special guests, including violinist Hilary Hahn and American composer Aaron Jay Kernis.

“I always look forward to the concert,” says Ariel, a senior from Bellevue High School. This is her third year participating in the workshop. “As a composer, it’s really cool to see your ideas come to life in front of you. It’s always better than I imagine.”

Don't miss these new and innovative works by local young composers! The final concert will be presented on Monday, June 5 at 7:00pm in the llsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required.

Visit for more information.

Photo by James Holt. Violinist Hilary Hahn meets with students in The Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop to share her unique perspective on new music.
Photo by James Holt. noch and Elise experiment with unusual instruments during a visit to the Harry Partch Instrumentarium at the University of Washington School of Music.

The Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop is generously underwritten by the Merriman Family.
The concert is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s New Music WORKS initiative, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New Music WORKS features commissions, concerts and educational activities that use composition as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement in music.
Additional support for The Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop is provided by Michel and Christine Suignard.

Posted on May 11, 2017