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Josephine Miles

Opera Philadelphia welcomes new composer-in-residence

10:13, 9th January 2020

Tyshawn Sorey is Opera Philadelphia’s new composer-in-residence

Sorey, a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, ensemble leader and conductor, was a 2017 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow. He has been described by the New Yorker as ‘an extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape’.

His residency, which began in November 2019, is the first of a new phase of the company’s residency programme which aims to give composers more opportunities to explore the medium of opera. During his time with Opera Philadelphia, Sorey will work with singers at different stages of their careers to further his understanding of the voice. He will have opportunities to work with dramaturgy and theatre experts, as well as Opera Philadelphia staff, and to observe rehearsals and performances.

Sorey’s song cycle Cycles of My Being, composed for tenor Lawrence Brownlee, premiered at Opera Philadelphia in February 2018 before continuing to Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Soprano Julia Bullock recently performed his Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

‘I’m thrilled to join Opera Philadelphia as composer-in-residence,’ Sorey said. ‘Working with the company on Cycles of My Being was an excellent collaboration, and I’m looking forward to spending more time there exploring opera as a form, storytelling, and the voice.’

Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Sorey earned a Bachelor of Music from William Paterson University, a master’s in composition from Wesleyan University, where he later became assistant professor of composition and creative music, and a doctorate in composition from Columbia University, where he was a faculty fellow.

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