Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents 10th Annual Reading Session of Young Composers’ Work

PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues its commitment to nurture new work and young composers with its 10th Annual Reading Session on Saturday, March 15 at 11 a.m. in Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. 

This year’s chosen composers — Jeffrey Campbell Binner of Gettysburg College, Kai-Young Chan of the University of Pennsylvania, Erberk Eryilmaz of Carnegie Mellon University, and Marina López of Duquesne University — bring a wide range of vision, experience and culture to the program.

The four pieces to be performed during the reading session are “Grief” by Binner, “Tepki 2” by Eryilmaz, “Vers le Jardin Japonais” by Chan and “SunStroke” by Lopez. All submissions were evaluated by adviser David Stock, professor emeritus at Duquesne University and one of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Composers of the Year.

The reading session provides the composers with invaluable critiques and feedback at a professional level. In addition to hearing their pieces performed by a world-class orchestra in front of an audience, they gain insights into orchestration, compositional techniques and providing parts for an ensemble. The reading session will be led by guest conductor Leonard Slatkin.

Since the 2004-2005 season, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has offered an annual reading of new works by young composers from area universities as part of its Composer of the Year program. In recent years, the annual reading program expanded its call for submissions from specific Pittsburgh-area universities to all residents of Pennsylvania.

A reception and panel discussion with Maestro Slatkin, Stock and the four composers will follow the reading session in the Regency Rooms of Heinz Hall. Admission to the annual reading session and the post-session reception are free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900.

Binner, Jeffrey_Jeffrey Campbell Binner was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1991. He is an emerging composer who began his musical endeavors at the age of nine. Binner studies composition with Avner Dorman at the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College. He has participated in reading sessions with the Da Capo Chamber Players, SHUFFLE Concert and the Amernet String Quartet. Binner is a saxophonist and pianist. Gettysburg College commissioned Binner for his Fanfare and Procession for Orange and Blue. His first film score was for the movie “LARPing,” which was accepted into the SoCal Film Festival. He was recently the assistant to Avner Dorman on the score to “The Wonders,” a film by award-winning director Avi Nesher. His inspiration is derived heavily from the perspective of an actor; creating music from an emotional level that paints a vivid story.

Chan, Kai-YoungKai-Young Chan is drawn to assimilating elements from various Asian musical traditions as well as classical Chinese folklores, language and literature into the his versatile output from concert works to film scores, from conventional western idioms to modern Chinese instrument ensembles. He has worked closely with professional performers across the continents including the Daedalus Quartet, the International Ensemble Modern Academy, Ensemble XXI, Chinese Music Virtuosi and Hong Kong New Ensemble. His chamber work, “Shimmers the Shivery Moon,” was featured in the 2013 Chinese Composers Festival in Hong Kong, and his “le vent de la nuit” premiered in May 2013 by the Dolce Suono Ensemble as a winning piece of their composition competition. His “Tinkles in the Rain” received its European premiere in the ISCM World Music Days 2012 (Belgium). His accolades include champion in New Generation 2012, the David Gwilt Composition Prize, the Audience Choice Award of the Young Musicians Performance Platform and the CASH Music Scholarship, among other honors. He also won the Speech Choir Young Composer Award for his speech choral work “East-Rail says…”, which is made a set piece in the 2012-2013 Speech Choir Showcase. Chan is a Benjamin Franklin Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies composition with Jay Reise, James Primosch and Anna Weesner. He completed his Master of Music in composition as a student of Victor Chan at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts with first class honors.

Eryılmaz, ErberkErberk Eryılmaz was born in Samsun, Turkey, in 1989. He started his music education at age three and has studied at the Samsun Conservatory, Hacettepe University – Ankara State Conservatory and at the Hartt School. He has studied composition with Serdar Mukhatov, Stephen Gryc, Robert Carl, David Macbride and Leonardo Balada; piano with Nuran Taşpınar, Oxana Yablonskaya and Margreet Francis; and conducting with Christopher Zimmerman, Edward Cumming and Robert Page. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in composition at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studies with Reza Vali and acts as his teaching assistant. He has also had private studies with world-famous pianists such as Idil Biret, Andrej Jasinski, Vicenzo Balzani, Stanislav Pochekin and Felix Gottlieb, and composers Bright Sheng, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, William Bolcom, and John Corigliano. Eryılmaz has received numerous awards, such as 1st prize for his Sonata for Piano in the SCI/ASCAP(North East) Composition Competition, grand prize as a pianist at The Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, the Diemente Prize from the Hartt School’s Composition Department, the Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition with his Miniatures Set No.4 and Silberman Chamber Music Competition. As a composer, pianist, and a conductor he has collaborated with many ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Hacettepe Chamber Orchestra, Gazi Chamber Orchestra, Hartt Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Foot in the Door, Carpe Diem and West End String Quartets as well as with conductors including Vakhtang Matchavariani, Dmitry Yablonsky, Edward Cumming and Glen Adsit. He is the founder and former artistic director/conductor of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. His compositions, performances and recordings have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet and the Washington Post where his music has been described as a “dervish-like explosion.”

Lopez, MarinaBorn and raised in Mexico City, Marina López first ventured into the world of music at age 14, when she started taking private piano lessons under pianist Haruko Shimizu. Starting her second year in high school, she successfully auditioned for a three-year pre-college level course in piano performance at Mexico’s National School of Music (Escuela Nacional de Musica), where she studied under Silvia Alonso Abreu. In 2010, she graduated as valedictorian from high school. She completed the Propaedeutic course in 2011 and was accepted into the National School of Music’s undergraduate program. After successfully auditioning at Duquesne University, she enrolled in January 2012. She is currently a junior, working towards her degree in piano performance under Kenneth Burky. López started pursuing musical composition in fall 2012, studying under Dr. David Stock. “SunStroke” is her first orchestral work.

Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall also hosts many other events that do not feature its world-renowned orchestra, including Broadway shows, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.

Editors Please Note:

Saturday, March 15, 11 a.m.
The 10th Annual Reading Session
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts
DAVID STOCK, adviser

Jeffrey Binner:  Grief 

  • Denial
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Erberk Eryilmaz:  Tepki 2 “fikri hür, vicdanı hür, irfanı hür”

  • “like a tree”
  • Kazliçesme
  • Gas Masked Whirling Dervish
  • “like a forest”
  • To Justice
  • The Standing Man
  • “free thought, free conscience, free knowledge”

Kai-Young Chan:  Vers Le Jardin Japonais

Marina López:  SunStroke

  • Prelude


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