Composer in Residence
In partnership with the American Academy in Rome and the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi 2024
Baldwin Giang (b. Philadelphia,1992) is an internationally-performed composer, pianist, interdisciplinary creator and educator whose music aims to empower communities of audiences and performers, creating concert experiences that are opportunities for collective wonder and judgement.
He won the Samuel Barber Rome Prize and is in residence as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome from 2023-2024. He joins us at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios as composer in residence to develop his new work Scenes from the Post-Diaspora, cast in multiple movements, each accompanied by a film; the work explores the ideas of post-globalisation identity and hybridity in urban environments that have shaped the composer’s personal background. The ten person ensemble includes a pipa player (a traditional Chinese lute) and a đàn nguyệt (a traditional Vietnamese lute). The work treats the instruments of the ensemble as metaphors for the products of human migration. Some of the movements are set in Taipei (Taiwan), Rome (Italy), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), and Philadelphia (USA).
The American Academy in Rome, in partnership with the Mahler & LeWitt Studios, will premiere the new work at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi 2024.
Giang writes, “For the movement set in Rome I am working with the Rome-based, Filipino video artist Liyrc De La Cruz on the video element for a ‘scene’ in Rome. I carry a marker of my identity (the pipa) around sites of historical gay cruising. We are interested in how queerness and migration intersect with the palimpsestic nature of city life in Rome: just as Rome is built on many layers of history, which are often submerged but can emerge in ruptures of historical time at unexpected places in the city, queerness is largely invisible but is rendered visible during opportune flashes and clandestine encounters. Immigrants also wax and wane in the social imagination of contemporary Rome. I’m interested in how this constellation of ideas can suggest new approaches to the revealing and layering of musical material, the unfolding of musical time, and a nonlinear perspective on futurity.”
Giang recently completed a 2022-2023 Fulbright artist Fellowship in Taiwan, and was appointed as a composer-in-residence with the Louisville Orchestra in 2024-2025. He was a nominee/finalist for the 2022 Gaudeamus Award, the most prestigious international prize for composers under 35. His music has been performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Center in Chicago, and Chateau de Fontainebleau. He has received commissions from the National Sawdust Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, New York Youth Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Loadbang, Playground Ensemble, Grossman Ensemble, Fondation Maurice Ravel, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Robert Black Foundation, Music in Bloom, How It’s Musically Made, and Music from Copland House.
Among the international and domestic festivals that have presented his work are: IRCAM’s Manifeste (France), Ecoles d’arts Americaines de Fontainebleau (France), Concours International de Piano d’Orleans (France), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands), 24th Annual Young Composers’ Meeting (Netherlands), Valencia International Performance Academy (Spain), highSCORE (Italy), Festival Contrasti (Italy), Aspen Music Festival, New Jersey Symphony’s Edward T. Cone Institute at Princeton, Yale in Norfolk’s New Music Workshop, CULTIVATE at Copland House, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, June in Buffalo, New Music on the Point, NUNC!3, National Sawdust’s Digital Discovery Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, Midwest Composers’ Symposium, SCI National Student Conference, North American Saxophone Association Conference, and NSEME.
Baldwin is a graduate of Yale University, earning a B.A. with Honors in both Music and Political Science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, earning a M.A. as a Regents Fellow. Baldwin is currently a PhD student and Division of Humanities Fellow at the University of Chicago where he studies with Augusta Read Thomas, Sam Pluta, Anthony Cheung, Hans Thomalla, Courtney Bryan, and Felipe Lara.
For a full biography please visit the artist’s website: baldwingiang.com