Collaborative Composition Initiative

June 15-19, 2020

at Stony Brook University


Join Unheard-of//Ensemble and composition faculty for the Collaborative Composition Initiative at Stony Brook University. The CCI is an intensive 5 day workshop from June 15-19th, 2020 consisting of four concerts, daily seminars and master classes, and one-on-one collaboration with faculty and fellow composers. 

Each of the twelve composer participants selected will workshop and premiere a new work written for Unheard-of//Ensemble. A typical day consists of composition lessons or open workshop rehearsals in the morning. Afternoon seminars focus on a wide variety of topics (fundraising, practical electronics in new music, performance and politicization in composition, graphic scores and notation), along with workshopping and group collaborations between composer participants. Each night features a concert by Unheard-of, faculty, and guests performing 21st century works alongside composer workshop premieres. All composer participants will receive audio and video recording of their work at the end of the festival.


Ford Fourqurean (clarinet), Matheus Souza (violin), Issei Herr (cello), and Daniel Anastasio (piano) form the core of Unheard-of//Ensemble, a contemporary chamber ensemble dedicated to the development and performance of new music by living composers. With over 80 works written for them and guest performances across the United States visiting Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Georgia State University, University of Tennessee (Knoxville and Chattanooga), along with performances ranging from Carnegie Hall to Spectrum and DIY spaces, Unheard-of has built a reputation for "scintillating and evocative" performances as well as "an enviable cache of new pieces" (Steve Smith, National Sawdust Log).

(for more info click here)

Reiko Fueting was born in 1970 in Königs Wusterhausen of the German Democratic Republic.  He studied composition and piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, at Rice University in Houston, at Manhattan School of Music in New York, and at Seoul National University.  Some of his most influential teachers have been the composers Jörg Herchet and Nils Vigeland, and the pianist Winfried Apel.

Reiko Fueting joined the theory faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in 2000; five years later, he became a member of the composition faculty and was appointed department chair of theory.  He has also taught vocal accompanying at the Conservatory of Music and Theater in Rostock, Germany, and appeared as guest faculty and lecturer at universities and conservatories in China, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

As a composer, Reiko Fueting has received numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions.  His music has been performed by renowned musicians and ensembles in several countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, broadcast on radio and television, and released on CDs.  His publications include compositions, arrangements, and analytical articles.

Nirmali Fenn is a Sri Lankan-born Australian composer. She received her initial music education at the universities of New South Wales and Melbourne, graduating with high distinction. With the support of a prestigious Clarendon Fund Scholarship, she later completed her doctorate in music at Oxford University, UK. She has worked in the faculties of the University of Hong Kong, New York University, the University of New South Wales, Yale-NUS College Singapore and is currently based in New York at Stony Brook University.

Nirmali’s music often involves a lot of theatre and she has collaborated with some of Asia’s most respected choreographers, such as Pun Siu Fai and Daniel Leung. Her collaboration with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company opened the 9th Guangdong Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China, in 2012.

Nirmali has served as composer-in-residence at a number of major European festivals, most notably the Lakes District Summer Music Festival in the UK and the Saxophone Habanera Festival in Poitiers, France. Of the first performance of her song cycle Over Exposed at the Abbaye de Royaumont near Paris, Le Monde praised it as standing out in the genre of ‘songs’ of today” and La Croix described it as “deeply moving”. Her compositions have been performed by the Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble Cairn, Ensemble Linea, Kuss Quartet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tinalley String Quartet, Sounds Underground, Endymion Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Concorde, S.E.M. Ensemble and the Eastman Broadband Ensemble.

Through her music, Nirmali often challenges performers to “see” with their ears and construct spatial “views” of their surroundings. She believes that sound is a tool that gives audiences the opportunity to experience the volume of the space in which they exist.

Christopher Stark (b. 1980, St. Ignatius, MT) is a composer of contemporary classical music deeply rooted in the American West. Having spent his formative years in rural western Montana, his music is always seeking to capture the expansive energy of this quintessential American landscape. Stark, whose music The New York Times has called, "fetching and colorful," has been awarded prizes and commissions from organizations such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, Chamber Music America, the Orléans International Piano Competition, ASCAP, and the Barlow Endowment. Named a 2017 "Rising Star" by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his music has been performed by such ensembles as Alarm Will Sound, American Composers Orchestra, Arctic Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Los Angeles Piano Quartet, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Momenta Quartet, New Morse Code, FLUX Quartet, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. In 2012, he was a resident composer at Civitella Ranieri, a fifteenth-century castle in Umbria, Italy, and in June of 2016 he was awarded a residency at Copland House. Recent highlights included performances at the 2016 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and at the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the 2016 NY Phil Biennial. Stark recently completed a three-month residency in Bergen, Norway where he worked with members of the BIT20 Ensemble from the Bergen Philharmonic on a new string quartet, and in June of 2019 he premiered a new work with the LA Phil New Music Group, conducted by John Adams at Walt Disney Concert Hall. His score for the feature-length film, "Novitiate," premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2017 and was theatrically released in October by Sony Pictures Classics. Stark is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Washington University in St. Louis.

Guest Artists

As RighteousGIRLS, New York-based flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi “Rattle speakers and expectations with stop-time razzle, vocal (flute-talk) and electronic (phaser) effects" (NYC Jazz Record) while continually expanding their creative reach by bringing 21st century music to new audiences and commissioning works that root themselves in classical idioms but draw from other genres. 


RighteousGIRLS have received awards including the 2016 New Music USA Impact Fund Award, a 2015 New Music USA Project Grant, and an Independent Music Awards Nomination for gathering blue (Best Album) and KARakurENAI (Best Instrumental) by composer/steel-pannist Andy Akiho.

In 2015, RighteousGIRLS released their debut album gathering blue (New Focus Recordings) collaborating with steel-pannist Andy Akiho, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and drummer Justin Brown, among others. gathering blue has been met with critical acclaim from both jazz and contemporary-classical critics alike; Jackson Cooper, from I Care If You Listen, called it “…one of the most adventurous new music debut albums in recent years.”  gathering blue received a 4.5 stars rating by John Ephland in DownBeat magazine.  

RighteousGIRLS recently performed at festivals including the Gharana Music Festival (Kathmandu, Nepal), the DC Jazz Festival, and at venues such as the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, SubCulture, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, Rockwood Music Hall, Atlas Performing Arts Center, and Joe's Pub at the Public Theater. RighteousGIRLS were recently featured by New Music USA at SubCulture alongside Steve Coleman & the Five Elements, Rudresh Mahanthappa and the Prism Quartet, and Wet Ink Ensemble and on Q2 Music, WQXR, WNYC. 



CCI Sessions, vol. 1

This limited release, informal album highlights workshop recordings and session reads from our first Collaborative Composition Initiative. Each work was written and developed for Unheard-of//Ensemble in collaboration with CCI composition faculty Erin Rogers, also featured on saxophone. All proceeds go towards funding our second workshop in the summer of 2020.


Costs, Room, and Board Info

Fee: $950 all-inclusive (some scholarship assistance available)

This covers lessons with Reiko, Nirmali, Chris and ensemble recording sessions and concerts.

Housing is also included 

Stony Brook University is reached by the Long Island Railroad from NYC at the Stony Brook station followed by a short walk to campus. Travel by car is also convenient. New York is reached by LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark airports. Contact us for more information regarding travel. Participants will receive complete travel details upon acceptance and confirmation.

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To Apply

Fill out the form here to apply.

  • Be sure to include two scores representative of your compositional output.

  • Materials such as resume or bio are meant to give us an idea of who you are. Focus on information that lets us know who you are and what your goals are as a composer, not only accomplishments. 

Pay the $20 application fee payable to via paypal.

Applications are due by February 1st, 2020.

Acceptances will be sent by February 15th, 2020. 

A deposit of $200 is due by February 21st, 2020.

For any application questions, please email and we would be more than happy to assist.

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© 2019, U//E. Photo credits: Michael Yu.