hosted by Georgia State University

July 9–14, 2021


Highlights from last season's CCI//Online

Unheard-of//Ensemble and our composition faculty Nirmali Fenn, Christopher Stark, and Nickitas Demos are bringing the Collaborative Composition Initiative workshop (CCI//Sessions) to Georgia State University in July 2021. This CCI will be an expanded version of our intensive workshop from July 9-14th consisting of concerts by Unheard-of, two seminars daily by our faculty and guests, one-on-one collaborations writing miniatures throughout the week to be premiered on the closing concert, and multi-track recording sessions with Unheard-of. There will be a variety of workshop topics including instrumental writing, Leah Asher's yearly graphic score workshop, introductions to digital electronics (using a DAW, processing, and more), using analog electronics ranging from snyths to loop pedals, and topics selected by our composition faculty. 

We are limiting the workshop to eighteen composer participants to write full ensemble works for Unheard-of to be workshopped and recorded throughout the week. Ford and Matheus will work with participants to edit and mix the tracks for release as part of CCI//Sessions, vol. 3. 


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)

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.

Nickitas Demos (b. 1982, Boulder, CO) holds a DMA in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Donald Erb (1927-2008). Commissions include works for the Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Chamber Orchestra and the National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors. Awards include: Finalist in the American Prize in Composition-Orchestra (2016); Semi-Finalist in the 2015 Rapido! Composition Competition; MacDowell Fellowship (2012); Grand Prize: 2004 Millennium Arts International Competition for Composers; Grand Prize: 2005 Holyoke Civic Symphony Composition Competition; and 20 ASCAP Awards. His music is self-published through Sylvan Lake Press (ASCAP) and recorded on Ablaze Records, Albany Records, Capstone Records and MSR Classics. Demos is Director of the Georgia State University School of Music, Director of the Center for Collaboration & Innovation in the Arts, Artistic Director of the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble, and Co-Director of the SoundNOW Contemporary Music Festival. For more information, please visit:

Guest Artists

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.

We are excited to be hosting a distanced workshop on synths, looping, and electronics presented by MEDIAQUEER. MEDIAQUEER is a violin and electronics duo whose experiences across the spectrum of genres and as multi-instrumentalists provides them with the tools to explore their position at the intersection of multiple identities. Phong is a queer, Vietnamese-American composer, visual artist, and electronic artist. Darian is a queer, afrolatinx composer, violinist, and visual artist. Together they explore inter- and intra-personal relationships, celebrating the beauty of humanity while confronting societal issues and evils to create a form of expression that is welcoming and accessible to all.


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.



$500 tuition; $600 accommodations

Tuition covers private lessons with Nirmali, Chris, and Nick, recording sessions of your piece with the ensemble,

guest lectures and a host of performances.

Accommodations: CCI//Sessions will be held at Georgia State University's downtown Atlanta campus. 

Participants will stay in dorms within a 10-minute walk of Florence Kopleff Recital Hall and the School of Music. Meals are also included from the 8th through 14th and are served at GSU's sustainable 3-star green certified dining hall. 

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