Duration: 8:00
Instrumentation: 2222. 22. -timp(7 crotales) -strings
Written for Ruth Reinhardt

about sternenzelt

Many of my earliest musical memories involve Beethoven. As a child, my grandparents gave me a video of Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in a performance of his 5th symphony and I immediately became entranced. Soon after, I attended my first Carnegie Hall concert at age 5, where my parents brought me to hear a program of both the 5th and 6th symphonies. As soon as I began playing the piano, I begged my teacher to play the “Ode to Joy” and together we made an arrangement for my first piano recital. Now as a young adult, Beethoven’s music continues to comfort, inspire, and astonish me all at once, and in the 250th year of his birth I wanted to pay homage to him.

Sternenzelt cycles through chordal allusions to the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th symphonies, and quotes the 1st, 3rd, and 9th symphonies. The importance of D major throughout the piece is in homage to the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, as is the title of the piece which comes from Friedrich Schiller’s text “An die Fruede” (Ode to Joy). “Sternenzelt” roughly translates to “star-tent” or “starry canopy,” and invokes a sense of wonder referring to the heavenly being who dwells above such an expanse. I experienced my own sternenzelt in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the summer of 2016, and the beauty of this moment has stayed with me. The end of the piece is a soundscape meant to evoke both the visual and emotional aspects of a sternenzelt: wondrous…. celestial… mysterious…. existential… eternal. Much like the music of Beethoven.

The piece was composed for and dedicated to Ruth Reinhardt, and yet none of it would be possible without my parents and grandparents, who nurtured my love of Beethoven, and Emily Levin, who experienced that beautiful sternenzelt with me and was instrumental in helping me throughout the writing process.


Transient Bodies

Duration: 11:00
Instrumentation: 1111. 1110. -perc(1) -harp -pno -strings:11111)
Commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble

about Transient Bodies

I was born with an astigmatism in my left eye, a fairly common defect caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea, which results in distorted images as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus. I also sustained severe trauma to my right eye in a rather damaging sports accident at a young age. Since this accident, I have experienced what are known as entoptic phenomena—visual effects whose source is within the eye itself. Most people do, or will, experience various types of these effects in their lifetime.

Without my glasses to correct my astigmatism, the world is like a glowing impressionistic painting. Overall outlines, shapes, and colors are favored over finer details. At the same time, my painting is complete with its fair share of entoptic phenomena: ever shifting shadows and flashers, transient bodies floating and sparkling around randomly, unendingly.

Though these imperfections make me aware of my mortality and fragile nature, there is something extraordinarily beautiful about them. Because entoptic images are caused by factors within the observer’s own eye, the observer cannot share a direct and specific view of this phenomenon with others. Only I can experience and see my own personal entoptic world, just as you are the only one who can experience yours.

Transient Bodies was commissioned by Joel Sachs and the New Juilliard Ensemble and received its premiere on April 4, 2017 in Alice Tully Hall. It is approximately 10 minutes in duration.

Transient Bodies (2017)

for Sinfonietta
(1111. -1110. -perc.(1) -harp -pno. -strings: 11111)
Duration: 11:00

Commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble, director Joel Sachs                                             

reAwaken (2015; rev. 2017)

for orchestra
(3333. 4331. -timp. perc.(3) -harp -pno./cel. -strings)
Duration: 12:00


Sun Path (2013; rev. 2017)

for Orchestra
(2222. -4331. -timp. perc.(2) -harp -pno. -strings)
Duration: 11:00

Revision commissioned by the St. Thomas Orchestra, director Bernard Tamosaitis. 

Toward a Brilliant Light (2016)

for 6 Players
(Fl. Cl. Vln. Vc. Mixed Perc. Pno.)
Duration: 8:00

Written for the Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble


Come In (2016)

for Oboe, Bassoon, & Harp
Duration: 10:00

Commissioned by Focal Point 2, a collaboration between Juilliard composers and harpists. Composed for Lauren Williams (oboe), Joseph Cannella (bassoon), and Emily Levin (harp) 


A Clock Stopped (2015)

for Soprano and String Quartet
Duration: 8:00


Trio Fantasy (2014)

for Violin, Cello, and Piano
Duration 25:00


Gravitating Entities (2014)

for Wind Quintet
Duration: 11:00

Commissioned by the Dynamic Music Festival 


Alternations (2011, rev. 2015)

for Brass Quintet
Duration: 6:00


Responses (2016)

for Cello and Piano
Duration: 9:00

Commissioned by Ariana Nelson


Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 (2016)

Duration: 20:00

Commissioned by the Danbury Chamber Music Intensive. Composed for Hannah Ji (violin), and Robert Fleitz (piano)


Escape Fantasy (2016)

for Viola and Piano
Duration: 7:00

Commissioned by Jacob Shack


It takes two… (2016)

for 2 Violins
Duration: 12:00

Composed for Les Deux Violins (Chelsea Starbuck Smith and Clare Elena Semes)


Nimbus (2014)

for Flute and Piano
Duration: 8:30

Composed for Dr. Steven Huter and Claudia Huter for a performance at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall


Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 (2011-13)

Duration: 16:00


...Comes the light (2016)

for Harp
Duration: 5:00

Commissioned by and composed for Emily Levin


4 Character Pieces (2014-2015)

for Piano
Duration: 15:00


Sonata for Piano (2011)

Duration: 13:00


Reflections (2011)

for Piano
Duration: 8:00


A Clock Stopped (2015)

For Soprano and String Quartet
Duration: 8:00

Text: Emily Dickinson


The Nature of Loss (2014)

3 Songs for Soprano and Piano
Duration: 8:00

Text: Frederico Garcia Lorca

A Nightmare Wakes (to be released in 2017)

Directed by Nora Unkel


enough (2016)

Choreography by Caitlin Javech

also a movement in an upcoming work for Cello and Piano


Reverence (2015)

Choreography by Caitlin Javech
Instrumentation: Fl. Vln. Vc. Perc. Pno.

Composed by the 2015 Choreographers and Composers collaboration at The Juilliard School. Performed at the 2015 Capezio Dance Award Ceremony.


Goblin Song (2014)

Directed by Nora Unkel
Instrumentation: Orchestra

Awarded Best Original Score by the Tisch First Run Film Festival


Blood Bath (2014)

Directed by Scott Schuler
Instrumentation: Piano Quintet

2014 Tisch 48 winner of: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Set Design, and Best Editing