Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 5pm EDT

Performed by Music from Copland House
(Moran Katz, clarinet; Pala Garcia, violin; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello; Margaret Kampmeier, piano)



Born to Iranian immigrants, Kian Ravaei spent his childhood playing jazz, producing electronic dance music, and singing in a rock band … when he should have been practicing piano sonatas. He later made up for that during the first year of the pandemic when his daily ritual included playing one chorale by J.S. Bach at the piano and composing an original chorale; all 371 Bach chorales later, he had cultivated a deeply personal harmonic language and an obsession with the art of counterpoint. His diverse output has included a book of piano preludes inspired by mythical creatures, a string quartet that synthesized Western and Persian classical music, and an orchestration for dubstep DJ and producer Wooli. His music has been performed by violinist Bella Hristova, guitarist JIJI, and pianists Stefano Greco and Jihye Chang, and commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre and Salastina, among others. An alumnus of the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summer Program, he is currently based in Los Angeles, where he studies composition at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and serves as a Composer Teaching Artist Fellow for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.



Hailed by The New Yorker as “bold,” “adventurous,” and “superb,” MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE offers ear-opening, mind-expanding experiences gathered from its journeys across 150 years of America’s vast musical landscape. Whether celebrating classic or forgotten voices from the nation’s past, or reveling in established or rising artists from the present, this wide-ranging American repertory ensemble creates memorable and richly diverse narratives in sound, linking music to the wider worlds from which these works emerged. “Illuminating essential truths about the music” (The New York Times), MCH has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, Euro-Radio, and other major media; and engaged by Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, University of Chicago, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and the Caramoor, Bard, Ecstatic, Bowdoin, and SONiC Festivals. It also records for the Arabesque, Koch International, and COPLAND HOUSE BLEND labels. Called “one of the leading champions of contemporary music” (Louisville Weekly), the ensemble presents two mainstage concert series in Westchester County, NY (now in its 12th season), and at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (in its 2nd season). Inspired by Copland’s peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH presents a wide variety of educational and community outreach activities. Launched in 1999 by flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel, clarinetist Derek Bermel, violinist Nicholas Kitchen, cellist Wilhelmina Smith, and pianist Michael Boriskin, MCH boasts a stellar roster of Founding, Principal, and Guest Artists, of whom, The Chicago Tribune raved, “Copland would have been proud of all of them.”



CULTIVATE, now in its 12th season, is Copland House’s flagship annual emerging composers institute, directed by Grammy-nominated composer-clarinetist Derek Bermel. Embracing exploration, process, and community, this weeklong, all-scholarship creative workshop and mentoring program is an important destination on the early-career paths of gifted young composers of all artistic and personal backgrounds and identities. Linking creation, performance, and education, Copland House commissions six CULTIVATE Fellows to compose a short new chamber piece that is the heart of their work during an intensive week of rehearsals, workshops, discussions, and other individual and collective sessions with Bermel, the Music from Copland House ensemble, and prominent, visionary arts leaders. The institute concludes with public concerts where all the new works are premiered and filmed for delayed telecast. CULTIVATE is also a portal for additional performance, recording, commissioning, and other career-development opportunities.

Support for CULTIVATE 2023 and Cultivated Spaces 3.0 comes the ASCAP and BMI Foundations, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Friends of Copland House, Jandon Foundation, and NewMusicUSA.  Additional program support comes from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, ArtsWestchester, David and Elzbieta Grove Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts.

2/16 – Kian Ravaei (Copland House Cultivated Spaces 3.0)