Bio / CV
Ash Stemke (b. 1991) "…simply composes music he wants to hear, because it is beautiful…and manages nonetheless to avoid the too-well-known and trite." (Steven Kruger, New York Arts). His music explores symmetry, trajectory, and organicism, and traverses several mediums, including commissions from the UNC Lab Orchestra (Vincent L. Povázsay, conductor), Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Chapel Hill, NC), the V3N Trio, and a film score for violinist Christin Danchi that will soon be sent to the Moon (!) as part of the MoonArk project at Carnegie Mellon University. Ash’s music has been performed by widespread artists including yMusic, the Boston New Music Initiative, the San Francisco Choral Artists, Duo per se, the Tallis Chamber Orchestra, and Present~Continuous, and has been featured at events such as New Music on the Bayou, NSEME, DIGITECH, the FSU Festival of New Music, numerous SCI conferences, and the Schoenberg Academy in Vienna, Austria.
Ash holds a Doctor of Music from Florida State University, a Master of Music in Composition and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Music with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation, Amid the Shades for chamber orchestra, explores the metaphorical connections between related poetic texts and musical variation forms. His master’s thesis, Starmount Vespers: an oratorio for voices and strings, demonstrates how several levels of self-similar music can embody poetic text on the subject of self-similarity. Ash has studied composition with Clifton Callender, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Steven Bryant, Mark Engebretson, Alejandro Rutty, and Allen Anderson.