Ash Stemke (b. 1991) "…simply composes music he wants to hear, because it is beautiful, spouts no unpleasant theories, 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 (Laura Alexander, cantor), 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 championed by ensembles such as the San Francisco Choral Artists, the Tallis Chamber Orchestra, and Present~Continuous, and has been featured at events such as NSEME, DIGITECH, numerous SCI conferences, and the Schoenberg Academy in Vienna, Austria.
Ash currently studies composition with Clifton Callender and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich at Florida State University (DM; anticipated graduation 2019), where he has been recognized as an outstanding graduate teaching assistant. Ash holds a Master of Music in Composition and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where his thesis composition, Starmount Vespers: an oratorio for voices and strings, demonstrated how several levels of self-similar music can embody poetic text on the subject of self-similarity. Ash also holds a Bachelor of Music with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has studied composition with Steven Bryant, Mark Engebretson, Alejandro Rutty, and Allen Anderson.
Following the completion of the DM at Florida State, Ash plans to pursue a career in higher education. He continually fulfills his passion for teaching and learning by instructing a wide variety of collegiate courses in music composition and theory. Read more about his teaching philosophy here.
Click here to view Ash's C.V.