Bio / CV
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 (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 championed by 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, numerous SCI conferences, and the Schoenberg Academy in Vienna, Austria.
Ash is currently a doctoral candidate at Florida State University (ABD, graduating 5/2019) and studies composition with Clifton Callender and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. 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.