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Velvet Hammer (excerpt)

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Scale 9 (excerpt)

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Little Green Pop (excerpt)

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Lick Machine (excerpt)

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One-Way Trip (excerpt)

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Little Green Pop (excerpt)

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Fighting Words (excerpt)

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Will give a master class and lecture on my music to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship and Associate Composer Programs.

Sean is faculty composer in residence at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.

The Curtis Brass Project (Curtis Institute of Music) recently recorded Sean’s Kindly Reply for brass quintet for its upcoming album release, Cityscaping.

Sean is this year’s Composer in Residence at the Open Space Festival of Contemporary Music at the University of Northern Colorado. Sean will be in residence for three days, culminating in a concert of his chamber and orchestral works.

Sean is composition faculty at the Sunset ChamberFest Composer Workshop this year. Three students will study with him while composing a new work to be performed and recorded at the festival this June.

Look HERE for application details.

Camerata Pacifica tours my piece, Velvet Hammer, around Southern California. Concerts in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and Ventura.

An LA TIMES review of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recent premiere of my piece, Finding Time.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/classical/la-et-green-umbrella-review-20150528-column.html


Sean has been named Senior Lecturer of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music.


Sean was the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Eureka Graduate Student Conference at UC Santa Cruz, held on May 7, 2015.


Named faculty for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Next on Grand National Composers Intensive.
http://www.laphil.com/education/next-on-grand-national-composers-intensive

The Wall Street Journal features a short interview with me about my piece Clunker Concerto in an article about the American Composers Orchestra.


Sean has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic (2014-2015 season) and the New World Symphony (2013-2014 season).

Great press on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recent performance of Little Green Pop.
LA TIMES
LA WEEKLY
SEQUENZA 21
NEWMUSICBOX


Sean is awarded a 2013 Fromm Music Foundation Commission from Harvard University to write a large-scale work for NOW Ensemble to premiere during their 10th Anniversary season.

Sean joins the faculty of the the USC Thornton School of Music as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory


Great reviews of August 3rd concerts at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the Bang on a Can Summer Marathon: Rolling Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Classical Voice, San Jose Mercury News, and Santa Cruz Sentinel.

A recording of the premiere performance of Breaking Point is now available on the MUSIC page.  Program notes are also posted.  Commissioned by Present Music, the piece is scored for electric guitar, clarinet, trumpet, piano, percussion, string quartet, and bass.

I am pleased to announce that the Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform my Little Green Pop on their 2013-2014 season.

There are many exciting commissions and performances I look forward to announcing in the coming months, including new works for orchestra, ensemble, and solo. Stay tuned!


Sean has received a Composers Assistance (CAP) Grant from the New Music USA in support of upcoming performances of a revised version of his junk car percussion concerto, Clunker Concerto.


New York-based Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble has received a MetLife Creative Connections Grant from New Music USA in support of my residency with them this season.

Mariel Roberts’ album, Nonextraneous Sounds, which features my piece, Teaser has been named one of the top Classical albums of 2012 by TIMEOUT Chicago, Rhapsody, and the Denver Post! It is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Nonextraneous Sounds is Q2’s ALBUM OF THE WEEK at New York’s Classical Music Radio Station WQXR! This is my 2nd album in a row that’s received this distinction! Check it out on iTunes or Amazon.

Sean has been commissioned by Chamber Music America to write a 30-minute percussion quartet for Line C3 Percussion.
PRESS RELEASE


Commissioned by Milwaukee’s Present Music to compose a new work for large ensemble and electric guitar.


Sean is an invited composer at the La Pietra Forum for Contemporary Music in Florence, Italy, where he will work with the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble and Georg Friedrich Haas.


Sean will be the 2012-2013 Composer-In-Residence for the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble in New York.  They will perform several of his works throughout the season, culminating in the premiere of a new commissioned work for ensemble.


Sean will be a Visiting Lecturer in Music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music 2012-2013.
 

Sean has been awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Awake, featuring my piece, Velvet Hammer, is showing up on “Best Albums of 2011” lists all over the place, including: All Music, The Awl, Silent Ballet, CBC Radio Canada, Citta del Capo Radio Metropolitana, KALX Berkeley,Ted Gioia, Music in the Bubble, and this one. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered earlier this year, and reached the Top 10 in iTunes Classical and #2 in Amazon Classical.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find it on iTunes, Amazon, and most anywhere else. Lot’s of great reviews are posted on the PRESS page.

Interviewed for Yale University’s Oral History of American Music: Major Figures in American Music, an ambitious project that seeks to interview all those who have had an influence in American music, as well as younger up-and-comers.
A 3-hour (!!) interview (both audio and written transcription) between myself and Libby van Cleve is now available. HERE is the full list of musicians who have contributed to the project.

Slate Magazine has published an article about me and my piece Clunker Concerto, which was premiered earlier this year at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra and Line C3 Percussion. Click HERE to read.


Sean is thrilled to be writing a new work for the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble.

Sean has won the 2012-2013 Renee B. Fisher Composer Award.  This commissions him to write a short piano work that a slew of talented young performers will learn and perform as part of the Renee B. Fisher Piano Competition.


NOW Ensemble’s Awake (featuring my piece, Velvet Hammer) is #1 in the Classical Chamber Music category in Amazon.com sales and #2 in all Classical (we can’t be expected to compete with the Royal Wedding Soundtrack, can we?)  We’re also #6 for all Classical albums on iTunes!  If you’ve been thinking about checking out the album, but haven’t yet, go for it!

We also got a great plug on NPR’s All Things Considered this weekend.  You can listen to it HERE.

Sean wins the 2011-2012 Rome Prize!

Here’s a feature on me from UCLA.  Here’s an article from NewMusicBox.


Sean wins his 4th ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for Velvet Hammer. VIEW PRESS RELEASE


NOW Ensemble’s Awake is out on iTunes, featuring a fantastic recording of my piece, Velvet Hammer!
Download it here!

Great press just keeps pouring in!

It’s New York’s Classical music radio station WQXR’s Album of the Week. They describe the album as “… a Whitman’s sampler of new music. And, lucky for us, everything in the box is a caramel.”  The call Velvet Hammer a “haunting whirlwind.”
Classical Review calls it, “scintillating”, “fresh and vibrant” and “rewarded by repeated listening”.
Silent Ballet says “Awake is truly a delightful experience from beginning to end.”
The Bangkok Post says of my Velvet Hammer, “… there is much to marvel at in the variety of timbres and moods [Sean Friar] gets from [repeated notes and chords], from woodpeckerish tappings to ringing peals to pounding attacks, all in six or so kaleidoscopic minutes.”  As for the album, they “recommend it strongly even to people who usually keep their distance from contemporary classical music.”

Here’s the episode of Andrew Andrew Sound Sound I was featured on March 2nd on East Village Radio!  I am 3/4 of the way through the episode (the last half-hour).


Sean was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2011 Harvey Gaul Composition Competition.

Here’s video #2 of 3 documenting my creation of Clunker Concerto!
Here’s video #3 of 3 documenting my creation of Clunker Concerto!
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Sean will be featured at the GAUDEAMUS New Music Week this September in Utrecht, Netherlands, where his piece, Velvet Hammer, is nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize.  Watch a video about it HERE (which features Velvet Hammer quite prominently!)

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Sean is a FINALIST for the Darmstadt Composition Prize “Soli fan tutti”!  His wind quintet, Lick Machine, will be recorded by Staatsorchester Darmstadt at Darling Records in Cologne, Germany, and performed at the Staatstheater in Darmstadt, Germany this May.  At the concert, the audience will vote the winners.

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Sean received Honorable Mention in the Finale/Eighth Blackbird National Composition Contest. VIEW PRESS RELEASE

The American Composers Orchestra just released the first in a series of documentary videos on the process of making Clunker Concerto, my percussion quartet concerto for junk car and orchestra. Watch it here!

And the concert’s March 4, 2011 at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall.

TRANSIT’s self-titled debut album is out, and along with it, their fantastic new recording of Scale 9. Check it out on the Music page!

American Composers Orchestra has commissioned me to write Clunker Concerto, a percussion ensemble concerto for junk car and orchestra, for premiere at Carnegie Hall March 4, 2011 as part of their Playing it UNsafe series.
Line C3 Percussion will be playing junk car.

View Press Release
Buy Tickets

New recordings of a few movements from my new wind quintet are up on the music page!


NOW Ensemble is in the studio recording Velvet Hammer for their next album, slated for a 2011 release on New Amsterdam Records! Also on the CD will be pieces by Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, Mark Dancigers, Patrick Burke, and David Crowell.

TRANSIT is in the studio recording my piece Scale 9 for their CD!

Sean has been commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony for a new chamber work to be premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall next year.


Featured composer on the No Extra Notes podcast.

Sean has been awarded the Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship from Princeton University for his “distinguished work in the Department of Music.” This university-wide competitive fellowship recognizes students “displaying the highest scholarly excellence… outstanding performance and professional promise, and represent[s] high commendation from the Princeton University Graduate School.”

New recording of Newspeak playing Fighting Words on the Music page!


After having such a blast last year as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival Composition Master Class, I’m not surprised to find myself going back this summer, this time to work with George Tsontakis on the Susan and Ford Schumann Award.

Sean is thrilled to receive the 2009 Aaron Copland Award and Residency at Copland House.  This grants him a private residency this winter at Aaron Copland’s beautiful, 3-acre restored estate in the Hudson River Valley.

Copland House website


New recording of Velvet Hammer performed by NOW Ensemble available on the music page.

Selected for the 16th International Young Composers Meeting 2010 in Apeldoorn, Netherlands; organized by Orkest de Ereprijs, Podium Gigant and GAUDEAMUS Foundation

Sean receives an ASCAPLUS Award.

Receives an NMC New Works Commission to write a new chamber work for New Music Collective in Charleston, SC.

Sean receives his 3rd consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his chamber work, Little Green Pop.

View press release.

Selected to participate in the American Composers Orchestra ACO/Penn Presents New Music Workshop, which will culminate in a performance of his chamber orchestra work, Out of Line.

View press release.

Sean will be a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival Composition Master Class this summer on the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship.

Sean receives his 2nd ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his solo piano work, Elastic Loops. 

View press release.

Sean will be a composition fellow at Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival this summer supported by the ASCAP Foundation Bang on a Can Summer Institute Fellowship.

Sean receives the Lee Ettelson Composers Award from Composers Inc. for his piano trio, Hell Bent.

Sean is the winner of Hawaii Institute of Contemporary Music (HICM) Composition Competition for his solo piano piece, Elastic Loops.

1st Place (Region VIII) in the SCI/ASCAP Composer Commission Competition for his chamber sextet, Bad Wiring.

Sean Receives an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his piano trio, Hell-Bent. 

View press release.

Sean will be a composition fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival this summer.

Sean will attend Princeton University on the Roger Sessions Fellowship to pursue his Ph.D. in composition this Fall.

Will be a composition fellow at the Yale School of Music/ Norfolk Chamber Music Festival on the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship this summer.