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ANDERSON ALDEN, a 21-year-old composer from Santa Monica, California, is a senior at Yale University where he was recently awarded the Abraham Beekman Cox First Prize “for the most promising gifted composer in the Junior class.” Anderson is currently being featured on ASCAP’s “Composers To Watch” section of the new “Composer Spotlight” at http://www.ascap.com/eventsawards/events/fsw/composerspotlight/index.aspx
In the fall of 2007 Anderson became a Composer Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a newly established program for student composers, under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky. In 2008, Anderson was thrilled to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra premiere his piece Son of the Evening Star, Osseo! (scherzo for brass and percussion) on the “Symphonies for Schools” program. In 2009, the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered his piece Life Forms, for full orchestra. As part of the 5th annual Grand Avenue Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2008, Christian McBride and the Sonus Quartet performed a composition of Anderson’s for double bass and string quartet. Anderson is currently working on a full orchestra piece for the Yale Symphony Orchestra to be performed in April, 2012.
Anderson is the recipient of three ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and Honorable Mentions, and among others, five 1st place state composition awards from Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). This is currently Anderson’s fifth year as a member of the prestigious MTAC Young Composers Guild, where he won a five-year membership (2007-2012) with yearly performances of his compositions. In 2009, Anderson was one of two composers in the country chosen as a finalist in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) competition in Music/Composition.
Last summer, Anderson was a recipient of an Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship to attend the New Music Workshop at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival where he studied with Martin Bresnick. The summer before, Anderson enjoyed attending the NYU/ASCAP Buddy Baker Film-Scoring Workshop. He also attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival where he studied with Robert Beaser. In the summers of 2006 and 2007, Anderson went to the Young Composers Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied composition with Peter Gilbert.
In December, 2011, the Yale Concert Band premiered Anderson’s Winter Concerto, for electric violin. Anderson is currently studying composition with Kathryn Alexander and Michael Kingbeil at Yale. While a Composing Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Anderson also studied with A.J. McCaffrey. Anderson’s formal music studies began in piano performance and keyboard theory at age seven, with Deborah H. How. Anderson has garnered recognition and prizes in numerous piano performance competitions and has had the honor of performing two world premieres: Gabriella Lena Frank’s Danza de los Saqsampillos for two pianos (in 2007) and Chen Yi’s From Old Peking Folklore for violin and piano (in 2009.)
For six years, Anderson was the percussion section leader and pianist of the Symphony Orchestra at Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, California. Anderson has also played in the African drumming circle and Javanese/Balinese gamelan ensembles of the Kinanthi World Music for Youth (UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology Outreach Program).
At Yale as a freshman, Anderson joined the Yale Gamelan Suprabanggo and performs in their concerts. Last year, Anderson performed piano and synthesizer with ACE, the Amplified Chamber Ensemble, a new music group at Yale that Anderson co-founded.