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Zosha Di Castri

About this Artist

Zosha Di Castri, a Canadian “composer of riotously inventive works” (The New Yorker), currently lives in New York. Her music has been performed across Canada, the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe and extends beyond purely concert music, including projects with electronics, sound arts, and collaborations with video and dance that encourage audiences to feel “compelled to return for repeated doses” (The Arts Desk). She is currently the Francis Goelet Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University and a 2023 American Academy of Arts and Letters Goddard Lieberson fellow. 

Zosha’s current projects include a large chamber work commissioned by the LA Phil and conducted by John Adams, receiving its premiere in spring 2024; a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress for percussionist Steve Schick and ensemble, and upcoming collaborations with the Bozzini Quartet and Ensemble Paramirabo/Totem. Zosha recently curated an event showcasing her work as part of the New York Philharmonic’s 2023 Nightcap series. Her 2022 work, In the Half-Light, a song cycle for soprano Barbara Hannigan, with libretto by Tash Aw, was premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and will be performed again this season by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Other recent projects include We live the opposite daring for six voices written for Ekmeles, time>>T. - - I. - - M.(time) - - E, a commission for largechamber ensemble premiered by the Grossman Ensemble in Chicago; Hypha, a quartet for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano/keyboard commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and Pentimento, a short piece for orchestra commissioned by the WDR Sinfonieorchester for its 75th anniversary.

In July 2019, Zosha’s Long Is the Journey, Short Is the Memory for orchestra and chorus opened the first night of the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, conducted by Karina Canellakis with the BBC Symphony and BBC Singers. Other large-scale projects include a 25-minute piece for soprano, recorded narrator and orchestra entitled Dear Life, based on a short-story by Alice Munro, and an evening-length new music theater piece, Phonobellow, co-written with David Adamcyk for the International Contemporary Ensemble with performances in New York and Montreal. Phonobellow features five musicians, a large kinetic sound sculpture, electronics, and video in a reflection on the influence of photography and phonography on human perception. 

Zosha’s orchestral compositions have been commissioned by John Adams, the Toronto Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Esprit Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the BBC, and have been featured by the the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Amazonas Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, among others. She has made appearances with the Chicago Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in their chamber music series, and has worked with many leading new music groups, including Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Ekmeles, Yarn/Wire, the NEM, Ensemble Cairn, and JACK and Parker Quartets. 

Other recent projects include a commission titled Hunger for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with improvised drummer, designed to accompany Peter Foldes’ 1973 eponymous silent film; a string quartet for the Banff International String Quartet Competition; a piece for Yarn/Wire for two pianists, two percussionists, and electronics premiered at Zosha’s Miller Theatre Composer Portrait concert; a solo piano work for Julia Den Boer commissioned by the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust Fund, and a string octet premiered by JACK Quartet and Parker Quartet at the Banff Centre. She was the recipient of the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music for her work Cortège in 2012, and participated in Ircam’s Manifeste Festival in Paris, writing an interactive electronic work for Thomas Hauert’s dance company, ZOO. 

Zosha’s debut album Tachitipo was released on New Focus Recordings in November 2019 to critical acclaim, and the title track was nominated for The JUNO Awards’ 2021 Classical Composition of the Year. Tachitipo was named in Best of 2019 lists by The New Yorker, I Care if You Listen, AnEarful, Sequenza21, and New York Music Daily, and praised as “a formidable statement. It is so comprehensively realized, institutionally ratified, and sensitive to the creative exigencies of the 21st century that one wants to send a copy of it to the publishers of textbooks for music history survey courses in the hope that it will be included in a last chapter or two.” (I Care if You Listen)

Zosha is a recipient of the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship and was an inaugural fellow at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris in 2018-19. She completed her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and Composition at McGill University, and her DMA in Composition at Columbia University. Born in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, Zosha currently lives with her family in New York City.