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Guest Artist Concert: Seattle Modern Orchestra with UW Composers

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 7:30pm
$20 general; $15 UW Affiliate (employee, retiree, UWAA member); $10 students and seniors.
  • Seattle Modern Orchestra

The city’s premiere modern music ensemble, co-founded by School of Music alumni Julia Tai and Jérémy Jolley, performs works by students and faculty of the UW Composition Program. Julia Tai conducts. 


Joe Krycia, Over It 
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion and electronics 

Yonatan Ron, The Bent Spoon 
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion

Jeff Bowen, Stalasso II 
for flute, violin, cello, piano

Melissa Wang, Crushed Splits 
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion.


Sarah Pyle, flute
Angelique Poteat, clarinet
Eric Rynes, violin
Erin Wight, viola
Rose Bellini, cello
Stephen Olsen, piano
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
Julia Tai, conductor


Seattle Modern Orchestra

Founded in 2010, Seattle Modern Orchestra (SMO) is the only large ensemble in the Pacific Northwest solely dedicated to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Led by co-artistic directors Julia Tai and Jérémy Jolley, SMO commissions and premieres new works from an international lineup of composers, in addition to presenting important pieces from the contemporary repertoire that are rarely if ever heard by Seattle audiences. The ensemble “operates at that exciting cusp between old and new, between tradition and innovation” (Vanguard Seattle) curating new sounds and experiences for concert goers in the region. 

Julia Tai

Praised by the Seattle Times as “poised yet passionate,” Julia Tai is quickly becoming one of today’s most dynamic young conductors on the international stage. Currently, she is the Music Director of Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, Philharmonia Northwest, and the Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra. Her career has led to acclaimed performances and rehearsals with the American Youth Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Brandenburger Symphoniker (Germany), Estonian National Youth Symphony (Estonia), New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Charlos Chávez (Mexico), and the Seattle Symphony.  

Recognized as a prominent innovator of the contemporary music world, Julia Tai is the conductor and Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra, which champions the music of today, commissioning and premiering new works from an international lineup of composers. The orchestra “operates at that exciting cusp between old and new, between tradition and innovation,” (Vanguard Seattle) and is where “the future is more likely to be found” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Tai has worked with legendary composers, performers, and ensembles such as Jonathan Harvey, Tristan Murail, Robert Aitken, Séverine Ballon, Claire Chase, Stephen Drury, Graeme Jennings, Garth Knox, Carol Robinson, Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble and Ensemble Modern. Under her direction, Seattle Modern Orchestra is a grant recipient of NewMusicUSA, The Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Washington State Arts Commission, 4Culture, and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Julia Tai began her violin studies at age four and piano at eight. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she was awarded “Outstanding Graduate.” She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Washington. She studied conducting with Peter Erös and Jorge Mester, and has participated in masterclasses with Marin Alsop, JoAnn Falletta, Neeme Järvi, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, Otto-Werner Müller, Jorma Panula, and Larry Rachleff.

Jeffrey Bowen, Composition (Photo: Steve Korn).

Jeffrey Bowen is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, whose works have been performed by Pascal Gallois, Maja Cerar, Beta Collide, Ensemble DissonArt, and the Luminosity Orchestra, among other ensembles. He was awarded First Prize in the 30th International Composition Competition “Città di Barletta,” and has presented work at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Darmstadt Courses for New Music, the International Computer Music Conference, and as a resident artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His work What Will Sound (was already sound), for violin and electronics, was released by Parma Records in 2020, and recent work has been supported by the Jack Straw Foundation and the 4Culture and Artist Trust organizations.

He is currently based in Seattle, where he teaches music theory, composition, and guitar at Seattle University and is co-director of the Inverted Space Ensemble. He holds a BA in composition and guitar performance from Stanford University, and completed a DMA in composition at the University of Washington under Joël-François Durand.

Graduate student composer Joe Krycia

Joe Krycia (He/Him, b.1993) is currently a DMA student in composition at UW Seattle. He holds a M.M from the Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. from Michigan State University. He has also studied at summer programs including Darmstadt and New Music On the Point. His music has been performed by ensembles such as The President's Own United States Marine Band, Sputterbox, and ~Nois Saxophone Quartet. 

Graduate student composer Yonatan Ron

Yonatan Ron began his musical journey as a non-classically trained guitarist. He later studied music theory and classical guitar independently under composer and guitarist Ruben Seroussi, head of the composition department and Guitar performance department at Tel-Aviv University.

During the 2015 and 2016 concert seasons, Yonatan composed for Meitar Ensemble’s 'Tedarim Program' — and occasionally participated in the ‘CEME’ festival held by Meitar Ensemble, with master classes given by G.F Haas, Ivan Fedele, and Philippe Leroux, among others.

Ron obtained his B.A. in 2021 from The Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague, NL, where he studied with Cornelis De Bondt, Peter Adriaansz & Diderik Wagenaar. He is currently pursuing his M.M at the University of Washington under the guidance of Prof. Huck Hodge, Yigit Kolat & Jeff Bowen.

Ron’s music involves seemingly ordinary materials that follow gradational transformations, often until a point of unrecognizability. He often employs techniques associated with early music and is inspired by a range of interests from acoustics & mathematics, through visual arts, to cognition & psychology.

Melissa Wang

Melissa Wang is a composer, educator, and percussionist. She studied at the University of Washington (UW), studying Percussion Performance with the interest in theatrical percussion, as well as Composition with the interest in incorporating unconventional choreographies in existing genres such as choreography in the Wind Band repertoire. She received the Bachelor of Music with emphases in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Education at Northern Illinois University (NIU), under the direction of Dr. Gregory Beyer and Mr. Ben Wahlund. She received the Associate in Fine Arts in Music at College of DuPage (COD) under the direction of Mr. Ben Wahlund, Dr. Tom Tallman, Mr. Lee Kesselman, and Dr. Kenneth Paoli.

Her accomplishments include receiving the Research, Engagement and Academic Diversity Grant for her performance web series, “Percussion Works by Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+", receiving the 2022 Maude Nicholson Dean's Award for outstanding artistry, contributions, and academic achievement in Northern Illinois University School of Music, and receiving first place in the 2019 Jack Stone Award for New Music with her winning piece "Downright Up and Left" performed by Line Upon Line Percussion Ensemble. Her works have been performed by Seattle Modern Orchestra, University of Washington Symphonic Band, and the University of Washington Modern Music Ensemble. Additionally, she performed percussion with Inverted Space in the 2023 Journey to the Black Lodge Tour, the 2017 Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps, and The Esoterics in Seattle for their 2024 Splendor & Solace concerts and recordings.