Zosha Di Castri
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 far 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 Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University and a 2021 Guggenheim fellow.
Zosha’s current projects include a new piece for soprano Barbara Hannigan, with libretto by Tash Aw, to premiere with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2022; a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress for percussionist Steve Schick and International Contemporary Ensemble; a commission for the Grossman Ensemble in Chicago; and a new work for Ekmeles vocal ensemble. She recently completed a commission titled Hunger for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with improvised drummer, which is designed to accompany Peter Foldes’ 1973 silent film by the same name. In July 2019, Long Is the Journey, Short Is the Memory for orchestra and chorus opened the first night of the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, featuring the BBC Symphony, the BBC Singers, and conductor Karina Canellakis. Other large-scale projects include a 25-min piece for soprano, recorded narrator and orchestra entitled Dear Life, based on a short-story by Alice Munro, and an evening-length new music theatre 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 San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Esprit Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the BBC, and have been featured by the Tokyo Symphony, Amazonas Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra among others. She has made appearances with the Chicago Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, the New York 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 Quartet. 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.
Other recent projects include a string quartet for the Banff International String Quartet Competition, a piece for Yarn/Wire for two pianists, two percussionists, and electronics that premiered at her Miller Theatre Composer Portrait concert, a solo piano work for Julia Den Boer commissioned by the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust Fund, a piano/violin duo with violinist Jennifer Koh, and a string octet premiered by JACK Quartet and Parker Quartet at the Banff Centre.
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 the 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 completed her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and Composition at McGill University, and has a doctorate from Columbia University in Composition. She was also an inaugural fellow at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris in 2018-19. Zosha was born in St. Albert in Alberta, Canada and currently lives with her family in New York City.