Arts & Entertainment

21st century classical: A playlist of young modern composers

Classical music is far from dead.

The following playlist is made up mostly of composers in their 20s and 30s.

They are transcending the boundaries between classical and popular music, introducing new ideas and styles, composing film scores and creating blends of old and new.

Listen and enjoy this exciting new music.

Nico Mulhy (b. 1981)

Nico Mulhy is one of many young composers writing inspiring and beautiful classical music in the 21st century.

Mulhy is a graduate of Julliard, raised in Providence, R.I. Most recently he composed two works for the Britten Sinfonia.

He has arranged and orchestrated music for several independent musicians and bands including Sam Amidon, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Antony and the Johnsons, Grizzly Bear and Jonsi (of Sigur Ros).

He composed the soundtrack for the Oscar nominated film, The Reader.

He is part of the Bedroom Community collective that includes folk musician Sam Amidon, ambient/experimental composer Ben Frost and Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurŏsson.

Matthew Dewey (b. 1984)

Dewey is Australian and studied at the University of Tasmania. He has over 20 compositions (a large number for a young composer).

He is also a singer and has performed as part of several operatic works including Phillip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox.


Many may get this sort of image when they think of classical music, but the genre is alive and well. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress).

Avner Dorman (b. 1975)

Dorman holds a Doctorate of Music from Julliard. He is a prominent Israeli composer and is notable for his use of folk instruments (mandolin, for example).

His pieces have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic and others.

He has held Israel’s highest recognition for artistic excellence since 2008.

Sarah Horick (b. 1984)

From Charleston, S.C., Horick is only one of two Americans on the list. She is currently working on her doctorate at the Catholic University of America.

She primarily composes acoustic and electroacoustic music—orchestral music, chamber music, choir etc. She founded the New Voices festival at the Catholic University of America to showcase new vocal compositions.

Nick Skiles is arts & entertainment editor for Aviso AVW.

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1 reply »

  1. Nice shout out to Ben Frost! I’m not sure this article is very relevant to the community, though. There are barely any people that listen to classical music on this campus and even fewer that listen to NEW classical music.

    Maybe writing for the audience and not for your own personal pleasure will bring more readership to the A&E section. Not to mention the seemingly endless amounts of name dropping is a turn off for most.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.


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