Luna Composition Lab is a mentorship program founded by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid with Kaufman Music Center that inspires young women to compose.
Caroline Bragg (age 15) studies composition with Alla Cohen, and she is honored to be a 2017-18 Luna Composition Lab Fellow. She is the 2017 first place winner of the High School Division of the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers and the 2016 first place winner of the Junior Division. She has twice been named an Emerging Composer from Tribeca New Music, and is a two-time finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition. She also plays cello with the Boston Youth Symphony. Caroline Bragg is The Patrina Foundation Fellow.
Maya Miro Johnson
Maya Miro Johnson (age 16) is an aspiring conductor-composer from Salt Lake City. Her first artistic
infatuation was dance; however, injuries at 14 allowed her time to explore a deeper love: music. She was
an Apprentice Conductor in NYO-USA 2017, where teachers included Marin Alsop and James Ross. She
is deeply appreciative of composition mentor Devin Maxwell and opportunities provided by Utah Young
Composers Project. She studies with Conner Covington (conducting), Yuki MacQueen (violin), and
rotates as concertmaster of Utah Youth Orchestra. She is also an award-winning poet. Interests are the
communicative dichotomies of semantics/phonetics, silence/sound, and extended techniques/timbre.
Inspirations include Boulanger, Crumb, Furrer, Messiaen, Oliveros, Pintscher, Sciarrino. Maya Johnson is the recipient of the Griselda Villanueva Fellowship.
A 14-year-old freshman at Hunter College High School, Helen Lyons had her first composition performed by an ensemble at her elementary school when she was nine years old, and was a Finalist for the ASCAP awards for another composition she wrote that year, Waves. Since then, Helen has composed multiple orchestral and jazz pieces, including Summertime Laughter, performed at Hunter’s 2016 Junior Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert; Midnight Traveler, a piano trio performed at the 2016 Arts Day concert; and Sea Storm, performed at the 2017 Junior Orchestra Spring Concert. Helen studies composition with Kyle Blaha, plays violin in her school orchestra and played piano in the jazz band.
Katie Palka (age 16) is a composer, violinist, violist, and writer. Katie has participated in Portland, OR-based fEARnoMUSIC’s Young Composers Project for three years. In 2016, she was selected for the Eugene Symphony’s Ode to the Future project, where she worked with four other young composers to write a piece the Eugene Symphony premiered. Last summer, Katie participated in a masterclass with David Lang. She attended Kinhaven Music School’s summer program, where she conducted one of her pieces at the composers concert. This year, Katie was commissioned by the Metropolitan Youth Symphony to write a piece which will be premiered in March.
Born in 2001 in the United States, Aliya Salmanov (age 16) is a young pianist and composer living in Houston, Texas. She began taking music lessons at the age of 8 but started pursuing music professionally in 2013, after enrolling in an arts high school in Baku, Azerbaijan. As a pianist, Aliya has participated in many music festivals and has won several awards and certificates. Recently, she became interested in composition and decided to have a career as a composer. Aliya especially loves the theater and dreams of writing contemporary theater music in the near future.
2017-18 Luna Composition Lab Honorable Mentions
Olivia Fiore, Abby Harris, Apsara Kasiraman, Sarah Sotomayor & Danielle Wu
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Luna Composition Lab's Supporters
Tuition covers a small part of the total cost per fellow to run Luna Lab, and remaining costs are covered by our generous funders: The BMI Foundation, The Cheswatyr Foundation, The Patrina Foundation, New York Community Trust, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the Witherspoon Fund.
Maya Johnson is the recipient of the Griselda Villanueva Fellowship.
Caroline Bragg is The Patrina Foundation Fellow.