Subito Music Names Brian Ciach as Subito Composer Fellow

Photo: (c) Paulo Vairo

Subito Music Names Brian Ciach as Subito Composer Fellow

“Following the recent success of our new partnership with the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, Subito Music Corporation is pleased to announce that Brian Ciach has been named our inaugural Subito Composer Fellow.”

"Brian Ciach (left) chats with host Fred Child (right) during the Minnesota Public Radio's January 6th live broadcast of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Future Classics concert." Photo: Greg Helgeson, courtesy: Minnesota Orchestra

“The Composer Institute,” notes Stephen Culbertson (Subito Music founder and CEO), “is a celebrated training program for young symphonic composers; and this year, it presented Brian’s work Collective Uncommon. Brian possesses a unique way of connecting with listeners through his use of orchestration and intense sonorities to create a visceral, musical montage. We created the Subito Composer Fellowship as a mentoring program so that composers could gain an in-depth understanding of the classical music publishing world. This isn’t generally part of the composition studies curriculum, and we look forward to working with Brian as he gains the insights and tools that relate the business of music to the art of creating music.” The Fellowship will provide professional promotional efforts for Ciach’s work, along with the opportunity for him to cultivate a practical knowledge of today’s publishing industry with on-site, hands-on training.

Collective Uncommon: Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities was inspired by Ciach’s visit to Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, a medical oddities branch of The College of Physicians which was founded in 1787. “The Mütter Museum,” Ciach explains, “contains a host of specimens of various odd afflictions…[and it’s] goal is to inspire research into the successful treatments and cures of various unusual disorders. I was fascinated by the collection and thought ‘What kind of piece would these relics inspire?’ I contacted museum personnel, who supported the project, but reminded me that the artifacts, as unusual and as macabre as they may seem, were once part of a living human being…[and] ‘there is a terrifying beauty in the spirits of those forced to endure these afflictions’. So I then set out to create a sensitive, chiaroscuro-balance between light and dark, macabre and humanitarian.” Written for Ciach’s doctoral dissertation at Indiana University, Collective Uncommon explores seven medical oddities using specific compositional genres. After its premiere, Bloomington Herald Times critic Peter Jacobi wrote, “Just listening brought moments of sheer excitement from how imaginatively the composer used his skills in orchestration to suggest chaos and furor, mystery and alarm, sympathy and wonder.”

“I am very excited and honored to have been selected for the first Subito Composer Fellowship! I am especially honored that Collective Uncommon has been selected out of the pool of works at the Institute–all equally worthy of this remarkable fellowship. The initiative of this program reflects Subito Music’s innovation and furthers the valuable mission of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. I look forward to learning and exploring much through this opportunity.” — Brian Ciach


A native of Philadelphia, Ciach (pronounced SIGH-ack) is an internationally performed composer. He also actively performs as a new music pianist and has recorded all of his piano works. In addition to his studies at Indiana University, he also attended Temple University and the Freie Universität Berlin. Ciach has taught at Indiana, Temple, and West Chester (PA) Universities, and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Ball State University. He served on the piano faculty at Delaware County Community College, the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and at the Darlington Arts Center. Upcoming Ciach premieres include two commissioned works: Blank Slate for the Square Peg Round Hole percussion quartet, and The Einstein Slide (an appendix to Collective Uncommon) written for the contemporary group Alarm Will Sound who will premiere the work during the composer’s residency at the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

“Brian Ciach’s Collective Uncommon was one of the hits of this year’s Future Classics concert with the Minnesota Orchestra. I hear it as a 21st-century take on Sweeney Todd’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Brian’s music is quirky, wry and possessed with both good humor and a gleeful objectivity about the absurd. His work is beautifully scored, always clear and full of arresting sounds and images, held together by intuitive dramatic plans that draw the listener in.”   — Aaron Jay Kernis, Minnesota   Orchestra Composer Institute Founder and Artistic Director


Find out more about Brian Ciach

Find out more about the Subito Composer Fellowship Program

Find out more about the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute