Nina C. Young

Photo by Yacine Ali-Haïmoud

pentimento (2021)

PRIMAVERA IV the heart

from the composer

Written at MacDowell in 2021, pentimento for cello and electronics was commissioned by The Primavera Project for Matt Haimovitz.  The musical language of this piece employs a mix of binaries – the old and the new, antiquity and modernity, agitation and calm, harshness and sweetness, fast and slow, fracture and hope, etc.  The cello’s sound is sculpted to follow these contours, weaving into and away from the electronics. This straddling between worlds, times, and techniques may feel like peeling away bits of Charline von Heyl’s piece to see fragments of Botticelli’s La Primavera – itself an allegory with multiple layers and readings.


Composer and sonic artist Nina C. Young (b.1984) creates works, ranging from acoustic concert pieces to interactive installations, that explore aural architectures, resonance, timbre, and the ephemeral. Her music has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Aizuri Quartet, Sixtrum, the JACK Quartet, and wild Up. Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize, Nina has received recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri, Fromm, the Montalvo Arts Center, and BMI. Recent commissions include “Tread softly” for the NYPhil’s Project 19, a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and a multimedia performative installation piece for the American Brass Quintet and EMPAC’s wavefield synthesis spatial audio system.  Young holds degrees from MIT, McGill, and Columbia, and is an Assistant Professor of Composition at USC’s Thornton School of Music. She serves as Co-Artistic Director of NY-based new music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé.  Her music is published by Peermusic Classical.