Nate May (b. 1987) is an American composer whose music draws on research and imagination, often treating contemporary issues of place, migration, environment, and identity with textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and a taste for repurposed sounds.
Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a “fascination, love, and respect for the people” of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State—premiered by singer Kate Wakefield (Lung) and MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir—and his monodrama, Dust in the Bottomland—set in present-day West Virginia and sung by lyric bass Andrew Munn, which has been performed twelve times in seven states and broadcast on radio and television. He has been a fellow at the highSCORE festival (Pavia, Italy) and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (Princeton, New Jersey), and was selected as one of three U.S. composers to participate in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2017 National Composers Intensive. He has received commissions from the Walden School, Brianna Matzke, Thea Rossen, and Neutrals Duo, and his work has been performed by Eric Wubbels, Adam Sliwinski, Nathan Nabb, Patchwork Duo, Hajnal Pivnick, Quartetto Indaco, and many others. Large-scale collaborations include the world-touring work Spiral by choreographer/dancer Wanjiru Kamuyu, and Kalahari Waits, the debut album of indigenous experimental trio Khoi Khonnexion, produced during a year in South Africa on a Reese Miller scholarship from the Telluride Association. Currently pursuing a D.M.A. in composition at Yale, he holds degrees from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (M.M., Composition) and the University of Michigan (B.F.A., Jazz and Contemplative Studies), and has studied with Christopher Theofanidis, Geri Allen, Ellen Rowe, Stephen Rush, Miguel Roig-Francolí, and Michael Fiday. His work has received support from ArtsWave, People’s Liberty, and the Berea College Appalachian Sound Fellowship. He currently serves as a Teaching Fellow at Yale, and has taught at the Walden School and Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.
For score purchase, booking, or other questions, contact Nate at email@example.com.