Nate May (b. 1987) is a composer, performer, and educator whose interest in human ecosystems has impelled explorations of a wide variety of sounds and interactions. 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, the result of interviews he conducted with Appalachian migrants on a fellowship from the Berea Sound Archives, and “Licorice Parikrama,” a networked performance featuring a live conference call with West Virginians affected by the 2014 Elk River chemical spill. Nate is an accomplished keyboardist and improviser as well as an electronic musician and producer, collaborating with Paris-based choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu on the world-touring work Spiral and indigenous experimental trio Khoi Khonnexion on their debut album Kalahari Waits, recorded during a year in South Africa on a Reese Miller scholarship from the Telluride Association. Selected as one of three U.S. composers to participate in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2017 National Composers Intensive, Nate has been a fellow at the Sō Percussion Institute, the Next festival, the Norfolk festival, and the highSCORE festival. His chamber, choral, and orchestral music, characterized by textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and repurposed sounds, has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Wild UP, the Yale Philharmonia, Patchwork Duo, Quartetto Indaco, and many others. Currently a doctoral candidate 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 Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Christopher Theofanidis, Geri Allen, Stephen Rush, and Michael Fiday. He serves as a teaching artist with the American Composers Orchestra and on faculty at Montclair State University and at the Walden School, where he was awarded the 2018 Arno and Ruth Drucker Faculty Chair.
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