Performed by leading musicians and ensembles across the globe, the music of Kati Agócs merges lapidary rigor with sensuous lyricism. The American Academy of Arts and Letters recently named her a winner of the Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. The Academy cited "music that seems to come directly from nature" and praised its individuality, spirituality, lyricism, drama, color, and boldness.
Recent commissions include Devotion for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players; Crystallography for Standing Wave Ensemble (Vancouver); Saint Elizabeth Bells, premiered by fellow NEC faculty member Paul Katz on NEC's "First Monday at Jordan Hall" series; Northern Lights, premiered at (le) poisson rouge in New York; Shenanigan with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (commissioned by fellow NEC faculty member James Sommerville); and Vessel, presented by Metropolis Ensemble at Symphony Space in New York. Boston Modern Orchestra Project (Gil Rose, conductor) will release a CD of her orchestral works on the BMOP/Sound label during the 2015–2016 season.
Further orchestras and ensembles that have performed and commissioned works by Kati Agócs include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Lontano (London, U.K.), Albany Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Saint Luke’s Chamber Players, Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Saxophone Quartet, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Antares, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, NEC Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and many others. Kati Agócs was Composer-in-Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for its Fiftieth Anniversary Season in 2010.
Further composition awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an inaugural Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation, a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, a New York Foundation for the Arts Composition fellowship, the Presser Foundation Award, and honors from ASCAP in its Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Fellowships and residencies include the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Yale Summer School of Music), The Aspen Music Festival, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Dartington International Music Festival, and the Virginia Arts Festival.
Born in Canada of Hungarian and American background, Kati Agócs has been a member of NEC's composition faculty since 2008. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and master's degrees in composition from The Juilliard School, where her principal teacher was Milton Babbitt. She is also an alumna of the Aspen Music School, Tanglewood Music Festival, Sarah Lawrence College, and Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (one of the United World Colleges), all of which she attended on full scholarship. She maintains a work studio in the village of Flatrock, near St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Master's degree, D.M.A., The Juilliard School. Studies at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Aspen Music School, Tanglewood, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (United World Colleges), and Sarah Lawrence College. Composition with Milton Babbitt. Additional studies with George Tsontakis, Zoltán Jeney, Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison, Joan Tower, Christopher Rouse, and James MacMillan. Voice with Adele Addison and Adrienne Csengery.
photo © Samantha West Photography