“One of the brightest stars in her generation of composers” (Audiophile Audition), Kati Agócs has served on New England Conservatory’s composition faculty since 2008. Her diverse and growing body of work is hailed for merging sensuous allure with lapidary rigor and delivers a searing emotional impact. The Boston Globe has praised its elegance, citing “music of fluidity and austere beauty” with “a visceral intensity of expression” and encouraging audience members to “go, listen, and be changed.” The New York Times has characterized her chamber music as “striking” and her vocal music as possessing “an almost nineteenth-century naturalness.” A recent Guggenheim Fellow, she is also a winner of the prestigious Arts and Letters Award, the lifetime achievement award in music composition from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her album The Debrecen Passion on the BMOP/sound label was named one of the Top Ten Classical Recordings of 2016 by The Boston Globe. The title track was nominated for Classical Composition of the Year in the 2017 Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
Music by Kati Agócs has been commissioned and performed by many premier ensembles and organizations, including the Toronto Symphony, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University, American Composers Orchestra, the Claremont Trio, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Lontano, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra for the Iowa Piano Competition, James Sommerville for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, and numerous others. Awards and honours include the Charles Ives Fellowship and Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the Massachusetts Arts Council and New York Foundation for the Arts, the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Liszt Academy in Budapest, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center, and awards from the Aaron Copland Fund, the Boston Foundation, and the Presser Foundation. She has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chelsea Music Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Born in Canada of Hungarian and American parents, Kati Agócs earned doctoral and master's degrees from the Juilliard School, studying with 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 (United World Colleges). Her works are published by Kati Agócs Music.
M.M., 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 by Kate Lemmon Photography