Introducing | Shelley Pinz Grant Recipients

Introducing | Shelley Pinz Grant Recipients

NYFA is delighted to congratulate the recipients of the 2017 Shelley Pinz Professional Development Grants!

The Shelley Pinz Professional Development Grants are awarded to NYFA-affiliated sound and music composers who have received a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, were project directors of a fiscally sponsored project or organization, and/or participated in the Immigrant Artist Program. With diverse backgrounds in experimental music, film scores, and installations, the following group of composers received grants to take advantage of unique opportunities to continue to evolve their creative practices.


John Morton (Sponsored Project, Fellow in Music Composition, 02, ‘06)

As a composer, installation, and sound artist, John Morton has been creating large-scale, site-specific installations for the past ten years. Encouraging public participation, his permanent installation in downtown Yonkers, Sound Bridge, invites visitors to interact and manipulate sound constructed with field recordings, and is commissioned by the Hudson River Museum. 

With the Shelley Pinz Grant, John Morton will take on studies with creative programmer and electronic musician, Mike Sperone. Sperone has previously worked with Morton on Sound Bridge and will be teaching the grantee how to utilize Pure Data in future projects and his newest sound twelve-channel installation, Fever Songs. Fever Songs is currently a NYFA fiscally sponsored project and will be exhibited at ODETTA Gallery in Brooklyn in 2018.


Mihoko Suzuki (Fellow in Music/Sound ’13)

Mihoko Suzuki is a multi-disciplinary composer, conceiving of works for the opera, ballet, film, and sound-art installations. Mihoko’s dramatic works investigate the complex and often contradictory relationship between humans and the natural world. In 2011, Mihoko created a musical setting of Alice Walker’s poem We Have  Beautiful Mother for the the memorial ceremony of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

The setting,  And the Hummingbird Says…, is an interlinked song-cycle based on the words and life of Maathai and five classical Buddhist Japanese elements. The Shelley Pinz Grant will help to produce and master an audio CD recording for both publicity and distribution. And the Hummingbird Says… is planned to be performed across the world, including places like New York, London, and Kenya.


Qasim Naqvi (Fellow in Music/Sound ’16)

Qasim Naqvi is a drummer; composer for film, dance, theater, and chamber ensembles; and a member of the group Dawn of Midi. His soundtracks and arrangements have appeared on HBO, NBC, PBS, The Tribeca Film Festival, and The New York Times. He has received fellowships and awards from Chamber Music America, Harvest Works, and Art OMI.

Qasim is currently underway with a new recording project called Soundtracks (working title). Soundtracks is comprised of two analog electronic scores created for Naeem Moumeen’s films, Tripoli Cancelled and Two Meetings and a Funeral, which were exhibited at dOCUMENTA 14 in Athens and Kassel. The Shelley Pinz grant will help cover finishing expenses, including the album’s final mixing.


Sarah Hennies (Fellow in Music/Sound ’13)

A composer and percussionist based in Ithaca, NY, Sarah Hennies’s often grueling, endurance-based work is a subversive examination of psychoacoustics, queer identity, and expressionistic absurdity. Her work has been presented in many contexts, including Café Oto in London, cave12 in Geneva, and Festival Cable in Nantes.

Sarah’s new major work, Contralto, will be premiered at Issue Project Room in New York City. Contralto, a piece that exists between the spaces of abstract experimental music and documentary, will feature transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises along with performance of various sound-making actions using “non-musical” instruments. The Shelley Pinz Grant will assist in travel fees for musicians who will be carrying the show at Issue Project Room.


Satoshi Kanazawa (Fellow in Music/Sound ’13)

A composer of classical and contemporary music, Satoshi Kanazawa creates compositions that encompasses styles from tonal music to atonalism. He won the Grand Prize in The 2nd Lin Yao Ji International Competition in 2014 and the Hirosaki Sakurano Sono Composition Competition in 2015.

For Wind of Tsugaru at Carnegie Hall in 2018-2019, Satoshi will be composing original music featuring traditional Japanese instruments such as the Tsagaru-bue and Tsugaru shamisen. As this project will require research to understand the instruments’ unique notation system, the Shelley Pinz Grant will help fund his travel costs to Japan to learn more about them from bamboo flute master, Mr. Bunta Sato.

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program awards $7,000 grants to individual artists living and working in New York State. Click here to learn more about previous and current NYFA fellows and future award cycles.

NYFA’s Fiscal Sponsorship program enhances the fundraising capabilities of individual artists and emerging arts organizations. Its next quarterly no-fee application deadline is September 30. Click here to learn more about the program, currently fiscally sponsored projects, and to apply.

The Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists from all disciplines with artist mentors who guide them to achieve specific goals and provide a broader access to the New York cultural world through an exchange of ideas, resources, and experiences. Click here to learn more about the program.

Images from top to bottom: Josephine Halvorson (Fellow in Painting ’10), Organ, 2009, oil on linen; John Morton, Photo Credit: unknown; Mihoko Suzuki, Photo Credit: Mick Cantarella; Qasim Naqvi, Photo Credit: Emily Keegin; Sarah Hennies, Photo Credit: Mara Baldwin; Satoshi Kanazawa, Photo Credit: unknown. 

Amy Aronoff
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