Art-pop* composer Gemma Peacocke grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand. She began playing the violin as a six-year-old and, like many children, preferred improvising to practising. So far she has lived in a total of six different countries, and she has been living in the United States since 2014.
Gemma’s favourite projects are her collaborations with choreographers, theatre practitioners, writers, and artists. Her first album, Waves & Lines, which sets poems by Afghan women, was released on New Amsterdam in March 2019. Waves & Lines has been performed at Roulette Intermedium and National Sawdust in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre.
Gemma is a founding member of the Kinds of Kings composer collective. Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” the collective focuses on amplifying and advocating for underheard voices and producing immersive and wondrous concerts. The collective is an Artist-in-Residence with National Sawdust for the 2019-2020 season.
Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, the Rochester Philharmonic, cellist Nick Photinos, Rubiks Collective, ~Nois, the Furies, and Alarm Will Sound. Upcoming projects include a collaboration with Irish-American pianist Isabelle O’Connell, a new tenor saxophone and electronics piece for the winner of the Elise Hall Saxophone Competition, and a chamber opera with playwright Anchuli Felicia King. A graduate of NYU Steinhardt, the New Zealand School of Music, and Victoria University of Wellington, Gemma is a PhD candidate in composition at Princeton University.
*John Schaeffer on New Sounds