Long: 300 words
Composer Gemma Peacocke grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, and lived in Japan, London, and Vienna before moving to New York in 2014. She writes art-pop music for chamber ensembles, solo performers, and orchestras, and she also writes a lot of music with electronics. She has a particular love of interdisciplinary collaborations and often works with visual artists, writers, dancers, theatre directors, and designers.
Gemma’s first album, Waves & Lines, sets to music poems by Afghan women collected and translated in I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from contemporary Afghanistan by Pulitzer Prize-winner Eliza Griswold. Waves & Lines was released on New Amsterdam in 2019 and has been performed as an evening-length multimedia song cycle at the Kennedy Center, Roulette Intermedium and National Sawdust in New York, and Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre.
Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by Bang on a Can, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Collective, ~Nois, the JACK Quartet, the Furies, Nick Photinos, Nathalie Joachim, and Alarm Will Sound.
Gemma is co-founder 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 under-heard voices and producing immersive and transporting concerts. The collective was an Artist-in-Residence with National Sawdust for the 2019-2020 season and has been commissioned by Eighth Blackbird and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to write a concerto to be premiered in 2021-22.
A joint Ph.D. candidate in Music and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University, Gemma previously studied with Julia Wolfe at NYU Steinhardt and at the New Zealand School of Music. She usually lives in Brooklyn with her husband George and their highly-strung adopted standard poodle, Mila. She also spends as much time as possible in New Zealand.
Short: 100 words
Gemma Peacocke is a New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based composer. She has a particular interest in cross-art form and multimedia projects. Her first album, Waves & Lines, which sets poems by Afghan women, was released on New Amsterdam in March 2019. Gemma is co-founder of the Kinds of Kings composer collective which is focussed on amplifying and advocating for under-heard voices and producing immersive and wondrous concerts. Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by the Rochester Philharmonic, PUBLIQuartet, cellist Nick Photinos, Third Coast Percussion, Rubiks Collective, ~Nois saxophone quartet, the Furies, and Alarm Will Sound.