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March 31, 2013
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Millennium Stage
Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. His compositions have won many prestigious awards including a 2010 Horatio Parker Award at the Yale School of Music, a 2009 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and a 2008 Brian M. Israel Prize.
Mr. Akiho’s works have been featured on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” and by organizations such as Meet the Composer, Bang on a Can, American Composers Forum, and The Syracuse Society for New Music. His current commissions include a string quartet for ETHEL, a percussion piece for the Volta Trio, and a duet for marimba and flute. In the last year, he has composed for the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Red Line Saxophone Quartet, The Playground Ensemble, and the 2010 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Akiho’s compositions have been heard in a variety of venues such as John Zorn’s The Stone, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall (NYC), MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, Mass MOCA, The Players Theater (NYC), The Tank (NYC), and the St. James Theater (Port of Spain, Trinidad). A graduate of the University of South Carolina and the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Akiho is currently a master’s student in composition at the Yale School of Music.
As a percussionist Mr. Akiho has performed with numerous professional ensembles, and his immersion in various genres has given him a unique approach to his primary instrument, the steel pan. Recent engagements include the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Ethos Percussion Group (NYC), Djoliba Don West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Gamelan Lila Muni (Eastman School of Music), Island Close By Steel Band, and many chamber ensembles throughout New York City. After completing his bachelor’s degree in percussion, he made four extensive performance visits to Trinidad, where he participated in the world’s premier steel pan event, Panorama, with the PCS Starlift Steel Orchestra and the Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Orchestra. He has also won Second Prize in the 2002 World Steelband Music Festival solo competition, where he premiered his own composition, Macqueripe. Since 2003, he has performed and taught steel pan extensively in NYC. As an educator, he has served as a lead teaching artist for ArtsConnection, New York’s most comprehensive arts, education non-profit organization.
Mr. Akiho plans to continue his career as a performer while placing an emphasis on his chamber and orchestral compositions.