Concerts and residencies bring artists of the
highest caliber to The Walden School

Through the performance of diverse music, guest artists play an active role in helping stimulate students’ creativity. Guest performers have included members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Quince Ensemble, Warp Trio, Horszowski Trio, Hub New Music, Wet Ink Ensemble, PRISM Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses, Dave Eggar, Peter Evans, Amadi Azikiwe, Aakash Mittal, Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch, Eric Huebner, Tamsin Waley-Cohen, and Splinter Reeds.

Visiting artists are musicians and musical creators who come to Walden to perform concerts, give students feedback on their work, teach workshops, premiere student works, and participate in community events. They hail from some of the most renowned performing ensembles in the world. You can find a more complete list of Walden’s recent visiting artists here). 

Each year during festival week, we invite a distinguished composer-in-residence to work with 5-week students. Walden also has its own in-house ensemble for festival week called The Walden School Players, a chamber ensemble of professional musicians who rehearse and perform students’ compositions on the Festival Week Composers Forums. 

Visiting Artists at Walden’s 2023 Young Musicians Program

Stay tuned for more visiting artist announcements for this year’s program.

Nicole Mitchell, YMP 2023 Composer-in-Residence

Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2022). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s. She started with Maia and Shanta Nurullah in Samana (the AACM’s first all-woman ensemble) and as a member of the David Boykin EXPANSE. Her music celebrates contemporary African American culture. She is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Sonic Projections and Ice Crystal, and she composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size, while incorporating improvisation and a wide aesthetic expression. The former first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Mitchell celebrates endless possibility by “creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar with the unknown.”

TAK Ensemble, YMP 2023 Faculty Commissioning Ensemble

Regarded as “one of the most prominent ensembles in the United States practicing truly experimental music” (I Care If You Listen), TAK Ensemble delivers energetic performances “that combine crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex” (The WIRE), and “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity” (New Sounds, WQXR).  

Founded on the principles of curiosity, change, and caring communication, TAK is dedicated to the commissioning of new works and direct collaboration with composers and other artists and they have premiered hundreds of works to date. TAK is Laura Cocks, flute; Madison Greenstone, clarinet; Charlotte Mundy, voice; Marina Kifferstein, violin; Ellery Trafford, percussion.

International Contemporary Ensemble

Described as “America’s foremost new-music group” (The New Yorker), International Contemporary Ensemble has become a leading force in new music throughout the last 20 years, having premiered over 1,000 works and having been a vehicle for the workshop and performance of thousands of works by student composers across the U.S. The Ensemble’s composer-collaborators—many who were unknown at the time of their first Ensemble collaboration—have fundamentally shaped its creative ethos and have continued to highly visible and influential careers, including MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey; long-time Ensemble collaborator, founding member, and 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun; and the Ensemble’s founder, 2012 MacArthur Fellow, and first-ever flutist to win Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Prize, Claire Chase.

Members of the International Contemporary Ensemble at YMP 2023 include Laura Cocks (flutes), Dan Lippel (guitars), Fay Victor (voice), Clara Warnaar (percussion), and Josh Modney (violin).

“I’ve been absolutely blown away by all of your works, your individual voices that I’ve heard. To me you’re like a firmament of stars, which has no limit to its potential—each one unique and brilliant. I feel the world really needs you and your passion for new music, and it gives me hope that you’re going to be going out there sharing that passion.”

Kati Agócs, Composer-in-Residence, Young Musicians Program 2019


More Visiting Artists

Apply for Summer 2023!

Applications are still being accepted for Summer 2023.