MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic pallet that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.
Kouyoumdjian has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the American Composer Forum/JFund, REDSHIFT, Experiments in Opera, the Nouveau Classical Project, Friction Quartet, Ensemble Oktoplus, and the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble. She has had artist residencies with Roulette/The Jerome Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, and Exploring the Metropolis. Her music has been described as “eloquently scripted" and "emotionally wracking” by The New York Times and as "the most harrowing moments on stage at any New York Performance" by New York Music Daily. In her work as a composer, orchestrator, and music editor for film, she has collaborated on a diverse array of motion pictures including orchestrating on the soundtracks to The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features) and Demonic (Dimension Films). Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kouyoumdjian also actively promotes the growth of new music in her native state of California.
Currently pursuing her Composition D.M.A. as a Dean's Fellow at Columbia University, Kouyoumdjian studies with composer Georg Friedrich Haas. She holds an M.A. in Scoring for Film & Multimedia from New York University and a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, where she has studied contemporary composition with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung; new music performance with Steven Schick; and modern jazz with Anthony Davis. Kouyoumdjian is also a co-founder and the executive director of the contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant, co-founder of the annual new music conference New Music Gathering, and a Teaching Artist Associate at the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Bridge Program. www.marykouyoumdjian.com
In addition to acting as Executive Director to Hotel Elefant, Mary Kouyoumdjian composes for the ensemble as well. In this rehearsal of Kouyoumdjian‘s This Should Feel Like Home, she discusses her interest in folk music and current events. The debut performance at Carnegie Hall was described by The New York Times as an “eloquently scripted sequence of vignettes evoking Mary Kouyoumdjian's complex feelings about visiting Armenia, her ancestral homeland.”