Del Mar International Composers Symposium
Founder and Director:
Jordan Kuspa’s music has been praised in the New York Times as “animated and melodically opulent” and “consistently alive and inspired.” His works juxtapose a bristling rhythmic drive with expansive textures and sinuously interwoven counterpoint. Explorative and eclectic, Kuspa’s music encompasses intricate motivic developments, carefully-wrought formal structures, and unexpected detours of wit and whimsy.
His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, New World Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Yale Camerata, 21st Century Consort, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Choral Arts Initiative, Ensemble SurPlus, Quartetto Indaco, Quartet Metadata, loadbang, Sandbox Percussion, and Duo Scordatura, in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Oper Lepzig, and he has been a composition fellow at programs including the Aspen Music Festival, Atlantic Center for the Arts, June in Buffalo, and MusicX. In May 2018, Kuspa was one of five internationally selected composer fellows at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong. Kuspa’s music has won honors from ASCAP, the American Composers Orchestra, the Foundation for Modern Music, the Garth Newel Music Center, the Lake George Music Festival, the League of Composers, and the National Association of Composers–USA.
In addition to composing, Kuspa has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a cellist, arts entrepreneur, and music educator. At age 16, Kuspa founded the Houston Young Musicians, a group that sought to broaden interest in classical music among new listeners as well as promote the works of American and other contemporary composers. Jordan was also co-founder and Artistic Director of the Sonus Chamber Music Society, an organization that presented an interactive concert series in the Houston museum district. Educational and community outreach was a central component of each of these programs. He continued his community engagement work in schools across Connecticut, with programs that included musical collaborations with students in writing, drama, and filmmaking. He currently serves as adjunct faculty at MiraCosta College, as a Teaching Artist for the San Diego Youth Symphony, and as director of the Del Mar International Composers Symposium.
Kuspa earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music and also studied at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His mentors include Martin Bresnick, Pierre Jalbert, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, and Christopher Theofanidis. From 2012-2017 he served on the faculty of Richland College in Dallas, where he taught composition, music theory, and cello, and directed the Richland String Orchestra. Kuspa has also served as Composer-in-Residence with the Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, for which he composed a 45-minute ballet score based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.”
To learn more, or to hear samples of Jordan Kuspa's music, please visit jordankuspa.net.