» Composition Faculty

Headshot for Sean HeimSean Heim received his first serious musical training in secondary school and soon after began studies in music composition with Harold Oliver at Rowan University (BM cum laude). He then worked with Louis W. Ballard at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, studied with Chinary Ung at Arizona State University (MM), and holds a Ph.D. from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he worked with Philip Bracanin. He currently resides in Southern California and is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music Composition/Theory at Chapman University.

The primary focus of Heim’s work as a composer has been to develop an imaginative personal language that strongly reflects the compositional techniques and aesthetic of his own western tradition as well as the distillation and infusion of theoretical principles and musical elements found in numerous cultures. His most recent work seeks to delve even deeper to express the base commonalities that lie beneath the surface emanations of culture. Heim’s music also reflects a deep interest in physics and the natural world, and it is out of these collective curiosities that he has created unique fusions that continually evolve by means of increased conceptual and technical abstraction.

Heim has received numerous awards, honors, and commissions from such prestigious institutions as the Fromm Music Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the American Composers Forum, and the ASCAP Foundation – including the Rudolf Nissim Prize. His music has been performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States by many distinguished performers, ensembles and, concert series including: Vicki Ray, Susan Ung, Joseph Wytko, Da Capo, the California E.A.R. Unit, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Topology, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, the Auros Group for New Music, the Eclipse Quartet, Ensemble Green, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Interpretations, Piano Spheres, Hear Now, the Focus Festival at Juilliard, and the Thailand International Composition Festival. His discography includes releases on Sono Luminus, Ein Klang, and Capstone Records.

Headshot for Jeffrey HolmesJeffrey Holmes' music has been called “Captivating…haunting and slightly disorienting” by the Los Angeles Times, “Drifting…ethereal” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, and “Interesting and musically arresting, music to be really heard and deserving of reflection” by the Society of Composers, INC. His works have been performed at festivals including the Darmstadt Ferienkurs für Neue Musik (Germany), Cap Ferret Music Festival (France), June in Buffalo (New York), the Etchings Festival (Maulin a Nef, Auvillar, France), the La Pietra Forum for Contemporary Music (Villa La Pietra, Florence, Italy), “Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival” (Pittsburgh), “Outside the Box” (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), the Festival en el Conservatorio de los Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), and at MicroFest, the HEAR NOW Festival of New Music, the "What's Next?" festival, and the Laguna Beach Music Festival (Los Angeles), and has been featured in venues including Carnegie Hall (New York), the Historic Dvorak Museum (Prague), and the Chapelle historique de Bon-Pasteur (Montreal). He has received commissions, performances, and awards from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, the Jebediah Foundation New Music Commissions (JFNMC), the Talea Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood, the Firebird Ensemble, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble SoundInitiative (France), the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Piano Spheres, the Lyris Quartet, FretX Duo (Dan Lippel and Mak Grgić), USC Thornton Symphony, Mark Menzies and the “Inauthentica” Chamber Orchestra, California Institute of the Arts "New Century Players", Duo Resonances – France, the Eclipse String Quartet, Brightwork New Music Ensemble, Duo Amantis, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ), the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and others. He holds a doctorate in music composition from the University of Southern California, and has studied with composers Donald Crockett, Georg Friedrich Haas, Stephen Hartke and Dusan Bogdanovic. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Composition at Chapman University, and has been on the faculty at the University of Southern California. His music is published by Edition Svitzer (Copenhagen, Denmark), Doberman-Yppan (Quebec, Canada), and Theodore Front Musical Literature and J.W. Pepper (USA), and has been recorded on both MicroFest Records, and the Sono Luminus label, distributed internationally by Naxos.

Upcoming projects include: a commission from JFNMC for a major work for the Talea Ensemble ("Hagall"), to be premiered in New York in March 2016; a concerto for pianist Aron Kallay and Brightwork New Music Ensemble ("Thrall"), to be premiered in Los Angeles in Fall, 2016; and a new work for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet's 2016-17 season ("Uruz").

Headshot for Vera IvanovaVera Ivanova graduated from the Moscow Conservatory (Honours Diploma), Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (MM with distinction), and the Eastman School of Music (Ph.D. in Composition). Her works have been performed in Russia, Europe and the U.S.A.

After teaching as Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at the Setnor School of Music of Syracuse University (NY), she was appointed as Assistant Professor of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University (Orange, CA), where she currently works at the rank of Associate Professor. Dr. Ivanova is also teaching music theory and composition at the Colburn Music Academy for Young Artists.

Vera Ivanova's compositions have been described as "...humanistic and deeply felt works... " (John Bilotta, Society of Composers, Inc.). In her early Fantasy-Toccata (2003) for violin and piano, "the humor takes on a harder, sardonic edge recalling the composer's roots in the work of Shostakovich and Schnittke" (Ted Ayala, Crescenta Valley Weekly). In her later Three Studies in Uneven Meters for piano (2011), "the greatest power of her brief, angular, crystalline music lies in its power to provoke the gods of symmetry" (Laurence Vittes, Lark Gallery Online Blog).

Dr. Ivanova is a recipient of the Sproull Fellowship at Eastman, the Gwyn Ellis Bequest Scholarship at Guildhall School, Moscow Culture Committee and American Composers Forum Subito grants, Honourable mention at the 28th Bourges Electro-Acoustic Competition, 3rd Prize at the 8th International Mozart Competition, 1st Prize in Category "A" at International Contest of Acousmatic Compositions Métamorphoses 2004 (Belgium), the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, the André Chevillion-Yvonne Bonnaud Composition Prize at the 8th International Piano Competition at Orléans (France), and the Special Award from Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. She is also a winner of the 2013 Athena Festival Chamber Competition and the 2013 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition and was selected for MacDowell colony residency.

Her music is available in print from Universal Edition and Theodore Front Music Literature, Inc., SCI Journal of Music Scores (vol. 45), on CD's from MicroFest Records (Beyond 12 Albun), Ablaze Records (Millennial Masters series, Vol. 2), Quartz Music, Ltd., Navona Records (Nova and Allusions albums), Musiques & Recherches (Métamorphoses 2004), Centaur Records (CRC 3056), and on her website at: www.veraivanova.com.

Headshot for Dominique SchaferA native of Fribourg, Switzerland, Dominique Schafer is a composer whose breadth of musical expression encompasses both the acoustic instrumentations and the electro-acoustic media. Schafer’s music has been performed in the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe by ensembles and performers such as the Arditti String Quartet, Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Ensemble Fa, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Talea Ensemble, Frances Marie Uitti, Alarm will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), E-Mex ensemble (Germany), Modern Art Sextet, Garth Knox, and the California EAR Unit, and at festivals such as Musica Nova Finland, June in Buffalo, Acanthes Festival, and Festival Archipel Geneva. Recent projects include a commissioned work for the Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO), a chamber work for the New York Washington Square Contemporary Music Series, and a new orchestra work for the Cottbus Philharmonia for the 2013/14 season.

In 2012 Schafer was awarded a 12-month Swiss fellowship to reside at the Atelier Jean Tinguely of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. His compositions have received international recognition, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, which include a 2nd place of the Kempten Orchesterverein composition competition in Germany, the Adelbert Sprague Composition Award, the George Arthur Knight Composition Prize, twice regional winner of the ASCAP/SCI commission competition, and grants from the American Music Center. He was also a finalist of the Queen Marie José International Composition Competition, of the 33rd and 36th International Competition in Electroacoustic Music (Trivium) Bourges, France, and of the Fifth Seoul International Competition for Composers.  At Festival Archipel Geneva, his Ashes in the Air II for tenor recorder and electronics, a work composed to be projected into an eight-channel surround space, was premiered.  The saxophone and percussion duo piece Triplex Unity was released by the Yesaroun’ Duo on CD.  Schafer has been a repeat participant at the Acanthes summer festival in France where his chamber orchestra piece Am Rande des Schattens was premiered in 2005. He gave formal presentations about his work at, among others, the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music, Yonsei University (Seoul), the Etchings Festival (France), and at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP).

Schafer’s primary mentors in composition include Paul Reale, Mario Davidovsky, Magnus Lindberg, Julian Anderson, Helmut Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough, and Chaya Czernowin. Schafer holds a PhD degree in Composition from Harvard University, and BA and MA in Composition from University of California, Los Angeles. Other studies include electronic music (with Hans Tutschku), computer-assisted composition (with Joshua Fineberg), jazz performance (with Max Jendly), and film score and conducting (with Jerry Goldsmith). An avid advocate for teaching and communicating knowledge to young students, he was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching at Harvard University two years in a row.