Eugene Birman (b. 1987 - Daugavpils, Latvia,) first prize winner of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Lavagnino 2007” and recipient of the 2013 Young Composers Award from Tenso - the European network for professional chamber choirs, has written for a variety of genres, ensembles, and performers, with performances across the United States, Europe, and Asia. His music has been commissioned and performed by outstanding ensembles and orchestras such as the BBC Singers, Latvian Radio Choir, Eric Ericsons Kammarkör, Juilliard Symphony, Sinfonietta Riga, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble U:, Resonabilis, Quartetto Prometeo, and the Cavaleri Quartet, members of the Deutsches Oper, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the Milan Conservatory, as well as by soloists Maurizio Ben Omar, Iris Oja, Axel Strauss, and numerous others. He has been featured as a guest on television, print media, and radio channels all around the world, appearing on Deutsche Welle, Latvian National Television, CBC/Radio-Canada, Sveriges Radio, CNN, BBC Nightwaves, NPR’s All Things Considered with Robert Siegel, Radio France, Bloomberg TV, Radio Classica’s A tu per tu con i compositori d’oggi, ABC’s Good Morning America, and ERR Klassikaraadio; a broadcast of Mi vedi (written for the Chigiana Festival 2012 in collaboration with stage director Antoine Gindt of T&M Paris and librettist Giovanna Scardoni) appeared along with a taped interview on Sky Classica in Autumn 2012. The same period also marked the release of Resonabilis’ 10th anniversary CD [North Wind, South Wind], featuring Defixio2, distributed by Naxos and Abeille Musique.


Characterized as “animalistic”, “hypnotic,” and “edge of the seat,” Eugene Birman’s musical language is a sonic extension of the ubiquity of the environment, where silence is paramount both as a moderating force and a source of tension. Within the scope of his instrumental and choral works, there is inevitably the yearning for resolution and understanding which, while sometimes achieved, is rarely attained lightly. Inspired by such disparate elements as Korean folk song and watercolor painting, and the musical language of his native Baltic region, his music displays a sinuous integration of potential energy and color, framed in cold, naturalistic landscapes. These approaches are most prevalent in works like La rosa rosa, scored for 25 voices and premiered by the Latvian Radio Choir in August 2012, Nostra Culpa, written for the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Iris Oja for Estonian Music Days 2013, and Tomorrow, At Dawn, for symphony orchestra, which received its premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2009. His interest in broadening the profile of contemporary music has also led him to pursue a highly publicized concert tour in Turkey, where a mixed Turkish-Western ensemble performed newly commissioned works across the country amidst meetings with Turkish political and cultural figures and appearances on major TV and newspaper outlets.


A former student of John Adams, Samuel Adler, Luis Bacalov, David Conte, Azio Corghi, and Christopher Rouse, Eugene Birman graduated with an M.M. degree from the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the A. Ellstein Memorial Scholarship, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship, and the Gretchaninoff Prize. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University, as well as a Diploma di Merito from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He was Composer-in-Residence February-March 2009 and also in April 2013 at the ISCM Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden. Eugene Birman is a recipient of awards from Banco Santander, NFAA, ASCAP, SCI-ASCAP, Collage New Music, the University of Louisville, the University of Oxford, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, the Juilliard School, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, among others.


He has been awarded a 2010-11 Fulbright Research Full Grant for Music Composition studies with Toivo Tulev at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia, and is currently pursuing a D.Phil in Music at University of Oxford, Christ Church, where his research advisor is Martyn Harry.


Above all, he considers meeting Anna-Maria Kalmus the greatest achievement of his life.