Annika Socolofsky

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Annika Socolofsky is a composer and avant folk vocalist. Described as “unbearably moving” (Gramophone) and “just the right balance between edgy precision and freewheeling exuberance” (The Guardian), her music erupts from the embodied power of the human voice and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral and operatic works to unaccompanied folk ballads. Annika writes extensively for her own voice with chamber ensemble, including composing a growing repertoire of “feminist rager-lullabies” titled Don’t say a word, which serves to confront centuries of damaging lessons taught to young children by retelling old lullaby texts for a new, queer era. Annika has taken Don’t say a word on the road, performing with a number of ensembles including Eighth Blackbird, Albany Symphony Dogs of Desire, Knoxville Symphony, Latitude 49, Mizzou New Music Ensemble, Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, Contemporaneous, and Girlnoise.

As a composer, Annika has collaborated with artists such as the Rochester Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, So Percussion, Möbius Percussion, Contemporaneous, Latitude 49, Music from Copland House, marimbist Ji-Hye Jung, Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Arlen Hlusko, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, bitKlavier, and The New Works Project. Upcoming projects include a Dolly Parton-meets-queer Love Actually subversive Country mini-opera for Quince, a song cycle for voice and ~Nois, a micro-documentary on small business owners with XUAN and Akropolis Reed Quintet, and a hardanger fiddle collaboration for Bergamot Quartet. Her music has been presented at Carnegie Hall, the Bang on a Can Marathon, PROTOTYPE, Cabrillo Festival, Italian Society of Contemporary Music, American Music Festival, Northwestern New Music Institute, New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music, and Listening to Ladies.

Photo by Emory Hensley

Annika has received grants and awards from Harvard University’s Fromm Foundation, Barlow Endowment, The Cortona Prize, ASCAP, and BMI and is a 2020 - 21 Gaudeamus Award Nominee. She has been awarded fellowships to the Blackbird Creative Lab, Banff Centre for the Arts, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, CULTIVATE at Copland House, Brevard Music Center, and the European American Musical Alliance, and has served as Stone Composer Fellow to the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Her research focuses on the music of Dolly Parton to create a pedagogical approach to composition that is inclusive of many vocal timbres, inflections, and techniques, evading the age-old false dichotomy of straight tone vs. bel canto vocal style. She is Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of Pendulum New Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, and has taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Concordia University Ann Arbor. She holds her PhD in composition from Princeton University and studied at the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. Her primary musical mentors have been Reza Vali, Kristin Kuster, Evan Chambers, Dan Trueman, and Juri Seo. Annika plays a Norwegian hardanger d’amore fiddle made by Salve Håkedal.
Annika pronounces her name AN-ih-kuh SO-co-lawv-skee. Her last name is spelled with a C and an F (Socolofsky).

Bio by Annika Socolofsky; photo Nadine Dyskant-Miller

4 min