Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, the “ingenious” and “knockout” (Times Union) music of Viet Cuong (b. 1990) has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Sandbox Percussion, the PRISM Quartet, JACK Quartet, Gregory Oakes, Albany Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, among others. Viet’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Aspen Music Festival, New Music Gathering, Boston GuitarFest, International Double Reed Society Conference, US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, and on American Public Radio’s Performance Today. He also enjoys composing for the wind ensemble medium, and his works for winds have amassed over one hundred performances by conservatory and university ensembles worldwide, including at Midwest, WASBE, and CBDNA conferences.
Viet holds the Curtis Institute of Music’s Daniel W. Dietrich II Composition Fellowship as an Artist Diploma student of David Ludwig and Jennifer Higdon. Viet received his MFA from Princeton University as a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Fellow, and he is currently finishing his PhD there. At Princeton he studied with Steve Mackey, Donnacha Dennehy, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, Paul Lansky, and Louis Andriessen. Viet holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts and Oscar Bettison. While at Peabody, he received the Peabody Alumni Award (the Valedictorian honor) and the Gustav Klemm Award for excellence in composition. Viet has been a fellow at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Cabrillo Festival’s Young Composer Workshop, Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composers workshop, and was also a scholarship student at the Aspen, Bowdoin, and Lake Champlain music festivals. Additionally, he has received artist residencies from Yaddo, Copland House, Ucross Foundation, and Atlantic Center for the Arts (under Melinda Wagner, 2012 and Christopher Theofanidis, 2014).
Viet is a recipient of the Barlow Endowment Commission, Copland House Residency Award, ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Call for Scores, Cortona Prize, New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition, Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composers Competition, Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association Grant, National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project, the Prix d’Été Composition Competition, and the Trio La Milpa Composition Competition. In addition, he received honorable mentions in the 2013 Harvey Gaul Composition Competition and the 2010 and 2012 ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prizes. Scholarships include the Evergreen House Foundation scholarship at Peabody, a 2010 Susan and Ford Schumann Merit Scholarship from the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the 2011 Bachrach Memorial Gift from the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Viet was born in West Hills, CA in 1990 and raised in Marietta, GA, where he attended Lassiter High School and was a member of the LHS band. He now lives in Philadelphia. Viet is a member of BMI, the American Composers Forum, and the Blue Dot Collective, a group of composers who focus on writing adventurous new music for wind band.
Viet pronounces his name as “Vee-EHT Kwawng,” though “VEE-it” is also fine. Viet is his first name and Cuong is his family name. His brother’s name is Nam.