A 26-year-old composer whose music “leaves you breathless” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Viet Cuong has had works performed on six continents in diverse venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music at the Bowdoin Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, US Navy Band International Sax Symposium, International Double Reed Society Conference, Boston GuitarFest, Midwest Clinic, and WASBE and CBDNA conferences. Viet’s music has been performed or commissioned by a number of ensembles and musicians, including the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Sō Percussion, JACK String Quartet, Albany Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Gallicantus, Music From Copland House, American Modern Ensemble, pianist Lisa Moore, clarinetists Anthony McGill and Gleb Kanasevich, flutist Mimi Stillman, and guitarists Krystin O’Mara and Xavier Jarra, among others. Viet also enjoys composing for the wind ensemble medium, and his works for winds, Sound and Smoke and Moth, have together amassed over one hundred performances by conservatory and university ensembles throughout the world. Upcoming projects include pieces for the Albany Symphony and Cortona Collective.
Viet is currently finishing his PhD as a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Fellow at Princeton University, where he also received his MFA. At Princeton he has studied with Steve Mackey, Donnacha Dennehy, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, Paul Lansky, and Louis Andriessen. This fall, he will enter the Curtis Institute of Music’s Artist Diploma program. Viet also 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), as well as the Gustav Klemm Award for excellence in composition. He was a scholarship student at the Aspen, Bowdoin, and Lake Champlain music festivals, and has also been a fellow at the Cabrillo Festival’s Young Composer Workshop, Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composers workshop, and the RED NOTE composition workshop with Steven Stucky. He will be a fellow at eighth blackbird’s inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab this summer. Additionally, Viet is among the youngest group of composers ever to receive artist residencies from the Yaddo Artist Retreat, Copland House Residency Award, Ucross Foundation, and Atlantic Center for the Arts (under Melinda Wagner and Christopher Theofanidis).
Viet was a winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, Cortona Prize, Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composers Competition, Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition, Walter Beeler Memorial Prize from Ithaca College, 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.