Ania Vu named 2022-23 Center for Contemporary Composition Postdoctoral Researcher

Ania Vu headshot

The University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Composition (CCCC) is pleased to announce composer and pianist Ania Vu as the 2022-23 Postdoctoral Researcher at the rank of Instructor in the Division of the Humanities. Vu will develop new works to be performed by the Grossman Ensemble and other guest artists during the upcoming season. She will also teach an undergraduate course, provide composition lessons, and participate in the Center’s workshops and events.  

“Ania Vu’s music is elegant, nuanced, personal, and radiant. The dramatic landscapes she conjures are spellbinding and reveal a kaleidoscopic craft. She is following her personal creative star and her inspiring compositions are evocative and tell stories,” said University Professor Augusta Read Thomas, Director of the CCCC. 

Vu’s music explores the interplay between the sound properties of words and their meanings, musical energy related to form, and varied notions of time. Polish of Vietnamese descent, she also enjoys crafting her own text—often in Polish—that serves as a sonic, formal, and expressive guiding reference in her musical writing process. 

Ania Vu headshot

As the winner of the Boston New Music Initiative's 9th Annual Commissioning Competition (2021) and prize-recipient of the Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra's Call for Scores (2020), Vu has worked with leading new music ensembles and musicians, including the Daedalus and Mivos string quartets, Sō Percussion, the TAK, International Contemporary, and Kamratōn Ensembles, the Iridium Saxophone Quartet, Eunmi Ko, Robert McCormick, Rose Hegele, and Paulina Swierczek. She has received recognition and fellowships from the American Opera Project, Tanglewood, the I-Park Foundation, and ASCAP. Her music has been featured at festivals and conferences, including Tanglewood, the Tage Neuer Musik in Regensburg (Germany), Society of Composers, College Music Society Regional Conferences, International New Music Festival at the University of South Florida, Hot Air Music Festival, Red Note New Music Festival, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Valencia International Performance Academy (Spain), and soundSCAPE (Italy). 

Vu is also an actively performing pianist in the standard and contemporary repertoire, having received several national and international piano competition awards. She has performed extensively in the US and abroad, including at the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Hanoi Opera House. She has premiered and performed her works and those of her colleagues—most recently, she was invited by the Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania to perform an evening-length concert of her compositions. 

Vu is currently a Ph.D. candidate on a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and a Composer Fellow at the American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice. She received her B.M. in composition and theory from the Eastman School of Music. 

“This postdoctoral appointment is an extremely valuable and rare opportunity” said Vu. “It provides vast resources, support, and ample time to devote oneself to various creative projects, including the collaboration with the Grossman Ensemble that I’m very excited about. The University of Chicago has a top-tier composition program in the country and I have been following and admiring from afar the work and music by composers in this program for years. I couldn’t be more humbled and grateful to join this wonderful community in the fall and explore the vibrant (new) music and art scene in Chicago.” 

Ania Vu will premiere new works during the 2022-23 CCCC concert season, to be announced later this spring. She serves as the sixth Postdoctoral Researcher of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, a position previously held by Felipe Tovar-Henao, Dongryul Lee, Ashkan Behzadi, Tonia Ko, and Aaron Helgeson.