Ania Vu, composer

Ania Vu headshot

Polish of Vietnamese descent composer and pianist Ania Vu (née VũĐặngMinh Anh) writes music that explores the interplay between the sound properties of words and their meanings, musical energy related to form, and varied notions of time. 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.

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), Ania has worked with leading new music ensembles and musicians, including the Daedalus and Mivos string quartets, SōPercussion, 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 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).

Ania 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, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Vietnam, and Poland—including at the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Hanoi Opera House. Ania has also premiered and performed her own 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 own music.

Currently, Ania is a Ph.D. candidate on a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Composer Fellow at the American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice, a two-year training program that provides experience writing for the voice and opera stage. In 2017, she received her B.M. in composition and theory from the Eastman School of Music.

Ania Vu's piece feathered beings premiered with the Grossman Ensemble on March 3, 2023.


Program notes:

Where there are birds, there is music. feathered beings attempts to immerse the listener within a sonic landscape of various bird sounds: from delicate chirping to wing flapping, wood pecking to dancing, and solitary songs to murmurations. I am equally fascinated with the unpredictable and playful nature of birds, as well as the many symbols associated with them: freedom, grace, sorrow, and beauty. As someone who recently has been trying to sonically meditate while going on walks, hearing birds has been a constant and soothing reminder of experiencing music in nature.

I want to deeply thank the Grossman ensemble and David Fulmer for their infinite patience, guidance, and openness to improvise and offer feedback during the workshops — this piece is a collective result of many of their ideas.

Grossman Ensemble premieres Ania Vu's "feathered beings"