The Chicago Tribune has praised the music of David “Clay” Mettens (b.1990) as “a thing of remarkable beauty,” displaying a “sensitive ear for instrumental color.” He reflects upon the experience of wonder in music that ranges from rich and sonorous to bright and crystalline, seeking expressive immediacy in lucid forms and dramatic shapes. His work has been recognized with a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the 2015 SCI/ASCAP graduate student commission, and a commission from the American Opera Initiative, premiered in December 2015 by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. His orchestra piece “Sleeping I am carried...” was selected for the 24th Annual Underwood New Music Readings with the American Composers Orchestra and the 2015 [‘tactus] Young Composers Forum with the Brussels Philharmonic. Subsequently, the Brussels Philharmonic, led by Stéphane Denève, performed the piece in December 2016 at Flagey Studio 4 as part of their Music Chapel Festival.
Additionally, his works have been performed by the New York Virtuoso Singers, Contempo at the University of Chicago, Ensemble Dal Niente at the 2017 SCI National Conference, the Civitas Ensemble on the Chicago Ear Taxi Festival, and the [Switch~ Ensemble] at the Queens New Music Festival. He is currently a student in the Ph.D. composition program at the University of Chicago, where he has studied with Augusta Read Thomas and Sam Pluta. He earned his masters degree at the Eastman School of Music and completed undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina with a degree in music composition and a clarinet performance certificate. Website: www.mettensmusic.com