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Gemma Peacocke

Gemma Peacocke is a US-based composer from New Zealand. She combines acoustic instruments and voices with electronics, and her work often has a sociopolitical focus.

Her multimedia song cycle, Waves + Lines (adapted from Eliza Griswold’s book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan) has been premiered at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn and the Melbourne Recital Centre in Australia. It will be released as an album on New Amsterdam in November 2018.


Gemma often collaborates with filmmakers, choreographers, and theatre practitioners, including with Australian director Benita de Wit on Undrown’d, a play about asylum seekers held in offshore detention centers, which has been presented in two seasons in New York. Gemma has also collaborated with renowned choreographers Sylvain Émard and Ros Warby. Her work has been performed and commissioned by PUBLIQuartet, Third Coast Percussion, Fresh Squeezed Opera,  Rubiks Ensemble, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, Nick Photinos, the JACK Quartet, the Schiele Quartet, and Alarm Will Sound. She is co-founder of composer collective Kinds of Kings and founder of colloquium series In My Studio which focuses on new works and works in progress by female composers.

A 2018 finalist for the Beth Morrison Next Generation Project, a 2018 Eighth Blackbird Lab composition fellow, and Mizzou International Composers’ Festival composition fellow, Gemma was the Creative New Zealand Edwin Carr Scholar for 2014 and 2015 and a 2015 Bang on a Can composition fellow. She was awarded the NYU Steinhardt prize for Graduate Composition in 2016 having completed a Master of Music in Composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe on a Walter Reinhold Scholarship. She spent the autumn of 2015 studying at the Institute for Music/Acoustic Research and Coordination (IRCAM) in Paris, and she is currently a Mark Nelson Ph.D. Fellow in composition at Princeton University.

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