Pluralist Composition, PluComp, is one of the first composition summer courses that will approach music composition from a non-Eurocentric perspective. The focus of this year’s course will be Iran and Turkey. Iranian composers Reza Vali and Shahab Pâranj, and Turkish composer Erberk Eryilmaz, will address aspects of music composition, such as melody, rhythm, polyphony, form, and instrumentation, from an Iranian and Turkish perspective.
Participant composers will meet with each resident composer individually every day during the course. In addition, there will be daily seminars and discussions. Participant composers will compose a work for string quartet that will be performed and recorded at a concert as part of the Du Vert à L'infini Music Festival.
Vali’s lectures will concentrate on the Iranian music system, the Dastgâh-Maghâm. Aspects of the system, such as interval, mode, rhythm, form, etc., will be analyzed and discussed, observed from the viewpoint of a contemporary Iranian composer.
Titled “Non-traditional Perspectives on Traditional Music of Anatolia", Eryilmaz’s lecture will focus on the vertical and horizontal construction, the instrumentation, scale material, as well as metric and rhythmic components of the music of Anatolia and its relationship with the neighbor cultures.
Paranj's lecture will explore the construction and creative process of rhythm in the Āvāzi vocal style in Persian music. This exploration will lead to analyzing the rhythm in Āvāzi music, paying particular attention to both vocal and instrumental music. Paranj's lecture will investigate how this system has been adopted in several compositions by Iranian composers.
Lectures will be given in English.
How to apply:
Fill out the application form
Upload two scores of original works with contrasting instrumentation.
Upload recordings of the same works. Live recordings are preferred, but MIDI recordings are accepted.
Upload a CV/Resume
For further assistance, please email:
Applying to PluComp is free.
Tuition for the duration of the festival will be $500. Room and board costs are covered by the festival.
Application deadline: April 15, 2023
Reza Vali was born in Ghazvin, Iran, in 1952. He began his music studies at the
Conservatory of Music in Tehran. In 1972 he went to Austria and studied music
education and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna. After graduating
from the Academy of Music, he moved to the United States and continued his
studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Ph.D. in music theory and
composition in 1985. Mr. Vali has been a faculty member of the School of Music
at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988. He has received numerous honors and
commissions, including the honor prize of the Austrian Ministry of Arts and
Sciences, two Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships, commissions from the Pittsburgh
Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Pittsburgh New
Music Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, the Seattle
Chamber Players, and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, as well as grants
from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and the
Pittsburgh Board of Public Education. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Cultural
Trust as the Outstanding Emerging Artist for which he received the Creative
Achievement Award. Vali's orchestral compositions have been performed in the
United States by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Boston
Modern Orchestra Project, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony
Orchestra, and Orchestra 2001. His chamber works have received performances
by Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Carpe
Diem String Quartet, Kronos Quartet, the Seattle Chamber Players, and the Da
Capo Chamber Players. His music has been performed in Europe, China, Chile,
Mexico, Hong Kong, and Australia and is recorded on the Deutsche
Grammophon, Naxos, New Albion, MMC, Ambassador, Albany, and ABC
Turkish-American composer and performer Erberk Eryılmaz is recognized for bringing the energy of the folk music of his homeland to the concert stage with a creative and dramatic approach. His recent album of chamber works, "Dances of the Yogurt Maker" won a Grammy Award with producer Judith Sherman and received two gold medals at Global Music Awards in 2022. His compositions have been performed at some of the world’s most important concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Eryılmaz was selected to participate in the Moon Arts Project which will include his work, "Was her face the moon or sunlight?", expected to be sent to the Moon in 2022. This project will bring the first music to the Moon and the work received its premiere at NASA, next to Saturn V, history’s largest rocket.
His compositions and performances have been featured multiple times on Turkish State Radio and American Public Media's Performance Today and have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, Andante, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Sanattan Yansımalar, as well as the Washington Post, which describes his music as a “dervish-like explosion.” He has been featured on records released by MSR Classics, Naxos, Albany Records, Innova Recordings, Wirripang, and Parma Recordings.
As a composer, pianist, conductor, and folk percussionist, he has collaborated with many important ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Houston Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Austin Camerata, Apollo Chamber Players, and Carpe Diem, Tesla and Del Sol String Quartets, ZOFO Duet, as well as the Bowen McCauley Dance Company.
Eryılmaz has received numerous awards including BNY Mellon Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sallie Shepherd Perkins Prize for Best Achievement at Rice University, the Diemente Prize at the Hartt School and top prizes at the Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, Silberman Chamber Music Competition, Carnegie Mellon University's Harry G. Archer Orchestra Composition Competition and String Quartet Composition Competition.
Shahab Paranj is an Iranian composer, instrumentalist, and educator. He is
considered as one of the pioneers among his generation whose composition
style integrates Persian and Western composition techniques. Paranj holds
degrees in music composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
(BM), the Manhattan School of Music (MM), and the University of California, Los
Recent commissions include works for ensembles such as the Russian String
Orchestra, Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble, Long Beach Opera,
Aleron Trio, San Francisco New Music Ensemble and Sopraduo. Paranj is a
founder and artistic director of “du vert à l’infini” a contemporary music festival in
the Franche Comte region in France.
He has written an original score for the movie “Dressage,” the winner of the 2018
feature film in the Berlin Film Festival.
Known as a tombak virtuoso, he has performed, recorded, and collaborated with
numerous highly respected musicians worldwide.
He was a member of the Iran National TV & Radio Symphony Orchestra as a
cellist for eight years as well as the Shams Ensemble as a percussionist for
Paranj’s research on the complex Rhythm of Persian Āvāzi style music was
selected to be presented at AMS-SEM-SMT 2023 joint annual meeting in New
He has received formal recognition from the Mehr Humanitarian Society (2010)
and The City and County of San Francisco (2011) for his contribution to introduc-
ing Persian music to the world.