Hong Kong-born composer George Tsz-Kwan Lam (b. 1981) grew up in Winthrop, Massachusetts, and studied music composition at Boston University, the Peabody Conservatory, and Duke University, where he received a PhD in music. George has studied with composers Charles Fussell, Martin Amlin, Christopher Theofanidis, Nicholas Maw, Stephen Jaffe, and Scott Lindroth.
George is interested in projects that intersect music, theater, and the documentary, and is currently at work on a new chamber opera for Rhymes With Opera, and a new documentary work for New Morse Code (New Haven, CT). Other recent commissions include String Quartet (2013) for the Romer String Quartet (Hong Kong), Theseus and the Minotaur (2014) for the Asian Young Musicians Connection (Taipei, Taiwan), and Ross McElwee’s “Sherman’s March” (2014) for the Black House Collective (Kansas City, MO).
George’s 2011 one-act opera The Persistence of Smoke, with a libretto by North Carolina playwright John Justice, focused on the once-thriving cigarette industry in Durham (NC), inspired by collected interviews, oral histories and archival materials. The opera was staged in April 2011 at Golden Belt, the site of a former cotton mill that manufactured bags for Bull Durham tobacco.
George Lam’s music has been performed by Gotham Chamber Opera (New York, NY), Christ Church United Methodist (New York, NY), Emerging Voices Project (New York, NY), Contemporary Musiking (Hong Kong), Volti (San Francisco, CA), American Opera Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Red Clay Saxophone Quartet (Greensboro, NC), AM/PM Saxophone Quartet, Boston University Concert Band, Charles River Wind Ensemble (Boston, MA), Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and Hong Kong Voices. From 2009 to 2012, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and conductor Yip Wing-sie premiered three orchestral works and presented the Asian premiere of Variations On (2006).
George was the recipient of a PSC-CUNY Research Foundation grant for his percussion duo Theseus and the Minotaur (2014), an American Music Center grant for his orchestral work The Queen’s Gramophone (2009), as well as the Evan V. Frankel Fellowship in Humanities at Duke University. Past fellowships and residencies include the Aspen Music Festival Schumann Fellowship, the Dartington International Summer School Angus Allnatt Foundation Fellowship, American Opera Projects’ “Composers & The Voice” workshop series, the Virginia Arts Festival John Duffy Composers Institute, and the Volti Choral Arts Laboratory commissioning and residency program. In 2011, George served as the Composer-In-Residence at the inaugural Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists in St Louis, MO.
From 2011 to 2013, George served as Producing Associate for the NYC-based Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group. George is currently co-artistic director of Rhymes With Opera, and is an assistant professor of music at York College, The City University of New York.
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