Victoria Composers Collective


Justin Boechler

Justin Boechler completed studies in music composition at the University of Saskatchewan (B.Mus) and the University of Victoria (M.Mus). Formerly a resident of Saskatchewan, Justin is currently living in Victoria, BC. His works have been performed and recorded by a variety of Canadian ensembles including the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra and Proteus Saxophone Quartet, with other notable performances occurring at the SALT contemporary music festival, North America Saxophone Alliance conference (Region 9), and the Strata New Music Festival. Boechler is also an active conductor of new music, having premiered works for ensemble by many emerging west coast composers. Selected conducting credits include Liza Lim’s Street of Crocodiles, George Crumb’s Quest, and the Canadian premiere of Elliot Carter’s Luimen.

Kristy Farkas

Kristy Farkas is the Concert and Publicity Manager at the University of Victoria’s School of Music. She is also a composer, performer, fibre artist and photographer.
Her musical collaborations extend across Canada and Japan, and she frequently performs at A Place to Listen in Victoria. Composing mainly for solo instruments and chamber ensembles—with a penchant for collaborative, improvisational and site-specific projects—Kristy’s works have been presented by Redshift, Continuum, Vancouver New Music, The Music Gallery, and Open Space, among others.
Kristy completed a Master of Music in composition at the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University. Kristy has studied with composers Christopher Butterfield, Gordon Mumma, Peter Hatch and Linda C. Smith as well as pianist Jamie Parker.

Kimberley Farris-Manning

Kimberley Farris-Manning is a versatile composer, accompanist and keyboard player (piano, organ, harpsichord). Her compositions have been performed nationwide, at Le mondial choral (Laval, Québec), the Kiwanis Highlights Concert (Ottawa, Ontario), and venues such as the University of Victoria. She is in her fourth year as organ scholar at the Church of St. John the Divine, and accompanies students at the University of Victoria where she is completing her Bachelor’s Degree of Music Composition.
Currently studying with Christopher Butterfield and Annette Brosin (composition), Eva Solar-Kinderman (piano), David Stratkauskas (organ), and Colin Tilney (harpsichord), Kimberley premiered her first new opera alongside a solo piano and harpsichord recital in March 2015 and most recently, the University of Victoria Orchestra read her double-flute concerto (March 2016).
Her interdisciplinary compositions explore how text and multimedia interact with music. Kimberley expands traditional harmonies and techniques, broadening the orchestral scope of sound and timbre. Coming soon is Kimberley’s graduation composition – to be performed in April 2017.

Nathan Friedman

Nathan Friedman is a clarinetist and composer currently based in Victoria, BC. He completed his MA in Composition/Experimental Music at Wesleyan University in 2014, studying with Anthony Braxton, Paula Matthusen, Ronald Kuivila and Neely Bruce.  He finished a Bachelor of Music in composition at the University of Victoria in April 2011 after studying composition with John Celona, Wolf Edwards, Dániel Péter Biró and Christopher Butterfield and clarinet with Patricia Kostek and Ed Nishimura. He has also had private lessons and workshops with Michael Finnissy, Chaya Czernowin and Judith Shatin. His compositions have been performed by The Vancouver Clarinet Trio, loadbang, Michael Robert-Broder & Corey Hamm, and others, and read by Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal+, the JACK Quartet and Quasar Quatuor de Saxophones. Nathan is member of A Place to Listen Ensemble and The Swinging Pendulums.


Alex Jang

Alex Jang (1988–) studied music composition with Christopher Butterfield and John Celona in Victoria B.C., and with Aaron Cassidy and Bryn Harrison in Huddersfield, UK.

He has also studied independently with Linda Catlin Smith, Peter Ablinger, and Michael Finnissy. His most recent music pursues new relationships between sound and silence, as well as new perspectives on the familiar, and has been described as “possessed of strange and unidentifiable energies” (Tim Rutherford-Johnson, The Rambler).

His music has been performed by ensembles and soloists such as Quatuor Bozzini, ELISION Ensemble, ethos collective, Victoria Composers Collective, and Adrian Verdejo, and has been featured at A Place to Listen, SALT New Music Festival, and the Aventa IgNITE! Composers Workshop.

He currently composes, conducts, and plays mandolin for the Victoria Composers Collective and the Place to Listen Ensemble and is programming director at Oak Bay Music.

 Adam Jasieniuk

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Adam Jasieniuk studied Music at the University of Saskatchewan for two years before transferring to the University of Victoria in 2013. Adam currently studies saxophone with Mr. Wendell Clanton, and composition with Dr. John Celona.

Alex Klassen

Alex Klassen began playing the cello in kindergarten. 25 years went by with fits and starts and he started doing something about it. These days he studies composition at the University of Victoria and lives nearby with his wife Holly.


Kimberley Manerikar

Kimberley Manerikar is a composer and piano teacher in Victoria, BC.   She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria (2012) where she studied music composition with Christopher Butterfield and Dániel Péter Biró.  Kimberley’s pieces have been performed in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montréal.  Her music deals with fragmentation, displacement, and balance.  She often explores the themes of perseverance and playfulness, and strives to present her material simply, allowing everything to remain in focus.

Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins

Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins is a composer, conductor, and music theory teacher resident in Victoria BC. Her works, divided between the worlds of electroacoustic and acoustic/chamber music, essentially explore sonic contrasts, such as the wide use of registers (very high and very low pitch material), the wide use of dynamics (very loud and very delicate sounds), rough and smooth timbres, consonant and dissonant intervals (combinations of notes), etc.

Her musical background—as well as her evolving usage of music techniques—is notably varied; Maria was born in Rio de Janeiro, in 1990, moving away to the south of the country with her mother, where she lived from 2001 to 2013. In 2005, Maria had her first lifetime contact with music, playing the electric keyboards at home; in 2006, Maria started her studies in music, having piano and music rudiments lessons; in 2007 Maria was accepted to the undergrad program in music composition at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; in 2009, Maria started teaching music theory in an extension project of her university, following with the teaching practices until 2015; in 2010, Maria started working with electroacoustic music, which took her to perform out of her country and to be invited to do her Masters in Music Composition at University of Victoria, Canada in 2013; in 2014, being involved with various ensembles at her school, as a conductor, Maria started having conducting lessons, conducting rehearsals of University of Victoria’s orchestra.

Her pieces have been performed in Brazil, Canada and Argentina.

Seán Maynard

Seán Maynard is a composer and saxophonist born, raised, and currently residing in Victoria, BC. Having completed his various saxophone performance requirements at the University of Victoria, he is now working towards completing a degree in Music Composition and Theory.

As a budding composer, Seán is ravenous for ideas and influences, open to all manner of possibilities. He has an eclectic set of tastes, and strives to make each of his compositions identifiably unique, explore new styles and aesthetics, find his strengths, and nullify his weaknesses. While still newly exploring his own compositional style, and therefore not greatly influenced by any specific composers, he has a notable predisposition towards aleatoric and game-like pieces, akin to works by John Cage or John Zorn.

In addition to composing, Seán maintains a constant interest in learning and performing contemporary works for or including saxophone.

Lynne Penhale

Lynne Penhale is a composer and performer based in Victoria.  Her compositions are derived from listening to sound environments such as conversations, traffic, birds, and other noises. She is a trombone player and singer in new music, classical and jazz ensembles. Penhale has a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Theory from the University of Victoria. She is internationally recognized, writing for Orkest Erepris at the Young Composers Meeting in Holland 2013. She has written music for Quatuor  Bozzini, Arraymusic, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, St. Mary’s Children’s Choir, and the Redshift Ensemble. She studied composition with Christopher Butterfield, John Celona, and Daniel Biro. She has also studied and attended master classes with Annesley Black, Carola Bauckholt, Cathy Fern Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Detlef Heusinger, Dmitri Kourliandski, Farshid Samandari, Gavin Bryars, Gianluca Ulivelli, Louis Andriessen, Martijn Padding, Richard Ayres, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Steven Tagasuki, Wolf Edwards.

 Christopher Reiche

Christopher Reiche is a composer, performer, and educator living in Victoria BC.  His music has been played by ensembles within Canada and abroad.  He primarily enjoys writing for smaller ensembles using his surroundings as inspiration.  His works are inspired by things such as tables of contents at the beginning of books, the daily crossword, German language lessons, and objects lying around his apartment. Recently his work investigates the relationship between music and the way that it is notated. When not working on his own projects, he can be found coordinating the music series at Open Space Arts Society, or knitting.

Sylvia Rickard

Sylvia Rickard, born in Toronto, May 19, 1937, moved to Victoria in April, 1948. There she studied piano with Della Johnston, then Grace Bailey, and theory with Cecilia McLean. Rickard received her B.A. from UBC in French and Russian language/culture, a minor in German, in 1959, where 1 elective course was theory/composition with Jean Coulthard. In 1959-6- Rickard spent a year of French studies at the University of Grenoble, earning a Certificat d’Études françaises, 2ième degré. 1961-63: Rickard pursued postgraduate studies in French at Stanford University, from where the birth of her daughter, Janine, took precedence over  the M.A. degree! After 14 months in India Rickard and daughter returned to Vancouver, where Sylvia began private composition lessons with Jean Coulthard.
In 1973 the Okanagan Composers’ Festival of Music awarded Rickard first prize open category for Ballet Sonatina for piano, now Estival. At this time Sylvia began her long career as composition adjudicator. She has been jury member of both the Canada Council and the B.C. Arts Council. More winning works and a CBC Radio commission enabled Rickard to gain a scholarship to the Banff Centre summer sessions, 1978-79. Banff offered the opportunity to write for instruments other than piano, and to introduce voice. In 1999 Taras and Gaelyne Gabora invited Rickard as first resident composer of the Oberlin in Casalmaggiore Music Festival. They commissioned Rickard to write a piece for them; soprano and violin, hence John Donne’s poem “Epithalamion”. They performed it in Victoria, BC,  Winnipeg, St. Louis and Oberlin. Another Gabora commission was “The Bells of Casalmaggiore”. Rickard has several works for unusual ensembles i.e. marimba and harp; 4 violas and contrabass; and soprano, tuned brandy snifters, viola and percussion. Her work is variously lyrical, humorous, dramatic, and poignant. Recently she has branched out into cabaret songs, French, German art songs and Russian choral music. Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Britain, Japan, USA and Canada have all hosted Sylvia Rickard’s music to date.

Dave Riedstra

Dave Riedstra is a Canadian composer of experimental Music. His recent work marks the collaboration between performer, composer, and listener in the sharing of ambiguously delimited moments, spaces, and vibrations. Playing on these agents’ variously refined or brusque capacities for signification, these experiences are harlequins of networked connectivity through which Riedstra hopes to bring into view the need for sensitivity and craft in all areas of life.

In addition to this practice, Riedstra performs as a upright and electric bassist. He currently performs for the Victoria Composers Collective and the Swinging Pendulums, and has played and recorded in a variety of classical, jazz, folk, and free improvisation settings across Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. When not working with manipulations of vibrations, Riedstra fills his eyes with books and JavaScript.

Affiliates Abroad

Ava McCaw

Ava McCaw comes to us from the ‘Land of living skies’, having grown up on a farm near the city of Lloydminster. Currently studying at the University of Victoria, she is working towards a degree in Music Composition and Theory.

After her time at UVic, Ava plans on teaching private composition and piano lessons while continuing her education by exploring compositional techniques and experimenting with timbre and colour. She finds music to be a refuge, a source of strength, a form of communication and an avenue of expression.

Janet Sit

Janet Sit began her musical adventures at a piano bench. At a young age, she and her piano bench moved from Hong Kong to Toronto. She spent much time at her bench practicing preludes, fugues, sonatas. Janet went on to complete her B.Sc. in Zoology (U. Toronto) and spent hours on a lab stool with microscopes and specimens. She missed her piano bench terribly. After several stints including cutting deli meats and working at a raccoon relocation service, Janet returned to her bench for a B. Mus. in Composition (U. Toronto) with whales and shrews on her mind. Her M. Mus. studies at the University of Victoria included works related to marine creatures and an interactive sound installation. Her future projects include pieces for her first language (Cantonese) and explorations in installation works that combines her love of animals and music.

Alexander Simon

I was born in Iqaluit in 1986 and have since lived in Yellowknife, Calgary, Sudbury, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John’s, Montreal and Victoria, where I am currently studying at UVic. Though I started music lessons at a young age, I took an extended break from the piano as a teenager, only to come back to it with a much greater interest and drive. Composition is a means of expression for me. It’s the most useful tool I have for expressing how I perceive myself and the environment. It’s meditation, emotion, narration, abstraction, connection. I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Thomas Nicholson

Born and raised in Fredericton, Thomas Nicholson has been composing and playing piano since the age of 10. Initially studying harmony, counterpoint, and composition under Martin Kutnowski, his work has won awards both nationally and provincially (Canada Music Week, NBRMTA, etc.) and has been performed on many occasions by such ensembles and performers as the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, violinist Nadia Francavilla, and, more recently, musicians of the Bathurst Chamber Music Festival. His playing has received recognition and coaching from many of Canada’s leading pianists like Julien LeBlanc, Michel Fournier, and Stephen Runge (UVic Alumnus) and in 2013 he represented New Brunswick at the National Music Festival in the solo piano category. Furthermore, he has formerly served as viola section leader for the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, has been a member of Trio 238 which performed throughout New Brunswick in 2013, and is currently part of Trio Voix Atlantique. Thomas studies music composition with Christopher Butterfield and piano with Arthur Rowe at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Jared Miller

Canadian-American composer Jared Miller’s music has been described as “playful” (New York Times), “hypnotic” (Sequenza 21), “phantasmagorical” (Lucid Culture) and “highly personal” (CBC Radio.) At age 26, he has worked with many ensembles both in North America and internationally including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, Latitude 49 Ensemble and the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute.
His 2009 orchestral work 2010 Traffic Jam was commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has since been performed over two-dozen times. Recently, Miller’s orchestral work, Contrasted Perspectives was selected from over 400 scores to be publicly work-shopped in June 2014 by the American Composers Orchestra in New York as a part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial. He has won numerous awards for composition that include a 2012 ASCAP Morton Gould Award, the 2011/12 Juilliard Orchestra Competition and the 2011 SOCAN Competition for Young Composers. Upcoming events in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons include premieres of commissioned works for the Attacca String Quartet, Latitude 49 Ensemble, The Victoria Symphony, Fifth House Ensemble, Tiresias and the Banff Centre.
Raised in Vancouver, Canada, Miller completed his undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in composition with Stephen Chatman and Dorothy Chang. He is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School where he studies with John Corigliano and Samuel Adler. As of June 2014, he is also the Victoria Symphony’s composer-in-residence.

Liam Gibson

Liam Gibson is a composer and pianist based in Victoria BC. His current work is primarily concerned with synthesizing various pre-18th century aesthetic currents, the formal and timbral innovations of the 20th century avant-garde, and influences from contemporary jazz and popular electronic music.

Currently completing his final year of undergraduate studies in composition and theory at the University of Victoria, Gibson previously obtained a diploma in jazz piano at Vancouver Island University. In addition to performing in the western art music tradition, Gibson has had a long-standing presence in Vancouver Island’s underground music scene as a keyboard/synthesizer player in rock, metal, and electronic groups. These days, when not composing, Gibson makes music for people to dance to with the theatrical electro group, Top Men.

Nolan Krell

Nolan Krell is a composer and guitarist currently studying at the University of Victoria. A native of Langley, BC, Nolan is passionate about exploring musical boundaries and how they influence compositional processes. His musical aesthetic focuses on creating dense and vulnerable textures through a combination of unconventional techniques and unique instrumentations. Nolan’s music is heavily indebted to the influences of György Ligeti, Salvatore Sciarrino and Christian Wolff. As a classical guitarist, Nolan advocates and performs new compositions as well as underperformed and established modern music.