Zachary Seely (b. 1988 New York) has written unique compositions heard across the world. His music has been described as “organic & riveting” with “compelling gestures & great clarity.” Zach fluently works within a variety of mediums & genres ranging from orchestral works, solos, chamber music, electronic music, and unconventional instrumentations/styles.
Zach is also a conductor of new music, often directing a variety of symphonic bands, percussion ensembles, and has premiered numerous compositions for chamber ensemble. He is also an active performer/improvisor with a repertoire expanding from traditional guitar works to contemporary & experimental trends.
In 2011, Zach studied with the internationally recognized virtuoso guitarist & composer, Arthur Kampela, and worked as his score assistant for his Koussevitzky Music Foundation commissioned work “…b…,” which was premiered by the Linea Ensemble in 2012 at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Zach assisted Kampela again with his work “MIGRO” for the Collegium Novum Zürich ensemble, premiered at the 2013 Tage für Neue Musik.
In 2012, Zach performed throughout the US both as a soloist & in mixed ensembles and his composition for orchestra was selected to be read by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.
During the summer of 2013, Zach traveled to Europe, beginning at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) during their ManiFeste Academy in Paris, learning from composers such as Magnus Lindberg, James Dillon, and Yan Maresz. In Paris, he also studied with Robert Hasegawa as a part of the Eastman School of Music’s summer course for Theory and Analysis of Contemporary Music. Zach then studied in Freiburg, Germany with composer Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf.
In 2014, Zach was selected for the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music composition workshop with the Curious Chamber Players and also received composition lessons from Brian Ferneyhough, Raphael Cendo, George Aperghis, Pierluigi Billone, & Mark Andre. He returned for the 2016 summer courses to present an introduction to the music of Kampela with pianist Michiko Saiki and received further advisory lessons from composers Steven Takasugi, Wieland Hoban, & Rebecca Saunders.
In 2014, Zach founded Contemporary Insights, an initiative which strives to develop a community centered around the celebration & exploration of contemporary music. The concert series has so far featured distinguished performers/composers including Steven Beck, Arthur Kampela, Ryan Muncy, Marcelo Toledo, Rane Moore, Richard Craig, Miranda Cuckson, Josh Modney, Alice Teyssier, William Lang, Weston Olencki, Julia Den Boer, & Sky Macklay.
Zach is the recipient of the 2016 Saxony State Scholarship from the Ministry of Art and Science. He also participated in the advocacy for the founding of the Center for Present Day Music in Leipzig by the Rektor Martin Kürschner in December 2016. Zach established the ensemble for present day music there in winter 2017 and works as the ensemble’s conductor.
Zach was selected to conduct l’Ensemble Voix Nouvelles at the 2017 Voix Nouvelles Academy in Royaumont, France.
Zach received his bachelor’s degree in music education with an advanced standing state certification in New Jersey. He completed his masters degree in music composition at Bowling Green State University, where he also taught music theory & aural skills as a part of his graduate assistantship. He completed a terminal “Meisterklasse” degree “mit Auszeichnung” (with distinction) in music composition at the Hoschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, Germany, where he also provided tuition in composition & theory/aural skills. Zach’s teachers have included Arthur Kampela, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Annette LeSiege, Elainie Lillios, Douglas Thompson, Mikel Kuehn, Christopher Dietz, & Thomas Carlo Bo.