Christian Asplund

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Christian Asplund

Composer, violist, harmoniumist, and opera director, Christian Asplund has played his compositions in the Seattle area, Oregon, Oklahoma, Utah, Canadian, and British clubs, venues, festivals, and performance spaces with out-jazz ensembles (Brainstun, Aitsi), improvising string groups (Thingsome Q and String Beast), choral groups (Seattle Experimental Opera Chorus), and as a solo artist to rave reviews. He recieved is bachelor's degree in Music Composition and Theory from BYU in 1988. He also has a Masters degree from Mills College and a DMA from University of Washington. He currently resides in Provo, UT where he is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Brigham Young University.

Asplund is one of only two composers (along with Alan Hovhaness) to be featured in the Encyclopedia of Northwest Music. He was the only American finalist in the prestigious Genesis Prizes in April 2002, whereby his opera-in-progress, Sunset with Pink Pastoral, received a premier at London's Sadlers Wells Theatre by Almeida Opera. His CD, Brainstun 2, was released by Present Sounds in June 2003. His compositions have also been premiered by Eyvind Kang, Stuart Dempster, Marilyn Crispell, Seattle Creative Orchestra, and others.

His music has been described in the press as mind-blowing, toothy, inscrutable, ethereal, and superb. He was a co-founder of Seattle Experimental Opera which has premiered works by Eyvind Kang, Amy Denio, Jessica Lurie, and others as well as five of his own operas, one of which, The Archivist, has been released in its entirety as a CD on Un-labeled Records. Another CD of the opera, Liquid Girls, was released in 2004. He has appeared on other CDs released by Sparkling Beatnik, Acoustic Levitation, Tzadik, Franchise, and Present Sounds and Maritime Fist Glee Club.

He has played with Stuart Dempster, Eyvind Kang, Amy Denio, Michael Bisio, Craig Flory, Francois Houle, Bill Smith, Andrew Drury, and Greg Campbell. In April 2004 he made his debut as a member of New York's Downtown Ensemble. He has made many live radio appearances and his recordings have been broadcast all over the world. His teachers have included Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, Meyer Kupferman, Thea Musgrave, Willy Winant, and John Rahn.

Asplund, along with fellow BYU faculty members Thomas Durham and Steven Ricks received the 2004-2005 American Society of Composers Authors and Publisher Award. The award is designed to recognize prestigious composers whose area of composition does not yield significant royalties.

In 2006, Asplund received funding from the George and Geraldine Swensen Watkins Endowment for Excellence in the Arts for his project entitled History of the Church: A Family Home Opera, a stylized dramatic and musical representation of important 19th century LDS church history.

In 2010, Asplund's "Nocturnes" series was featured in the LDS Composers Trust concert. In 2012, he received funds from the Barlow Endowment to direct the recording his work, Excerpts, with BYU faculty and students and renowned performer Michael Lee.

From 2009 to 2012, Asplund worked with artists John Butcher, Stuart Demptser, Malcolm Goldsetin, LaDonna Smith, William O. Smith, and Steven Ricks to record the Laycock Duos CD, which was funded by a grant from the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts. The CD was released in 2013 and is an experimentation with free improvisation.

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