MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN (b. 1983) is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.
Kouyoumdjian has received commissions for such organizations as the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble [ICE], Roomful of Teeth, OPERA America, Beth Morrison Projects, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, WQXR, REDSHIFT, Experiments in Opera, the Nouveau Classical Project, Music of Remembrance, Friction Quartet, and Ensemble Oktoplus. Her documentary work was recently presented by the New York Philharmonic Biennial and has also been performed internationally at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Barbican Centre, Cabrillo Festival, Big Ears Festival, 21C Music Festival, and Cal Performances. Her residencies include those with Alarm Will Sound/The Mizzou International Composers Festival, Roulette/The Jerome Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, Buffalo String Works/Decoda Ensemble, and Exploring the Metropolis. Kouyoumdjian’s music has been described as “eloquently scripted" and "emotionally wracking” byThe New York Times and as "the most harrowing moments on stage at any New York performance" byNew York Music Daily.
Currently pursuing her Composition D.M.A. at Columbia University, Kouyoumdjian studies with composers Zosha Di Castri, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, and George Lewis. She holds an M.A. in Scoring for Film & Multimedia from New York University and a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, where she has studied contemporary composition with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung; new music performance with Steven Schick; and modern jazz with Anthony Davis.Kouyoumdjian works as an educator and is a cofounder of the annual new music conference New Music Gathering.