2020/2021 Emerging Artists

Zach Gulaboff Davis, composer. Described as ‘beautiful, lyrical’ and brimming with ‘unexpected harmonic shifts’ (International Trumpet Guild), the music of Zach Gulaboff Davis centers on the core elements of musical narrative: Emotion, drama, and expression. The winner of the 2019 American Prize in Composition (Vocal Chamber Music division), Zach maintains an active schedule as a composer and collaborator across the globe. His works have been performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Bulgaria’s National Palace of Culture, Norway’s Arctic Cathedral, Hamburg’s Zinnschmelze Cultural Center, NYU Steinhardt and Shanghai, the DiMenna Center, International Trumpet Guild and National Saxophone Alliance conferences, and at schools and conservatories throughout the country. Since beginning compositional studies in 2013, his works have garnered over 20 national and international awards. With degrees in composition from Mannes College of Music and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Zach is also active as a pianist and conductor, having appeared as concerto soloist, chamber musician, solo recitalist, and champion of young composers’ works on the podium. In his spare time, Zach is active in American Kennel Club dog sports, traveling the country as a licensed Dog Agility judge. Don’t ask him about the (countless) similarities between composing and designing Agility courses unless you have hours to spare! https://www.zgulaboffdavis.com/

Geoff Li, composer. Geoff Li is a composer for concert and video games based in Edmonton, AB. Born in Daqing, China in 1994 to Korean parents and immigrating to Canada at a young age, he began receiving guitar instruction from the age of 10 and later discovered an affinity for composing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from MacEwan University, and is currently studying with Vince Ho. Geoff has been commissioned by various Albertan groups, including the Obsessions String Quartet, WindRose Trio, the C’mon Festival, among others. Besides composing, he plays guitar in electronic/progressive rock project Ways in Waves. Being a composer who mostly freelances, Geoff’s lifestyle hasn’t changed much with the social distancing phenomenon, and has actually seen more friends lately with all the Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering he’s been playing over video chat. https://www.geoffli.com/


Robert McIntyre, composer. Robert McIntyre, composer & flautist, is currently studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Melbourne specialising in Composition, after one year in Classical Flute Performance under the direction of Margaret Crawford. He is currently under the tutelage of Stuart Greenbaum, and has learnt under Katy Abbott, Miriama Young, Elliott Gyger, and Melody Eötvös. He is one of four inaugural composers commissioned for Divisi Chamber Singers’ 2020 “Compose Queer” Initiative. Robert has been internationally selected into the ICEBERG New Music Institute taking place in Austria, where he will write a work for Trio Immersio to be workshopped by guest composer Oscar Bianchi and the Institute Faculty. It will be premiered and recorded at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He has partaken in Candlelight VOX’s 2019 Composition Call for Scores, as well as having a work selected for a 2020 program by Collide Trio. Robert is ecstatic to have had works workshopped by guitarist Ken Murray, saxophonist Joseph Lallo, Syzygy Ensemble, and to have two upcoming workshops with pianist/composer Sally Whitwell (2020).

Emma Verdonk, composer. Emma Verdonk grew up in Brantford, ON, surrounded by a musical family. At an early age, her mother taught her to play piano and once she had an understanding of the language of music, she began voice and violin lessons. In 2020, Emma completed her Bachelors of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University and has just begun the Masters in Music Composition program at Western University. In the past, she has had the opportunity to write for the Laurier Symphony Orchestra, the Penderecki String Quartet, and various small ensembles. From September 2019-February 2020 she facilitated an opera writing workshop hosted through Vera Causa Opera.