Nomi Epstein

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
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The music of composer Nomi Epstein centers around her interest in sonic fragility, where structure arises out of textural subtleties. Her works have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe by ensembles such as SurPlus, ICE, Wet Ink, Mivos Quartet, Wild Rumpus, Dedalus, Southland, and counter)induction. In 2020, she released her first solo composer album, Nomi Epstein: sounds (New Focus Recordings), which featured Reinier van Houdt and Collect/Project; and her piece "Collections for Juliet" was included on Juliet Fraser's release Spilled Out from Tangles (HCR). An active practitioner and advocate of experimental music, she is the founder/director of the critically acclaimed experimental music ensemble a•pe•ri•od•ic, in which she also performs. Her curatorial work includes large-scale festivals such as A John Cage Festival (2012), the Chicago Wandelweiser Festival (2014), and the Galina Ustvolskaya Festival (2017), as well as experimental music concerts in the U.S. and abroad involving composers from across the globe. She continues to research, write, and lecture on post-Cagean notated, experimental music. Epstein has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois Chicago, DePaul University, and the University of Iowa.

Career Highlights
  • Founder/director of a•pe•ri•od•ic, an acoustic experimental music ensemble from Chicago
  • Recordings include the composer portrait Nomi Epstein: sounds (New Focus Recordings, 2020), for a•pe•ri•od•ic (New Focus Recordings, 2019), and more or less (New Focus Recordings, 2014); with compositions on Juliet Fraser's Spilled Out from Tangles (HCR, 2020) and Pluralities (Chen Li Music, 2017); and performances on NbN's Trios (2019) and Jürg Frey's Buch der Räume und Zeiten (Irritable Hedgehog, 2018)
  • Profiled in the Chicago Tribune, June 2013
  • Composer portrait concerts in Berlin, Paris, London, and Los Angeles
  • Independent curator/organizer for A John Cage Festival, the Chicago Wandelweiser Festival, and Power in Sound: The Music of Galina Ustvolskaya
  • Faculty at University of Illinois Chicago, Roosevelt University, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and the University of Iowa
  • "Till for Solo Piano” from Nomi Epstein: sounds made first-round ballet for 2020 Grammy Awards (Best Contemporary Classical Composition)
  • Illinois Arts Council grants
  • DCASE artist grants
  • New Music USA project grants
  • D.M.A., Northwestern University, composition
  • M.M., New England Conservatory, composition
  • B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University
In Their Own Words

"I want students to come away with an understanding of and excitement about the subject matter. My hope is that these courses inspire a curiosity for deeper learning and engagement with the material, with music."