Faculty Appointments: Tyondai Braxton & Nathalie Joachim

May 27, 2022

The Department of Music at Princeton University is thrilled to announce the addition of Grammy-nominated flutist, composer, and vocalist Nathalie Joachim and American composer and musician Tyondai Braxton to the faculty. Appointed as Assistant Professors, they will be teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses beginning Fall 2022. Joachim and Braxton will join the composition faculty, including professors Donnacha Dennehy, Steven Mackey, Juri Seo, Daniel Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Barbara White; Jeff Snyder (Senior Lecturer and Director of Electronic Music); and research specialist Andrew Lovett.

“We are so excited about welcoming both Nathalie Joachim and Tyondai Braxton to campus this fall,” said Wendy Heller, Scheide Professor of Music History and Chair of the Department of Music. “These brilliant, talented composers bring to our department an extraordinary breadth of experience and imagination; they will take our students on an exciting new journey into music’s future.” 

ABOUT PROFESSOR BRAXTON:

Tyondai Braxton is an American composer and electronic musician who has been writing and performing music under his own name and collaboratively since the mid-1990s. Having recently completed a residency at Public Records in Brooklyn, Braxton incorporates electronic and modern orchestral elements into his music, which ranges in scale from solo pieces to large-scale symphonic works. The former front man of experimental rock band Battles, Braxton has focused on his own work since 2010, including his critically acclaimed album Central Market, which has been performed by world-renowned orchestras such as London Sinfonietta, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and HIVE, a multimedia project for three percussionists and two modular synthesizer performers which premiered at the Guggenheim in NYC. Braxton has been commissioned to write pieces for ensembles such as The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, The BBC Concert Orchestra, The Bang on a Can All Stars, Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, and Third Coast Percussion. He has worked in collaboration with the likes of legendary composer Philip Glass as a duo and iconic visual artist Thomas Demand at the 2017 Venice Biennale. 2022 will see the release of the recording of his work Telekinesis for orchestra, choir and electronics with Metropolis Ensemble, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and The Crossing. To learn more, please visit his website.

“Joining the faculty of Princeton’s Department of Music is a great honor,” said Braxton. "I am excited about the possibilities ahead and am looking forward to contributing to this vibrant community of creativity.”

ABOUT PROFESSOR JOACHIM:

Brooklyn-born Haitian American artist Nathalie Joachim is hailed for being “a fresh and invigorating cross-cultural voice” (The Nation) who engages her creative practice to advocate for music, social change, and cultural awareness. The Grammy-nominated flutist, composer, and vocalist is a United States Artist Fellow and co-founder of the critically acclaimed duo Flutronix. Joachim has performed and recorded with an impressive range of today’s most exciting artists and ensembles and is the former flutist of the contemporary chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. As a composer, Joachim is regularly commissioned to write for instrumental and vocal artists, dance, and interdisciplinary theater, most recently creating works for St. Louis Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, Sō Percussion, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Imani Winds, cellist Seth Parker Woods, and more. As an active educator of students of all ages and skill levels, Joachim is devoted to supporting music education with intention. She has held faculty positions at The Hartt School at The University of Hartford, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Perlman Music Program, and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. She has also served as a mentor for The Juilliard School’s BluePrint Fellowship with National Sawdust and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Joachim is currently an Artistic Partner with the Oregon Symphony, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, and an Artist-in-Residence at Yale University’s Schwarzman Center. To learn more about Joachim’s work as a composer, performer, and teacher, please visit her website.

“I am both honored and delighted to be joining Princeton University and its stellar music department,” said Joachim. “I look forward to forging new relationships with my colleagues and contributing to the continued advancement of both undergraduate and graduate students in their exceptional creative work.”

Long at the forefront of changes in the art, and act, of composition, Princeton University’s Program in Composition at the Department of Music considers it essential for composers to be non-classicists, and to engage in all music—high and low, American and European, Eastern and Western, live and electronic, free and strict, college and club. The program builds on its rich modernist past—the lineage of composers as diverse as Milton Babbitt, Roger Sessions, James Randall, and Godfrey Winhamz—and it continues to be involved in electronic/computer music, as evidenced by the success, in the last decade, of Princeton’s Laptop Orchestra. The Princeton Sound Kitchen, the program’s forum for the creation of new music, allows both faculty and graduate students to have their works (including works-in-progress) performed by some of the world’s leading professional musicians in a series of performances open to the community. The composition program also facilitates interaction with visiting composers through the colloquium series, and there are numerous opportunities for collaborations involving dance, theater, and film through the Lewis Center for the Arts. Undergraduate students can earn a certificate in composition in addition to their degree in a major. This past year, numerous seniors worked individually with a member of the faculty on a composition thesis, such as an opera, a collection of songs, an album, or a piece for an orchestral ensemble to name a few.  

To learn more about the composition program and the Department of Music, including the more than 150 performances, workshops, master classes, colloquia, and recitals presented each year, visit music.princeton.edu or follow on Instagram and Facebook (@musicprincetonu).

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