Described as, “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” (The New Yorker) Kinds of Kings is a trio of multifaceted composers committed to building a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music. The collective amplifies and advocates for the voices of historically-marginalized people and works to expand access for audiences and composers.
In March 2022 the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird premiered a jointly-composed commission by the collective, Nine Mothers. Kinds of Kings was Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn’s esteemed National Sawdust venue in 2019-2020, and the group has had portrait concerts with New York-based chamber groups Metropolis Ensemble and Desdemona Ensemble, the ZAFA Collective in Chicago, and the St Louis Symphony as part of the orchestra’s Pulitzer Series. Their debut album, Kinds of ~Nois, with ~Nois saxophone quartet, will be released in March 2024 on Bright Shiny Things.
The collective’s annual Bouman Fellowship commissions are awarded to early career composers to work with partner organizations, performers, and ensembles including the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, pianists Claire Longendyke and Isabelle O’Connell, Rubiks Collective, and the Elise Hall Emerging Saxophonist Competition.
Kinds of Kings is Gemma Peacocke (New Zealand/New Jersey), Shelley Washington (Missouri/New York), and Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/Illinois).
A NOTE ON
GENDER, ETHNICITY, & RACE
We avoid using gender, ethnicity, race, or other identities in any marketing. Rather than identifying us as 'female composers,' we ask just to be called 'composers'.
It's part of our strategy of normalising the presence of women, BIPOC, LGBTQI, non-binary people, and gender nonconforming people in composition and other music jobs. (We often talk about our own experiences in relation to sex, gender, ethnicity, and race, but we prefer that these identities are not used to promote our work.)
Gemma Peacocke is a composer from Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a particular interest in interdisciplinary projects. Her first album, Waves & Lines, which sets poems by Afghan women, was released on New Amsterdam in March 2019.
Gemma is co-founder of the Kinds of Kings composer collective which is focussed on amplifying and advocating for under-heard voices in classical music. A joint Ph.D. candidate in Music and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University, Gemma previously studied with Julia Wolfe at NYU Steinhardt and at the New Zealand School of Music.
Gemma has been commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Bang on a Can, Rubiks Collective, Stroma, and Alarm Will Sound. She lives in Princeton with her family and her biggest fan, a standard poodle called Mila. She also spends as much time as possible in New Zealand.
Maria Kaoutzani is a composer from Limassol, Cyprus, currently based in Chicago, IL, where she is a PhD candidate and a Lindsay Graduate Fellow in Music Composition at the University of Chicago. Her works have been performed in Europe, the US, Canada and Latin America, by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Longleash Trio and Imani Winds, and at festivals such as New Music On The Point, Valencia International Performance Academy, International Symposium for New Music, among others.
Shelley Washington writes music to fulfil one calling: to move. With an eclectic palette, Washington tells stories focusing on exploring emotions and intentions by finding their root cause. Using driving, rhythmic riffs paired with indelible melodies, she creates a sound dialogue for the public and personal discourse. She performs regularly as a vocalist and saxophonist, primarily on baritone saxophone, and has performed and recorded throughout the Midwest and East Coast- anything from Baroque to Screamo.