kinds of kings

electronic press kit


Gemma Peacocke:

Composer and Executive Director (based in NYC)

Maria Kaoutzani:

Composer and Director, Communications (based in Chicago)



2019-2020 press release



July 31 2019 – Press Release


For its 2019-2020 season, composer collective Kinds of Kings will explore the idea of Equilibrium and Disturbance with an Artist Residency at Brooklyn’s prestigious National Sawdust venue. Featuring new works by the collective’s six members – Gemma Peacocke, Shelley Washington, Susanna Hancock, Maria Kaoutzani, and Finola Merivale –  Kinds of Kings has curated a  concert series at National Sawdust and Roulette Intermedium, and is partnering with National Sawdust to provide open-access professional development events for underrepresented voices in the wider New York community. At the beginning of the season the collective will launch its inaugural Bouman Fellowship with the aim of boosting the work of early-career composers. 


Described by The New Yorker as “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” Kinds of Kings is a collective of six multifaceted composers. The collective aims to advocate for underrepresented voices and to build a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music.


During the residency, Kinds of Kings will collaborate with five national and international chamber ensembles and soloists, and will work with theatre director Benita de Wit as well as video artists to create immersive concert experiences. Programs will include joint portrait concerts featuring large-scale experimental works developed over the course of the residency as well as concerts featuring work by each composer. The concert series will culminate in an evening-length group work on the idea of home and displacement with award-winning Australian ensemble Rubiks Collective. 


As part of its commitment to amplifying the work of early-career composers, the collective has developed its first advocacy initiative to be an integral part of the residency. Named after scientist Katie Bouman – whose work contributed to the first-ever photographing of a black hole – the Bouman Fellowship provides mentorship, a commissioning grant, and a premiere alongside Kinds of Kings at National Sawdust. The 2019-20 Bouman composer fellows are Mason Bynes, Andrew Rodriguez, and Cassie Wieland.




Kinds of Kings:

Rubiks Collective:

Benita de Wit:

Mason Bynes:

Andrew Rodriguez:

Cassie Wieland:


Founded in 2017, US-based composer collective Kinds of Kings is a group of six multifaceted composers committed to building a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music. The collective is focussed on amplifying and advocating for historically marginalized people and producing immersive and inclusive work.

For the 2019-2020 season, Kinds of Kings is an artist-in-residence at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York. Described as, “distinguished young creators who work in diverse styles,” (The New Yorker) the collective’s 2019-2020 concert series, Equilibrium and Disturbance, features Rubiks Collective (Melbourne, Australia), ~Nois saxophone quartet (Chicago), Isabelle O’Connell (New York), Nouveau Classical Project (New York), and Real Loud (New York). Kinds of Kings has previously 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. 

Kinds of Kings is Gemma Peacocke (New Zealand/New York), Shelley Washington (United States/New Jersey), Emma O’Halloran (Ireland/New York), Finola Merivale (Ireland/New York), Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/Chicago), and Susanna Hancock (United States/Kentucky).



individual bios

Gemma Peacocke is a composer from Hamilton, New Zealand. She grew up composing as a strategy to avoid practicing the violin. Her multimedia song cycle setting poems by Afghan women, Waves & Lines, is adapted from Eliza Griswold’s book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan. Waves & Lines premiered in 2017 at Roulette Intermedium and has been performed at Australia’s Melbourne Recital Centre, National Sawdust in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and it has been released as a studio album on the New Amsterdam label. Gemma’s music has been performed and commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, the Rochester Philharmonic, Rubiks Collective, cellist Nick Photinos, and Alarm Will Sound.

Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer who freely intertwines acoustic and electronic music. A recent graduate from the doctoral program at Princeton University, O’Halloran has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, symphony orchestra, film, and theatre. For her efforts, she has been praised by I Care If You Listen editor-in-chief Amanda Cook for writing “some of the most unencumbered, authentic, and joyful music that I have heard in recent years,” and has won numerous competitions, including National Sawdust’s Hildegard competition and the Beth Morrison Projects Next Generation award. O’Halloran lives in Brooklyn and is currently working on her first full-length opera.

Finola Merivale is an Irish composer currently living in New York. She is pursuing a DMA in Composition at Columbia University, where she is studying with Georg Friedrich Haas, George Lewis, and Zosha Di Castri. Her music is fueled by her thoughts on social injustices and climate change. She has lived in four different countries on three different continents, and a sense of place—both real and imagined—also greatly inspires her work. 2019–2020 projects include commissions from Rebekah Heller, Karl Larson, REAL LOUD, and Pathos Trio.

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.

Susanna Hancock is an Asian-American composer and bassoonist whose works explore color, process, and acoustic phenomena. Her music draws from a wide array of influences including minimalism, spectralism, folk, and electronic mediums. Hancock’s compositions have been played by the JACK Quartet and members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and featured in concerts and festivals throughout the world including the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, Vox Novus/Composers Voice Concert Series, USF New-Music Festival, and the Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Shelley Washington writes music to fulfill 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.


Collective headshot:

Kinds of Kings


Individual headshots:

Susanna Hancock

Maria Kaoutzani

Finola Merivale

Emma O’Halloran

Gemma Peacocke

Shelley Washington


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