Founded in 2017, composer collective Kinds of Kings is a group of 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 the voices of historically-marginalized people and producing immersive and inclusive work.

For the 2019-2020 season, Kinds of Kings was 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, featured 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. In 2021 the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird will premiere a new concerto by the collective.

Kinds of Kings is Gemma Peacocke (New Zealand/Brooklyn NY), Shelley Washington (United States/Princeton NJ), and Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/Chicago IL).


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 the Rochester Philharmonic, Third Coast Percussion, PUBLIQuartet, Rubiks Collective, cellist Nick Photinos, and Alarm Will Sound.

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.








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 and non-binary people in composition and other music jobs. (We often talk about our own experiences in relation to gender, ethnicity, and race, but we prefer that these identities are not used to promote our work.)

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