KATYA RICHARDSON (b. 1997) is currently a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts. Since a young age, her family would bring her along to concerts to meet great legends—including Gerald Wilson, Julie Andrews, Jon Faddis, and Lalo Schifrin—as well as expose her to various genres of musical performance. Although she studies jazz and classical piano at OCSA as well as privately, her primary focus is composition. Katya began improvising at age eight and soon developed her interests upon taking private lessons at Point Loma Nazarene University and Saddleback College. From 2011-2013, Katya was the youngest of four high school students selected to participate in the Los Angeles Composer Fellowship Program. As part of the program, she was mentored by James Matheson and A.J. McCaffrey, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Steven Stucky. In 2013, the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered her orchestral work—Undefined—in Walt Disney Concert Hall. She has also written for the LACHSA and OCSA symphony orchestras, and has studied with Dr. Norman Weston, Ian Munro, Dr. Valentina Gottlieb, Eric Tanguy, Dr. Sarkis Baltaian, Victoria Rubinchik, Dr. Judy Huang, Dan St. Marseille, Mark Massey, and Martin Amlin. In June of 2015, Katya’s newest orchestral work, anima mundi, will receive its European premiere in Vienna and Prague, as part of the OCSA Symphony Orchestra’s European tour.
Katya has received several scholarships to summer programs such as Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, where she composed for Vento Chiaro and Axiom Brass; The Walden School of Music; the California State Summer School for the Arts; and Chetham’s School of Music in Great Britain. She is also a regular winner at the Southern Youth Music Festivals, Music Teachers Association of California Bach Festival, and has recently completed the Certificate of Merit Piano Panel audition as an Honors Finalist. In 2013, Katya won the National Young Composers Challenge for her string quartet, R.E.M.
In addition to her affinity for music, Katya enjoys biotechnology, community service, reading Oscar Wilde, and discussing anything that questions the cosmos. In 2014, she was named a QuestBridge Finalist for her academic accomplishments and was recognized as a Young Woman of Achievement by Soroptimist International. Katya will be attending the University of Southern California in the fall as a Trustee Scholar and composition major (’19).