Photo by Nadine Dyskant-Miller


Annika Socolofsky (1990, Edinburgh) is a composer, avant-folk vocalist, and fiddler. Her music stems from the timbral nuance and inwards resonance of the human voice, and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral works to unaccompanied folk ballads.

New projects for the 2017 – 2018 season include works for Eighth Blackbird, sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, Knoxville Symphony, and saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen. She has collaborated with artists including the Albany Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Third Coast Percussion, Emissary Quartet, Shattered Glass, Donald Sinta Quartet, JACK Quartet, Latitude 49, Mobius Percussion, shakuhachi grandmaster Riley Lee, and bassist Evan Runyon, among others. Her works, projects, and related research have been presented at The Italian Society of Contemporary Music, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Carnegie Hall, Northwestern New Music Institute, Strange Beautiful Music Detroit, Listening to Ladies, and Princeton Sound Kitchen.

Annika is a recipient of a 2014 Fromm Foundation Commission and a 2017 BMI Student Composer Award. Her research focuses on a physiological approach to contemporary vocal music, using Estill Voice Training and the music of Dolly Parton to create a pedagogical approach to composition that does not box the composer into an either/or decision of straight tone vs. operatic vocals. She is a Mark Nelson Doctoral Fellow in composition at Princeton University. She holds a master’s in composition from the University of Michigan where she was a Regents Fellow. Her primary music mentors have been Evan Chambers, Dan Trueman, Kristin Kuster, and Reza Vali. She has an intense interest in Yiddish song and contra dance, and can be heard in avant-Isles folk band Ensoleil.
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beneath the snow (2015), for mezzo-soprano, cimbalom, violin, double bass, and vibraphone, 10'00" • Recording

Boža (2013), Song Cycle for Alto & Chamber Ensemble, 13'00" Folk singer (high voice), Clarinet in Bb, Guitar (classical & electric), Accordion, Cello, Percussion • Recording


Beyond the Pines (2017), 30'00" 10 actors, SA Children's Chorus, and Orchestra (2/2/1 - 2/2/1 - 1 -synthesizer - strings) for the Albany Symphony Water Music NY• Recording Available Upon Request

Hush (2017), 9'15" String Orchestra • Recording Available Upon Request

Krekhts, for Great Highland Bagpipe and Orchestra (2014), 7'00" Great Highland Bagpipe - 3/3/3/3 - 4/3/3/1 - T+2 - strings Recipient of a Rackham International Research Award Recipient of a Rackham Research Grant • Recording


quell (2017), for Contrabass & Fixed Media 7'30" • Recording

One wish, your honey lips (2016), for flute quartet 9'15" Funded by a Fromm Foundation Commission at Harvard University • Recording

a sense of who (2015), for Clarinet, Cello, Contrabass, Electric Guitar, Piano, & Percussion, 6'00" For the Bang on a Can Summer Festival • Recording

Give It Time (2016), for shakuhachi & fixed media, 5'45" • Recording

Bulgarity (2013), for Saxophone Quartet, 4'00" Winner of the Donald Sinta Quartet 2013 National Composition Competition Finalist - ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards • Recording

Bulgarious (2012), Caprice for solo Flute, 3'10" Commissioned by Weronika Balewski • Recording

Bulgarian Dances for Two Flutes (2010), 6'30" RecordingFor Sale from Flute World


Boža (2013), Song Cycle for Folk Singer & Chamber Ensemble

PDF score

Folk singer (high voice), Clarinet in Bb, Guitar (classical & electric), Accordion, Cello, Percussion - 13'00"

a sense of who, for chamber ensemble & fixed media

PDF score

Recorded by the Bang on a Can festival at MassMoCa on July 27, 2015. Instrumentation is for fixed media, clarinet, electric guitar, cello, bass, piano, and drums. The fixed media track features Evan Chambers, folk singer.

About the piece:
“I find that people who come from small places have a very strong sense of who they are.” – Nic Gareiss

I have never come from a small place. I’ve spent my life jumping around from Edinburgh, to Chicago, to Pittsburgh—city after city after city. But in 2012, for the first time in my life, I moved to a smaller place. In Ann Arbor, Michigan my fiddle and I were swallowed, heads-first, into the traditional Irish music scene. Showing up to familiar faces and tunes and conversation at Conor O’Neill’s on Main St. every Sunday night provided a sense of community I’d never before experienced.
Over the last few years, there’s been this microscopic point inside of me that has started to grow. That point is that sense of belonging, that sense of friendship, that sense of love, that sense of community, that sense of grounding, that inkling of a sense of who… It’s been growing. And that is everything.

One wish, your honey lips

PDF score

As a vocalist, I have long been obsessed with the nuanced resonance of the human voice, and in particular the timbral variation and inflection inherent to many folk vocal traditions. These highly expressive micro-variations deliver intense pangs of emotion that can be sung in the subtlest of ways. They are distilled, fleeting moments of suffering and joy that fall between the cracks of melody and harmony. This piece is about the music that exists between the notes.