Tina Tallon (b. 1990) is a Boston-area composer, computer musician, vocalist, and improviser currently completing her Ph.D. in composition at the University of California, San Diego. Born and raised in Pasadena, MD, she began playing the piano at age four and the violin at seven, although she received no formal training in composition or theory until late in her undergraduate studies at MIT, where she studied biological engineering and spent time researching the biomolecular bases of pancreatic cancer and endometriosis.
In 2010, she received a commission from the League of Imaginary Scientists for a piece of sound art to accompany a science-meets-art exhibit relating the surface of gram-negative bacteria to close-up views of the Martian landscape at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia and later at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Her music has since been widely performed internationally by ensembles and musicians such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, wild Up, Talea, soprano Tony Arnold, HOCKET Duo, the Calder Quartet, the Hausmann Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, members of the JACK Quartet, the h2 quartet, and Transient Canvas, among many others. Her first string quartet, selective defrosting, won grand prize in the 2013 PARMA Student Composer Competition and her dissertation, luscinia, won a 2018 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. She was also the recipient of a 2016 Barlow Endowment General Commission to support the composition of new work for violist and composer Kurt Rohde for viola and live electronics. Other recent commissioners include the LA Philharmonic, Steven Schick and the La Jolla Symphony, a 10-college consortium of wind ensembles led by San Jose State University, Transient Canvas, and Guerilla Opera. Festival appearances include IRCAM’s ManiFeste, the LA Philharmonic’s National Composers Intensive, soundSCAPE festival, New Music on the Point, Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Art of Migration Festival at UC Davis,. In addition to grants from Brandeis University, Tina won one of four inaugural Katzin Prize Fellowships to fund her research at UCSD and remains the only recipient in the arts to date.
Ms. Tallon is active as not only a composer and passionate advocate for new music, but also as a vocalist, violinist, arts administrator, educator, and arts documentarian. She began singing in 2008, and received an MIT Emerson Scholarship to study voice in 2010. She frequently performed as a soloist with the MIT Chamber Chorus and Concert Choir, and has performed with Bang On A Can, Collage New Music, kallisti Opera, the Men in Blaque, and many others. Additionally, from 2011-2013, she served as Assistant to the Artistic Director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and an assistant producer for the Grammy-winning BMOP/sound label. She also served as general manager of San Diego’s Fresh Sound Music series from 2014-2016. In 2015, she founded SALT Arts Documentation, which specializes in providing high-quality photography and videography of music, theater, and dance performances with an emphasis on improving access to documentation and promotional services for artists from underrepresented backgrounds.
Academically, her research interests include technological mediation of the human voice, virtual tactility, the relationship between somaesthetics and music cognition, computational modeling of energetic relationships between various musical parameters based upon Newtonian mechanics, development of software for spectral analysis and composition, algorithmic composition, and computational approaches to musicological inquiry. After graduating, she was hired by the MIT music department to develop curriculum for a class in computational musicology to be taught by associate professor Michael Scott Cuthbert, under whom she also served as a research assistant and programmer for the music21 computer-aided musicology project. Tina holds S. B. degrees in Biological Engineering and Music from MIT, and an M.F.A in Composition and Music Theory from Brandeis University. Her primary teachers include Peter Child, David Rakowski, and Lei Liang, and she has studied computer music with Miller Puckette and Tom Erbe. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Clark University.