Mary Kouyoumdjian is dedicated to composing music that pushes the boundaries of expectation and musical tradition. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic pallet that draws on her heritage, interest in folk music, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.
With compositions ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores, Kouyoumdjian has received commissions from the American Composers Forum/JFund for her piece Dzov Yerku Kooynov [Sea of Two Colors], REDSHIFT for their “Arctic Sounds” series, the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble, and violinist Andie Springer for her work Dandelion [for Andie Springer]. Her chamber and multimedia pieces have been recorded by such performers as internationally acclaimed cellist Charles Curtis and flautist John Fonville and have been presented by the Boston New Music Initiative and Ear Heart Music. Currently based in New York, Kouyoumdjian also actively promotes the growth of new music in her native state of California and has frequently collaborated with the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble.
Holding a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego and an M.A. in Scoring for Film & Multimedia from New York University, Kouyoumdjian has studied contemporary composition with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung; new music performance with Steve Schick; and modern jazz with Anthony Davis.
Kouyoumdjian is also a co-founder and the executive director of the contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant.