George Katehis is a Greek-American composer who specializes in high-density and complex works for small chamber ensembles and solo instruments. His interests include early music and early/modern performance practice, polyphony, complexity, issues in music engraving, complex performance techniques and their praxis, and the preservation of rare and apocryphal 20th century and contemporary scores. More recently, his research has expanded to the Byzantine music tradition.
Born in Manhattan in 1991, George Katehis received his B.A. in composition from the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University (SU) magna cum laude, where he studied with Nicolas Scherzinger; and his M.M. in composition from the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) with Reiko Füting. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center as a student of Jason Eckardt. A recipient of the 2013 Brian Israel Prize in composition (SU) and a Manhattan School of Music Composition Scholarship (MSM); among other academic achievements, Katehis remains interested in issues of composition, pedagogy, and performance of modern and historical plucked string instruments. Katehis has studied classical guitar with Kenneth Meyer, and early plucked strings (renaissance lute, baroque guitar, and theorbo) with Charles Weaver. As a composer, his work has been exhibited in masterclasses held by ensembles Loadbang, Dinosaur Annex, and ‘cellist Friedrich Gauwerky; and he has participated in lectures with ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl. As an engraver, he has worked for the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and produced work for pianists Renate Rohlfing and trio Longleash - among countless other projects. In 2014, he received the first student commission prize from the American Guild of Organists (AGO) for a solo organ piece, and Tókso was featured in the Society of Composers’ 53rd annual journal of scores. In 2015, Katehis was invited to participate in Longleash trio’s first annual Loretto Project at the Loretto Motherhouse outside of Louisville, KY. In 2016, Katehis’ recent work for solo piano, white as ash, was premiered in Toronto, CA and subsequently performed at the Musiikin Aika “Time of Music” festival in Vitasaari, FN, the 2016 Darmstadt IMD Ferienkurse, and Sound Symposium Festival Newfoundland by pianist Jana Luksts. Furthermore, he received a commission from the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) for a large-scale work for solo accordion for Finnish accordionist Matti Pulkki. become/dessicated, the resulting work, was premiered in New York (Benzaquen Hall, Dimenna Center) with subsequent performances in Toronto (Array Space, 2017), Helsinki (Camerata Hall, Musiikkitalo, 2018), Basel (Basel Music Academy), and Thessaloniki (Reedblocks Festival, 2018).In 2017, he received a Fulbright Research Grant to provide some of the first modern English documentations of the morphology of mainland Greek traditional music, and to likewise investigate issues of taxonomy, orality, and the construction of national identity in contemporary Greek composition with ethnomusicologist Eleni Kallimopoulou (University of Macedonia) and composer Dimitri Papageorgiou (Aristotle University). Upcoming projects include works for the JACK quartet (Spring, 2019), harpsichordist Wesley Shen, and guitarist Anthony Lalena.
Produced lovingly by Chelsea Kluga.
Katehis has taken lessons with Brian Ferneyhough, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, and Mark Andre, among others. Other instructors have included Joseph Downing in composition and tuning/temperamennt, Michael Calvert in early plucked strings, and Manos Georgandakis in Byzantine chant.