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 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. 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, 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, and at the 2016 Darmstadt IMD Ferienkurse 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, will be premiered in New York (Benzaquen Hall, Dimenna Center) and Toronto in November of 2017 and in Helsinki (Camerata Hall, Musiikkitalo) in January of 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.
Katehis has taken lessons with Brian Ferneyhough, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, and Mark Andre, among others. Other instructors have included Daniel Godfrey, Joseph Downing, and Andrew Waggoner in composition, Michael Calvert in early plucked strings, and Manos Georgandakis in Byzantine chant.