Jens Ibsen

The San Francisco Symphony, in partnership with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) and the SFCM President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion, announced Jens Ibsen as winner of the second annual Emerging Black Composers Project (EBCP) prize. The San Francisco Symphony, led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, will give the world premiere of his work during the 2023-24 season.

As winner of the Emerging Black Composers Project prize, Ibsen will receive a $15,000 commissioning fee, mentorship from committee members, and resources to workshop his piece with SFCM, along with a premiere of the work at Davies Symphony Hall.

Born in Accra, Ghana to a Ghanaian mother and an American father, his works are influenced by early exposure to Ghanaian drumming and classical Arabic and Indian music, with later inspiration coming from progressive metal and other distortion-heavy genres. He made history as the first African-born member of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir, where he was a principal soloist.

Ibsen completed his B.A. in music composition at Pepperdine University. He received his M.M. in music composition at the Mannes School of Music. He is based in San Francisco and New York.

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