Viet Cuong (b. 1990, West Hills, Calif.) is an American composer.
Viet holds the Curtis Institute of Music’s Daniel W. Dietrich II Composition Fellowship as an Artist Diploma student of David Ludwig and Jennifer Higdon. Viet received his MFA from Princeton University as a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Fellow, and he finished his Ph.D. there in 2021. At Princeton he studied with Steven Mackey, Donnacha Dennehy, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, Paul Lansky, and Louis Andriessen. Viet holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts and Oscar Bettison.
While at Peabody, Viet received the Peabody Alumni Award (the Valedictorian honor) and the Gustav Klemm Award for excellence in composition. Viet has been a fellow at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Cabrillo Festival’s Young Composer Workshop, Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composers workshop, and was also a scholarship student at the Aspen, Bowdoin, and Lake Champlain music festivals. Additionally, he has received artist residencies from Yaddo, Copland House, Ucross Foundation, and Atlantic Center for the Arts (under Melinda Wagner, 2012 and Christopher Theofanidis, 2014).
Viet Cuong's music has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as Sō Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, Alarm Will Sound, Sandbox Percussion, the PRISM Quartet, JACK Quartet, Gregory Oakes, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, among many others. Viet’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Aspen Music Festival, New Music Gathering, Boston GuitarFest, International Double Reed Society Conference, US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, and on American Public Radio’s Performance Today. He also enjoys composing for the wind ensemble medium, and his works for winds have amassed over one hundred performances by conservatory and university ensembles worldwide, including at Midwest, WASBE, and CBDNA conferences.
Viet is a recipient of the Barlow Endowment Commission, Copland House Residency Award, ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Call for Scores, Cortona Prize, New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition, and Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, among others. In addition, he received honorable mentions in the Harvey Gaul Composition Competition and two consecutive ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prizes. Scholarships include the Evergreen House Foundation scholarship at Peabody, a 2010 Susan and Ford Schumann Merit Scholarship from the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the 2011 Bachrach Memorial Gift from the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Viet is a member of BMI, the American Composers Forum, and the Blue Dot Collective, a group of composers who focus on writing adventurous new music for wind band. In 2020-2021, he was composer-in-residence at Kennesaw State University, Georgia.
Works for Winds
- Syzygy (Flex instrumentation) (2019/2020)
All Wind Works
- Bull's-Eye (2019)
- Concerto for Tuba (2019)
- Deciduous (2023)
- Diamond Tide (2015)
- Electric Aroma (2017/2018)
- Extra Fancy
- Full Circle (2019)
- Heart on Fire (2022)
- Howls and Hymns (2017)
- Lasting Light (2018)
- Moth (2013)
- Moxie (tr. Sedatole) (2018/2021)
- Re(new)al (2016/2018)
- Rule of 3 (2021)
- Second Nature (2024)
- Sound and Smoke (2011)
- Syzygy (2019)
- Syzygy (Flex instrumentation) (2019/2020)
- Thu Điếu (2017)
- Vital Sines (2022)
- The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 303-304.
- Leung, Erik Kar Jun. '"Face, Honor, and Family: The Crossroads of Asian Culture and a Career in Music." The Horizon Leans Forward…, edited by Erik Kar June Leung, GIA, 2020, 59-81; 125-126.
- Moss, Emily A. "Diamond Tide." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 340-348. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
- Pouncey, Benjamin. "A Conversation with Viet Cuong." NBA Journal, Summer 2023, pp. 60-72.
- Taylor, Robert. '"Out in Front: Queer Identity and Visibility in the Wind Band." The Horizon Leans Forward…, edited by Erik Kar June Leung, GIA, 2020, 118-156.
- Trachsel, Andrew. "Sound and Smoke." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 802-817. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
- Viet Cuong, personal correspondence, November 2018
- Viet Cuong website
- Vondran, Shawn D. "Moth." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 957-966. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.