Stephan Carlson Headshot

Stephan Carlson, MM in Composition

Teaching Assistant, PhD Candidate

Stephan Carlson (b. 1990) is a composer and song-writer from northern Illinois. Stephan's musical interests include experimental instrumental techniques exploring the foundational, physical motions idiomatic acoustic instruments; vocal musics, including classic, contemporary, and experimental choral works, as well as a cappella and barbershop music; experimental electronic musics and technologies; and popular music styles like rock and metal.

Stephan earned his B.M. in Music Theory and Composition at Elmhurst College in 2013, where most of his work was in vocal and choral music. Some of the choral music he wrote at this time and since has been published by Alfred Music, and has been performed in the States, Canada, Europe, and the Pacific Islands. In 2017 he continued his studies at Northern Illinois University, where he began to explore contemporary music more deeply-- being particularly stricken by composers like Julia Wolfe, Eriks Esenvalds, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Gerard Grisey. In his own compositional work he sought to explore different methods of organizing and developing sound, and to develop new idioms for himself.

He completed his MM in 2019, and is currently at the University of Iowa pursuing his Ph.D. Stephan's work at UIowa has involved composing pieces which use the physical motions of "playing" the instruments for which he writes as the fundamental materials of the work, rather than the sounds themselves. He has described these works as "choreographies of motion". In addition to this Stephan has been exploring electronic music techniques, including the development of tools via Max/MSP for the manipulation of sounds' spectra. The electronic pieces he has composed often feature voice as a primary element, and feature spectral manipulations (as well as other forms of synthesis) as foregrounded means of musical expression.

Headshot of Sivan

Sivan Cohen Elias, Visiting Assistant Professor, Electronic Music Studio Director 2018-2021

Sivan Cohen Elias's work as a composer is cross-disciplinary, using the body, objects, installations, technological interventions and musical instruments to all constantly contribute to, and disrupt, one another's domains. Cohen Elias been the recipient of numerous international awards, residencies and commissions, including the Impuls International Composition Competition (2009), the Boost! project Prize Darmstadt (2012), Akademie Schloss Solitude fellowship (2012), and the International Music Theatre Competition Darmstadt Prize (2016). Her opera, Eve&ADINN, premiered in Darmstadt in April 2018.

Born in Jerusalem, her works have been commissioned, broadcast and performed by ensembles and performers (including herself) in and around the United States, Europe, Israel, Scandinavia, and Russia. Collaborators include Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik, Mosaik, Dal Niente, Distractfold, Mocrep, Jack Quartet, and Nikel, among many others. Festival appearances include Darmstadt Fereinkurse, Bludenz, Wien Modern, Witten, Klangspuren, Ultraschall, and Warsaw Autumn.

After receiving her BEdMus and MMus from the Rubin Academy of Music and Buchmann-Mehta school of Music, respectively, Cohen Elias left her home country and relocated to Vienna for a postgraduate program at the University for Music and Performance Art. In 2009 she commenced Ph.D. composition studies at Harvard University under the guidance of Professor Chaya Czernowin and Professor Hans Tutchku, graduating in May 2017.

From 2006 to 2007 Cohen Elias served as the chairperson of the Israel Women Composers' Forum. Throughout her time in Israel, she participated in organizing committees of international new music festivals, including Tzlil Meudcan, dedicated to developing previously non-existent platforms. In 2017 she relocated to Chicago, where she was the Composer in Residence at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Cohen Elias joins the faculty at the University of Iowa as a visiting assistant professor, teaching applied composition and courses in the Electronic Music Studios.


Jonah Elrod

Studio Assistant Emeriti

Daniel Frantz

Studio Assistant Emeriti

Shane Hoose

Studio Assistant Emeriti

Will Huff

Studio Assistant Emeriti

Jonathan Wilson

Studio Assistant Emeriti

Zach Zubow

Studio Assistant Emeriti