T.J. Borden – MM in Cello Performance

What have you been up to since leaving UB?

Since leaving UB, I have been pursuing a DMA in Contemporary Music Performance at UC San Diego, under the tutelage of Charles Curtis.  This has led to many collaborations with young composers as well as the opportunity to work with more prominent figures such as Brian Ferneyhough, Josh Levine, Alvin Lucier, and La Monte Young.  Outside of UCSD, I participated for 3 summers in a row (2014-2016) in the Lucerne Festival Academy, where we worked with prominent composer Helmut Lachenmann and played under conductors like Sir Simon Rattle, Alan Gilbert, and Susanna Malkki.  Additionally, I'm a core member of the [SWITCH~ Ensemble], a new music ensemble specializing in electroacoustic music that I joined while still at UB, and we have gone on towards multiple successful performances and residencies since then, despite the fact that I (and other members) are based in California.

How did your experience in the Department of Music prepare you for a future in music?

UB provided me an open environment through which to pursue my own projects while still offering concrete opportunities to work with some of the leading figures in contemporary music.  This gave me a firm foundation upon which I have been able to continue to build at UCSD.

Can you tell us about any recent performances, awards or music-related activities?

Last May, the [SWITCH~ Ensemble] had a successful residency at the University of Chicago, which resulted in 2 concerts and 6 new premieres from composition students there.  We were also recently awarded a New Music USA grant, which will go towards residencies next spring at Cornell University, Bard College, and Buffalo State.  Notable tours have been with the superb bassist Kyle Motl last July in support of our new record 'Apperception', and last March with the Heterodyne trio (featuring Paul Hembree and James Bean on electronics), where we performed at universities in the Northeast and shared commissions of new works by Jenna Lyle and Elise Roy.

Do you have any advice for current UB Music students?

Learn to work with the resources available to you as best you can and to be self-directed in pursuing new projects while not shying away from the rich community that orbits in and around UB.  Seek inroads into the larger Buffalo community as well; there are many gems waiting to be discovered there.

T.J. Borden earned a Master's Degree in Cello Performance under the guidance of Professor Jonathan Golove.