Aliya Ultan is a composer, cellist, singer, and dancer from Brooklyn, NY. As a teenager Ultan participated in the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer’s Program where her music was both workshopped and performed at the Lincoln Center. Before attending the Interlochen Arts Academy on a full scholarship, Ultan trained as a dancer at the Ailey School as well as Steps on Broadway in Manhattan. Ultan’s interdisciplinary approach to creating art has led to performances with the Grammy award winning Eighth Blackbird Ensemble and master improviser Douglas Ewart of the AACM. Ultan is winner of numerous grants and competitions including From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Award, YoungArts, Oberlin College’s Flint Initiative Grant, and XARTS.
Ultan and her sister Taiga have appeared in Iceland’s Chamber Music Festival as resident composer-performers on multiple occasions presenting concerts of all original music including duo improvisations. While attending Vijay Iyer’s Jazz and Creative Music program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2018, Ultan was a featured soloist in a piece by her sister titled Opera Synopsis, a challenging yet humorous work for large ensemble involving musicians from a diverse array of stylistic backgrounds.
In the spring of 2019 Ultan completed a handful of commissioned works including a live soundtrack for a contemporary circus show and large ensemble piece for the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. Most recently, Ultan has released her first album Predisposed as part of Natedal, an international improvising trio of singer-multi instrumentalists. Her upcoming projects involve a film score for a short gods, generally by Cici Sutter about climate change and its effects on three generations of women as well as a solo tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ultan holds a BM in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory and will begin her graduate studies in experimental composition with Dr. Tyshawn Sorey at Wesleyan University in the Fall.