music: meredith butterworth

Thoughts for Four

 

“We had David Lang, Phillip Glass—big names. And they’re all fantastic composers. But in two semesters there was only one guest speaker that was a black woman, and no Latino composers. It made me think about how I want to contribute.” —Meredith Butterworth


 
 Meredith Butterworth

Meredith Butterworth

Meredith Butterworth graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance. While at UNC Charlotte, she studied composition with Dr. John Allemeier and subsequently enrolled in New York University (NYU), receiving a Master of Music in Theory and Composition in 2016. 

Meredith was the only black female composition major at NYU. “NYU is a diverse university; a lot of people travel from different countries to study there. But there weren’t a lot of black people, honestly.”  Each Monday a “Composers’ Forum” presented a guest speaker. “We had David Lang, Phillip Glass—big names. And they’re all fantastic composers. But in two semesters there was only one guest speaker that was a black woman, and no Latino composers. It made me think about how I want to contribute.”

Since graduating, Meredith has become committed to “creating a space for people of color to be represented” in the new music field. With fellow UNC Charlotte alumnus Matthew Primm, she has started Particular Ensemble, which she hopes will become a music series that “gives a space for those voices to come out.” 

While at NYU, Meredith composed her first work for string quartet, Thoughts for Four. Thoughts for Four represents a new life experience,” she says. “It can be viewed from the perspective of the relocation of a person to a new place, meeting new people, hearing new music, or taking on a new professional challenge.”

The work received its premiere on April 23, 2013, in a New York performance by the JACK quartet, a leading contemporary music group called “superheroes of the new music world” by the Boston Globe.