Thanks to our 2024 Gardner Competition for Composers Judges!

2024 Gardner Competition Judges

Thanks to our 2024 Gardner Competition for Composers Judges!

The American Viola Society extends sincere thanks the extraordinary judges of the 2024 Gardner Competition for Composers: Brittany J. Green, Michael Hall, and Ayane Kozasa!

Every two years, we enlist a new cohort of judges to serve in both an advisory and an adjudication capacity. The Gardner team meets together via Zoom, and our judges respond to literally dozens, if not hundreds of emails over the period of several months. 

This year, with over 75 entries, the judges listened to every single submission, often multiple times. Each judge brought a unique perspective as a performer, composer or pedagogue to the process, investing their wisdom, enthusiasm, and deep dedication to new music for the viola as they worked to determine this year’s laureates. The AVS commends our 2024 Gardner Competition judges and hope you will join us in thanking them for a spectacular job in helping to bring new and beautiful works for the viola into the modern repertoire.

Brittany J. Green is a North Carolina-based composer, creative, and educator. Her music facilitates intimate musical spaces that ignite visceral responses at the intersection of sound, video, movement, and text. Recent works engage sonification and black feminist theory as tools for sonic world-building, exploring the construction, displacement, and rupture of systems. Her artistic practice includes spoken and electronic performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential projects, and acoustic and electroacoustic chamber and large ensemble works. Her music has been featured at NYC Electronic Music Festival, WoCo Fest, and Experimental Sound Studio.

Her collaborators include the International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Transient Canvas, Castle of our Skins, Emory University Symphony Orchestra, and Wachovia Winds. Brittany holds awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP Foundation, and New Music USA. She is a doctoral candidate at Duke University, pursuing a PhD in music composition as a Dean’s Graduate Fellow.

Photo credit: Shanita Dixon


Michael Hall, is a Chicago-based violist, an international soloist, recording artist, teacher, and passionate commissioner and curator of music by living composers. He has over 140 compositions written for him, performed for three former US Presidents and the King of Thailand, and is the Co-Artistic Director, and Director of Education of the Bandung Philharmonic – the 1st professional orchestra in Indonesia.

Michael has given the premieres of concertos by Stacy Garrop, Chen Yi, and Kim Diehnelt, and appeared as soloist in Vienna, Jakarta, Reykjavik, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Bali, New York City, Singapore, Boston, Sorrento, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. In addition, Michael gave the Asian premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Andrea Clearfield, Stephen Paulus, Shulamit Ran, Nico Muhly, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Michael is curator of the soon-to-be released Anthology of New Music: Viola Vol. 1, by NewMusic Shelf Publishers. His recordings can be found on the Centaur, Delos, Vienna Modern Masters, Acoma, Parma and Albany labels. His next release will be on Osnat Netzer’s album in Feb 2024, for the New Focus Recordings label.

Michael also strongly believes musicians need to be part of communities outside concert halls, and has founded music series in women’s shelters, children’s homes, and refugee centers in multiple countries.


Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa is a sought-after chamber musician, collaborator, and educator. Since winning the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition—where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances—Ayane has appeared on stages across the world, from Carnegie, Wigmore, and Suntory Hall to Ravinia, Aspen, and the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a passionate advocate for the expansion of viola repertoire, and has commissioned multiple new works featuring the viola, including “American Haiku” by Paul Wiancko and “K’Zohar Harakia” by Judd Greenstein.

Currently, Ayane is a member of the duo Ayane & Paul with composer and cellist Paul Wiancko, with whom she collaborated on Norah Jones’ album “Pick Me Up Off the Floor.” The duo has appeared at several festivals, including Spoleto Festival USA, Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar. Ayane’s most recent passion project Owls is a quartet collective with violinist Alexi Kenney and cellists Gabriel Cabezas and Paul Wiancko. Owls share an uncommonly fierce creative spirit, weaving together new compositions with original arrangements of music ranging from the 1600s to the present, and have played at series such as the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. This season, Ayane is the guest violist of the Cavani String Quartet. The quartet boasts several original educational presentations with the string quartet as the catalyst, and they have presented their work at institutions such as the Cleveland State University and the University of Michigan.

Much of Ayane’s current work involves mentoring aspiring young musicians through programs like the Meadowmount School of Music, Green Lake Chamber Music Camp, and Olympic Music Festival. She is currently on the viola faculty at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has been guest faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University. Taking inspiration from her mentors the Cavani Quartet, Ayane has developed several education-based music shows curated especially for the youth in a festival’s community including Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and Spoleto Festival USA. Ayane is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Kronberg Academy in Germany, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied viola with Misha Amory, Roberto Díaz, Nobuko Imai, and Kirsten Docter. Aside from music, she enjoys hiking, doodling, and creating animation.

Photo credit: Ashley Gellman