Young Composer Award - 2021

Sounds New began its first-ever award this year to recognize younger composers. In 2021 no award was given, but we did recognize Peyton Nelesen with an honorable mention.

Peyton Nelesen is a composer and pianist who was born outside of Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Atherton, California, and recently moved to NYC to attend The Spence School. At age 11, she was the youngest winner of the 2019 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. At age 12, she was an Honorable Mention recipient of the 2020 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards as well as an Honorable Mention of the Luna Composition Lab. Her music has also won first place in the International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards four years in a row.

Peyton began studying piano and composing music at the age of four. She studies music composition with John Syzygy, has studied classical piano with Penka Rodeva and jazz piano with the late Amonte Parsons who himself studied with Oscar Peterson. Peyton has had the great fortune to have her music performed and recorded by amazing and unparalleled musicians such as Randy Emata, Brian Collier, Alex Csillag, Ron King, Ian Roller, Sean Erick, James Harrah, Lisa Liu, Ben Lash, Geoff Osika, Mike Cordone, Phil O'Conner, P. Blake Cooper, Ani Aznavoorian, Scott Worthington, Sean Rosati and Jordan Ferreira.