Kati Ilona Agócs (born January 20, 1975) is a composer of contemporary classical music and faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Agócs was raised on a small farm in Southwestern Ontario by Hungarian and American parents. Her father left Hungary after the 1956 uprising against the Stalinist government and traveled to Italy and the United States before finally settling in Canada. At the age of sixteen Agócs left home to represent the province of Ontario at Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (one of the United World Colleges), where she played guitar and sang in a Sonic Youth-inspired rock band whose members included the art curator Massimiliano Gioni. She then accepted a full scholarship to Sarah Lawrence College based on a visual art portfolio, changing her focus to music in her junior year. She attended the Juilliard School, where her principal composition teacher was Milton Babbitt, from 1998 through 2005, earning masters and doctoral degrees in music composition. She was a composition fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she held the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Composer Fellowship in 2007.Kati Agócs is a 2013 Composition Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2014 the American Academy of Arts and Letters presented her with the Arts and Letters Award in Music, which "honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice". She has also received an inaugural Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation, a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a composition fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, among many other composition awards. She began her teaching career at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s School of Music (2006–2008), and has been a member of the composition faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston since 2008. She maintains a permanent work studio in Flatrock, Newfoundland, and is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre’s Atlantic Region.Kati Agócs is a relatively well-known new-music composer. Orchestras and ensembles that have commissioned and played her compositions include Eighth Blackbird, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which has performed and recorded several of her works. Her music was an Audience Choice winner at the SONiC (Sounds of a New Century) Festival in New York in 2011, and was archived at WQXR Radio. She served as Composer in Residence for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada during their Fiftieth Anniversary season in 2010. In 2007 she was one of ten Canadian composers selected by CBC Radio to write a Prelude and Fugue for solo piano in honor of the 75th anniversary of Glenn Gould.Kati Agócs’s music is lyrical, emotionally direct, and dramatic, with clear overall architectures. One hears a natural affinity with vocal impulses, fluid melodic lines, and frequent cross-pollination with literature from different cultures. Vessel (2011), a macaronic motet for voices and chamber ensemble, presents three texts sounding in English, Latin, and Hebrew simultaneously. Crystallography (2012) is a setting of poetry by the Canadian poet Christian Bök. Agócs dialogues with earlier composers, including a homage to György Ligeti as the second movement of her quintet Immutable Dreams, and tends toward harmonic and textural richness and a wide expressive range. She employs Serialist techniques to re-imagine a Bach chorale in Versprechen (2004). Her works often reflect specific geographical and cultural settings, and the music associated with them. Shenanigan re-contextualizes a Reel from Atlantic Canada within the modern orchestra, interlacing the reel tune with her own material to create a hybrid symphonic work. Elysium, a work for chamber orchestra and recorded audio tape commissioned by the National Arts Center Orchestra for the 2010 Winter Olympics, reflects the distinct cultural and physical environment of Newfoundland by interweaving original music with field recordings of elderly natives of the island describing shipwrecks along the coast. Saint Elizabeth Bells features the Hungarian cimbalom in its scoring. Agócs performs her own works as a soprano soloist and collaborates with instrumentalists to develop distinct techniques and musical colors. One of many such collaborations is her work with Bridget Kibbey to create a bluegrass piece for harp as part of the suite Every Lover is a Warrior.Agócs has written on American music for Tempo and also created a critical edition of the Symphony in A Major by Leopold Damrosch, father of Walter Damrosch, the founder of the Juilliard School, for A-R Editions’s Recent Researches in American Music Series. In 2005-2006 she lived in Budapest on a Fulbright Fellowship and wrote a candid inside glimpse of the new-music scene in Hungary for The Musical Times. She had previously organized an exchange program between Juilliard and the Liszt Academy. As a result of these activities, the progressive Vienna-based Hungarian publication Bécsi Napló credited her with raising the visibility of Hungarian composers abroad.