The music of Chicago-based composer, oboist, and installation artist Sky Macklay (b. 1988) is conceptual yet expressive, exploring extreme contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. Her works have been performed and championed by ensembles such as ICE, Splinter Reeds, Wet Ink Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, The Da Capo Chamber Players, The New York Virtuoso Singers, and Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. Her piece Dissolving Bands for the Lexington Symphony was the winner of the 2013 Leo Kaplan award, the top prize in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In 2015 her sonic and kinetic installation of inflatable harmonica-playing robots, Harmonibots, received the Ruth Anderson Prize from The International Alliance for Women in Music. She has been commissioned by The Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Chamber Music America, The Barlow Endowment, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, and the Jerome Fund for New Music. Her string quartet Many Many Cadences, recorded on Spektral Quartet’s Grammy-nominated album, also received an ASCAP award. She was a 2015-17 Composers and the Voice Fellow with American Opera Projects and her one-act opera The Surrogate (with librettist Emily Roller) recently premiered at the University of Illinois. As an oboist, Sky has performed at the MATA and SPLICE Festivals and is a core member of the New York-based Ghost Ensemble.
Sky completed her D.M.A. at Columbia University where she studied with Georg Friedrich Haas, George Lewis, and Fred Lerdahl. She also holds degrees from The University of Memphis (M.M.) and Luther College (B.A.). An enthusiastic practitioner of creative music education, Sky taught for nine summers at The Walden School Young Musicians Program in Dublin, New Hampshire, an acclaimed summer school and festival for pre-college composers. She is now Assistant Professor of Music at Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana.