Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Blurred image of the music building used as background for stylistic purposes

Emily Koh

Associate Professor of Composition

Emily Koh is Associate Professor of Composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. Dr. Koh holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory from Brandeis University, MM degrees in Music Composition and Music Theory Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and a BMus(hons) in Composition from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. She also teaches at the International Composition Institute of Thailand in Bangkok every winter, and has taught at the Alba Music Festival Composition Program (Italy), Asia-Pacific Saxophone Academy (Thailand) and the Etchings Festival (USA). Prior to UGA, she taught at Brandeis and Harvard Universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Longy School of Music (Bard College) and Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

Dr. Koh is a Singaporean composer-bassist based in Atlanta whose music aims to elevate the ordinary by sonically expounding everyday human experiences. Her music usually consists of multiple layers of details that are intricately weaved together, and can be self-described as other-worldly with raw and intense grit. She is a multi-faceted creator who learns, reflects and works best by working collaboratively with other artists.

Described as “the future of composing” (The Straits Times, Singapore), Dr. Koh is the recipient of awards such as the Copland House Residency Award, Young Artist Award (National Arts Council, Singapore), Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize (Asian Composers League), ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Prix D’Ete (Peabody), and the Macagnoni Prize for Innovative Research (University of Georgia). Her work is supported with commissions, grants and fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, National Arts Council (Singapore), Opera America, New Music USA, MacDowell, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, American Composers’ Orchestra, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, the Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence (National University of Singapore) and others. Described as “beautifully eerie” (New York Times), and “subtley spicy” (Baltimore Sun), Emily’s music has been performed around the world in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Israel, Croatia, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, by acclaimed ensembles such as Guerilla Opera, Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Quartet, New Thread Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Talea Ensemble, Transient Canvas, New York New Music Ensemble, New York Virtuoso Singers, Departure Duo (US/DE), Strings and Hammers (US/FI), Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes (Mexico), Trio Accanto (DE), Avanti! (FI), orkest de ereprijs (NL), Tacet(i) (Thailand), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Next Mushroom Project (JP), TACETi (Thailand), National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Chai Found Music Workshop (TW), Ding Yi Music Company (Singapore), Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Noa Even (saxophone), Clare Longendyke (piano), Lilit Hartunian (violin) and others. Her music is published by Babel Scores (Europe) and Poco Piu Publishing (worldwide), and can be heard on the Innova, XAS, New Focus and Ravello labels.

Dr. Koh is on the leadership team of ensemble vim, a new music collective in Atlanta. She is also the National Treasurer of the Society of Composers Inc., and serves on the advisory boards of Composers Conference, Contemporary Art Music Project (CAMP), Indictus Project, Atlanta Contemporary Music Collective, and Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble. She had also held artistic and administrative positions at the Boston New Music Initiative (Director of Concert Series, 2012-2016), Lunar Ensemble (composer-in-residence, 2012-2014) and Composers Society of Singapore (CSS) (honorary exco member, 2014-2020), and is a member of ASCAP, SCI, and CSS.

Besides music, Emily is a foodie, an amateur artist, and a wannabe gardener. She enjoys a good cup of tea, horror movies and strategy board games.

Music Areas:
Articles Featuring Emily Koh

Story by Shaun Baer | Photo by Tim Gurczak Photography/Guerilla Opera

Emily Koh, Associate Professor of Composition, premiered her opera HER | alive.un.dead at Guerilla Opera to four sold-out houses May 12-14, 2023 at the Pao…

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.