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Meet the Composer

Ábel Esbenshade


Ábel Esbenshade is a composer of instrumental and vocal music with a strong interest in opera composition. Above all else, his music is built around drama and narrative and enables and empowers the performer to be an equal part in bringing these elements to life. He is a student of David Dzubay at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he previously studied with Claude Baker, Aaron Travers, Sven-David Sandström, and Don Freund. He has received performances of his works in various parts of the United States, Italy and Austria and recently was announced winner of the IU Deans prize and Kuttner Quartet competitions

Ábel's music usually bears a cold, austere character most prevalent in his stark timbres, angular rhythms, and static yet dramatic harmonic language. His music utilizes distortions of common rhythmic patterns or grooves, of simple, third based melodies, of familiar phrase structures, and of recognizable tonal harmonic progressions in order to disorient listeners and to realistically depict the strangeness and imperfection of everyday life. He takes inspiration from a number of visual art forms in which he is active such as photography and filmmaking as well as audio recording and mixing.

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