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Member Profile - Grismo

Name Peter Michael von der Nahmer
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User Name Grismo
Member Status  Full Member
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Date of birth 07/04/1977
Region United States  
Interests Music theatre, film and concert
Profile Born in Munich, Germany into a family mainly comprised of musicians and scientists, Mike began tinkering at the piano by the age of four when his grandmother started teaching him to play a wide range of classical pieces. As he grew, his musical education expanded under various teachers who encouraged him to test his limits and exposed him to diverse musical styles. He composed his first original piece at the tender age of 12 and after forming a band and composing music for his school’s orchestra, Mike’s destiny as a composer was completely set in motion.

He continued his professional music studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich where he received a Bachelor’s degree in composition. He furthered his studies in film scoring at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), at the highly competitive Aspen Music Festival and School and at the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop.

In addition to his educational achievements, Mike has been awarded numerous prizes and honors, including the Jerome Foundation Grant and the Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum, the Siegburger Composition Contest prize, the Renee B. Fisher Composer Award, the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra’s C. Keith Birkenfeld Competition prize and a scholarship to the O’Neill Puppetry Conference. He was also selected as a guest composer for the 2008 Bar Harbor Music Festival in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Mike’s passion for creating fresh, inspiring music is matched only by his insatiable quest for knowledge in all areas. He particularly enjoys discovering the subtle psychology behind music’s effect on emotions and human behavior and he uses this knowledge to shape each of his compositions around the subject at hand. With every piece he crafts, his goal is to take the listener on a journey to another world through the use of unique sounds and the connection of different genres that allow the listener to hear something new with each performance.

Of his own compositions, his favorite is “The Monk and the Fish” which he composed for violin, viola, cello and piano. In this piece, he found his distinct voice and made a name for himself in a new country. In 2004, the Society for New Music awarded “The Monk and the Fish” with its Dr. J. Howland Auchinloss prize and performed it at their American Nights concerts. Their performance aired on various radio stations in Upstate New York. Then in 2006, ERMMedia selected “The Monk and the Fish” for their prestigious Masterworks prize and will be releasing this piece as part of their “Masterworks of the New Era” CD series sometime in 2008. It was also performed at the New Direction concerts in Bakersfield, California and will be performed at the 2008 Bar Harbor Music Festival in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Always open to new and challenging endeavors, Mike composes across multiple genres including orchestral works, musical theatre, ballet, and film while managing a full schedule of creative projects. He works with artists and production houses worldwide and has current projects in the United States, Germany, Australia, Japan and England. When not composing, he can be found taking nature hikes or playing with his cats.

Mike also teaches budding composers the fundamentals of the craft and is available as a guest lecturer. Past positions include guest teacher and lecturer at UCLA, the Film & Television Academy (HFF) “Konrad Wolf,” Bayerische Akademie fuer Fernsehen, AFK and Music Support Group.

To learn more about Mike, his current projects and his workshops, visit his website: To hear samples of his work, visit his profile on Nextcat: