Sean Heim received his first serious musical training in secondary school and soon after began studies in music composition with Harold Oliver at Rowan University (BM cum laude). He then worked with Louis W. Ballard at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, studied with Chinary Ung at Arizona State University (MM), and holds a Ph.D. from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he worked with Philip Bracanin. He currently resides in Southern California and is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music Composition/Theory at Chapman University.
The primary focus of Heim’s work as a composer has been to develop an imaginative personal language that strongly reflects the compositional techniques and aesthetic of his own western tradition as well as the distillation and infusion of theoretical principles and musical elements found in numerous cultures. His most recent work seeks to delve even deeper to express the base commonalities that lie beneath the surface emanations of culture. Heim’s music also reflects a deep interest in physics and the natural world, and it is out of these collective curiosities that he has created unique fusions that continually evolve by means of increased conceptual and technical abstraction.
Heim has received numerous awards, honors, and commissions from such prestigious institutions as the Fromm Music Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the American Composers Forum, and the ASCAP Foundation – including the Rudolf Nissim Prize. His music has been performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States by many distinguished performers, ensembles and, concert series including: Vicki Ray, Susan Ung, Joseph Wytko, Da Capo, the California E.A.R. Unit, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Topology, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, the Auros Group for New Music, the Eclipse Quartet, Ensemble Green, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Interpretations, Piano Spheres, Hear Now, the Focus Festival at Juilliard, and the Thailand International Composition Festival. His discography includes releases on Sono Luminus, Ein Klang, and Capstone Records.