Drawing on the collaborative spirit of rock bands and the composer-led nature of classical music, Golden Hornet commissions new music, fosters young and emerging composers, and presents adventurous works in non-traditional settings.


Our Current Programs Include

String Quartet Smackdown VI

String Quartet Smackdown is a bracketed, NCAA March Madness style competition which brings original string quartet compositions head-to-head in front of a live, participatory audience.

Hundreds of composers worldwide submit new music for a chance at the champion's prize. Our sixth annual Smackdown is set to take place early 2020. The sixteen finalists will be determined from the call for submissions, beginning September 2019.

Guidelines for Submissions 
for interested composers to prepare for the upcoming submission window!

Young Composer Concert 2019

Our Young Composer Concert invites Austin- area youth ages 8-18 to create original pieces of music for a live concert under the guidance of seasoned mentors. Professional ensemble Tetractys performs their pieces, and the event is produced by the collective team of students.

The fifth annual program is kicking off August 2019, with the concert slated for March 2020. Our young composers will share new works in between on-stage interviews.

Guidelines for Participation
for interested young composers.
Click here to apply.

The Sound of Science

The Sound of Science is a concert and album presenting eight pieces of music written by seven celebrated composers for amplified cello and electronics, to be performed by world-renowned cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, long time member of Kronos Quartet.

The concert premiered in New York City and is currently touring internationally. The works celebrate the life and work of eight influential scientists, from botanists and physicists to climatologists and mathematicians.

 Find out more about each piece
and the composer & scientist pairs here, and find out about upcoming live performances here

The ambition and invention of Golden Hornet range from symphonies,
soundtracks, to improvised super rock. Their recordings are a catalog of their adventures crossbreeding classical futurism and punk esprit.
— Rolling Stone

your support makes it possible.

Core Staff


Graham Reynolds
Artistic Director



Kate Murray
Managing Director


Management Provided By
David Lobel
Lobel Arts Associates


Board of Directors, Advisory Board, & Other Staff

Blake Trabulsi
Owner of Zocalo Design
Board President

Kathryn Blackbird
Owner Blackbird Fine Art & Attorney
Board Secretary

Ben Keyfitz
CPA, Senior Auditor for State of Texas
Board Treasurer

Madge Darlington Founder & Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs
Board Member


Amy Holloway
President & CEO,
Avalanche Consulting

Board Member

Lilah Obregon-Wilson
Music Supervisor / Producer at Discochacha
Board Member

Helen Lundy
Student Board Representative

Graham Williams
Owner of Margin Walker Presents
Advisory Board Member

Michelle Schumann Artistic Director of Austin Chamber Music Center
Advisory Board Member

Eugene Sepulveda
CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation
Advisory Board Member

Peter Bay
Conductor & Music Director of Austin Symphony
Advisory Board Member

Cookie Ruiz
Executive Director of Ballet Austin
Advisory Board Member

Karin Richmond
Principal of Intelligent Incentives, Inc Advisory Board Member


Thanks to Our Supporters

Golden Hornet is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, as well as private donations and grant sources.