Victoria Malawey is a composer, songwriter, and scholar based in the Twin Cities. Malawey teaches courses in music theory, composition, songwriting, and gender and music at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Malawey has written music for mixed chamber and vocal ensembles, which have been performed at venues throughout the U.S. and internationally. Driven by the belief that art makes the world a better place, Malawey strives to create works of beauty that soothe and heal, provide catharsis from pain, and articulate the ineffable aspects of the human condition. Malawey’s choral piece On Dark Earth was the 2020 winner of the Uncommon Music Festival Composer Competition and also selected as top finalist for the 2019 Voices 21C Call-for-Scores, her Chansons Innocentes was the 2017 winner of the International Alliance of Women in Music New Music Competition Patsy Lu Prize, and her Miniatures for solo piano was the second-place winner of the 2016 New Ariel Piano Composition Competition. Recent commissions include pieces for Red Cedar Chamber Music, the Thirsty Ears Audio Tour, the Sound of Silent Film Festival, the William Ferris Chorale, Open House Chicago, the Black Cedar Trio, MPLS (imPulse), and the ARK Trio. Malawey has completed artist residencies at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Willapa Bay AiR, and I-Park. Malawey studied composition with Sven-David Sandström at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and Robert Lombardo at Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University.
As a songwriter, Malawey writes and performs original songs for piano, guitar, and voice. Harmonically driven and sung from the heart, her songs offer themes of solace, remorse, pain, reflection, and hope. More at novvaamusic.com or stream on bandcamp.
In addition to her work as a musician, Malawey’s research interests include the analysis of songs, voice, popular music, music theory pedagogy, and gender studies. She completed a Ph.D. in music theory at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a dissertation on Björk’s Medúlla, which won the Dean’s Dissertation Prize in 2009. Her articles have been published in scholarly collections and journals, such as Popular Music, Music Theory Online, The Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and Indiana Theory Review. Her article, “‘Find Out What It Means to Me’: Aretha Franklin’s Gendered Re-Authoring of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’” (Popular Music, May 2014) won the International Alliance of Women in Music Pauline Alderman Award for the best article in feminist music scholarship in 2015. Her book, titled A Blaze of Light in Every Word: Analyzing the Popular Singing Voice (Oxford University Press) won the 2023 Wallace Berry Award given by the Society for Music Theory and the 2021 Outstanding Publication Award given by the Society for Music Theory’s Popular Music Interest Group.