Monica (Niki) Houghton was born in Vermont and grew up in northern Nevada. She holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University in Chinese Language and Literature and East Asian Studies. She earned an M.M. in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2003 and served as Instructor for their Joint Music Program with Case Western Reserve University for nine years before moving back to Nevada in 2011.

Ms. Houghton received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2007. Her works for large ensemble have been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the University Circle Wind Ensemble, Heights Chamber Orchestra, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.

Houghton works have been performed at festivals around the country and the world, including the AKI Festival of New Music, Ernest Bloch Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, and Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.

Ms. Houghton’s music has been described as “evocative” and “full of feeling.” She has incorporated non-Western instruments and musical practices into several of her compositions. A glance at her catalog reveals a wide range of influences inspiring her works, including nature, poetry, the visual arts, language, science and world events. Ms. Houghton also appreciates and draws inspiration from live performances by living performers.

In addition to her many chamber works, she has composed solo works for piano, organ, viola, guitar and tuba. Monica Houghton is also the composer and co-librettist of an award-winning opera The Big Bonanza premiered by the Nevada Chamber Opera in April 2016.


Of Time & Place

Release Date: June 8, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6162
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Piano Trio
String Quartet
Composer Monica Houghton has a musical and academic resume that is made even more exceptional by her experiences as a true citizen of the world. Her travels around the globe have led her to incorporate non-Western instruments and musical practices into several of her compositions as well as to find inspiration trekking through Peru, or by exploring the remote and desolate areas of the American West. On CHAMBER WORKS, her debut on Navona Records, Houghton incorporates these influences along with many others to deliver eight stunning performances showcased in a variety of musical configurations.