Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Socolofsky, Kirsten, Dennehy, Christensen and Forte on Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform works by three visiting composers plus two world premieres by Mizzou students in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will feature “Don’t say a word,” a “feminist rager-lullaby” by Annika Socolofsky from 2017 that “invokes the fragility and fury of the female voice.” Socolofsky, a composer and singer who is a doctoral candidate and fellow in composition at Princeton University, will be visiting Mizzou for a residency that week, and will coach and perform with the Ensemble.

Also included on the program will be “World Under Glass No. 2,” composed in 2011 by Amy Beth Kirsten. The piece is inspired by the Distillation series of New York visual artist Thomas Doyle, who creates dark, disturbing miniature scenes displayed in vessels resembling over-sized snow globes. Kirsten will be one of the two distinguished guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Donnacha Dennehy, who will be the other distinguished guest composer at the 2019 MICF, will be represented by “The Blotting.” a work commissioned in 2004 by the Bath International Music Festival that’s described by the composer as being “quite rhythmically virtuosic in places, making use of manically interlocking hockets.”

Two new works by Mizzou students will complete the concert. “Ozymandias” by Ethan Forte, a junior composition major at Mizzou, “attempts to capture the vivid literary work by Percy Bysshe Shelley,” while “The Dream is More Than Process” by second-year master’s student Mikkel Christensen takes inspiration and its title from a lyric by rapper Kendrick Lamar.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets. They will be augmented for this performance by guest musicians Mitchell Goodman, euphonium; Tyler Hannsz, viola; Kassandra Ormsby, bassoon; and Aubrey Smith, soprano.

Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor, and will conduct the performances of “World Under Glass no. 2” and “The Blotting.”

Annika Socolofsky visiting Mizzou for concert, residency

Composer and singer Annika Socolofsky is coming to Mizzou later this month for a residency and concert.

During her visit, she will coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, make a presentation on her music to composition students, and give private lessons to selected composition majors. Socolofsky will conclude her residency by performing with the Ensemble when they present her work “Don’t say a word” at their concert on Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall.

Currently a doctoral candidate and fellow in composition at Princeton University. Socolofsky previously earned an MFA in composition from Princeton, an MA in composition the University of Michigan, and a BFA in composition from Carnegie Mellon University.

Drawing on both classical and folk traditions, her works are based in “the inflections, gesture, and resonance of the human voice” and range from orchestral compositions to unaccompanied folk ballads. As a researcher, she is focused on physiology in contemporary vocal music, using the music of Dolly Parton to create a pedagogical approach to composition that is inclusive of many vocal styles and techniques.

Her works, projects, and related research have been presented at Carnegie Hall, The Italian Society of Contemporary Music, American Music Festival, Northwestern New Music Institute, Strange Beautiful Music Detroit, and more.

Socolovsky’s current composition projects include new works for the Albany Symphony, So Percussion, Contemporaneous, Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, Girlnoise, and Shepherdess. She also is a 2019 Stone Composer Fellow for the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, for which she will be writing a new work for the Callisto Quartet. Her previous collaborations include the Rochester Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Dogs of Desire, eighth blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, Latitude 49, and numerous others.

As a vocalist, she has performed as soloist with the Albany Symphony, Dogs of Desire, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Camerata, eighth blackbird, and composer-vocalist Anna Pidgorna.

Socolofsky’s honors as a composer include a Fromm Foundation Commission, Cortona Prize, and BMI Student Composer Award, as well as fellowships to the Blackbird Creative Lab, Banff Centre for the Arts, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Cultivate at Copland House, and the Brevard Music Center. You can hear some of her music on her SoundCloud page.

St. Louis Symphony musicians to premiere new work by Stephanie Berg

Musicians from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new work by Mizzou alumnae Stephanie Berg in a concert next month at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Berg’s “Three Prayers” was commissioned by SLSO clarinetist Diana Haskell, and will be performed for the first time as part of of a program of chamber music titled “Equal Play: Celebrating Women Composers” at 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 1 at Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand in St. Louis’ Grand Center district.

Berg (pictured) will introduce her work during the concert, which also will include music by Jennifer Higdon and Rebecca Clarke.

Performers will include Haskell, violinist Kristin Ahlstrom, and cellist Anne Fagerburg of the SLSO, pianists Peter Henderson and Alla Voskoboynikova, and soprano Christine Brewer. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP online at SLSO’s website.

This will be the second performance of Berg’s music at Powell Hall, as the SLSO previously performed her work “Ravish and Mayhem” in 2014 as part of a subscription-series concert.

The concert marks the start of what will be a busy month for Berg, as in addition to the Powell Hall performance, she will have another new work premiered by Chamber Project St. Louis in concerts on Saturday, March 2 at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, IL and Saturday, March 9 at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis.

A native of Parkville, MO who now lives in St. Louis, Berg earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mizzou and was the winner of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the University of Missouri’s highest honor for a student composer. She was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival, for which she originally wrote “Ravish and Mayhem” to be performed by resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound.

During her time at Mizzou, Berg also performed on clarinet with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, University Philharmonic, and Columbia Civic Orchestra, and served for three years as project manager for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Project (COMP).

Mizzou New Music Ensemble performs at 2019 MMEA Conference

Transient Canvas coming to Mizzou for residency, concert on Monday, February 4

The new music duo Transient Canvas will visit Mizzou next month for a residency and concert.

They’ll perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 4 at Whitmore Recital Hall, presenting a program of electroacoustic music by contemporary composers Brian Sears, Kirsten Volness, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Marissa Hickman, Dan VanHassel, and David Ibbett. The concert is free and open to the public.

While they’re on campus, bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and percussionist Matt Sharrock also will present master classes on their respective instruments and make a presentation to student composers. They’ll wrap up their residency by reading new works from Mizzou student composers at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 5 in Room 112 of Loeb Hall.

Advocat and Sharrock started working together as Transient Canvas in 2011, and since then have premiered more than 80 new works, performing across the United States and abroad. Based in Boston, MA, they have released two albums on New Focus Recordings: their debut Sift in 2017, and Wired, which came out in November 2018.

Transient Canvas has performed at the Alba Music Festival in Italy, Music at the Forefront (Bowling Green, OH), Composers, Inc. (San Francisco, CA), New Music at the Short North Stage (Columbus, OH), the SoundNOW Festival (Atlanta, GA), and more.

Reflecting their ongoing interest in educating young performers and composers, they’ve presented masterclasses and composition workshops at Baldwin Wallace, Cleveland State, Franklin Pierce, Fresno Pacific, James Madison, Kennesaw State, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Rutgers, and San Jose State Universities, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, University of Maine, UNC Pembroke, University of the Pacific, UW Green Bay, and UW Madison

They’ve also done residencies with the composition departments at Harvard, Northeastern, Brandeis, Otterbein, and Tufts Universities, the University of Georgia, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

You can hear some of Transient Canvas’ music on their SoundCloud page, and watch a selection of past performances on their YouTube channel.

Missouri Composers Project selects four works for concert
by Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir
on Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church

Clockwise from top left: Olivia Bennett, Gwanyu Cao, Ben Rouder, Ed Frazier Davis

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2019 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its eighth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2019 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “Social Justice Warrior” by Ben Rouder, and there are two winning choral works, “O Magnum Mysterium” by Ed Frazier Davis and “Swallow (Kazakh Folk Song)” by Guanyu Cao.

Rouder, who’s originally from Columbia, is a sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou. Davis, a Chicago native now living in Kansas City, studied at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, while Cao, who grew up in Wuhan, China, currently is a visiting scholar at UMKC.

The winning orchestral work in the “high school” category for 2019 is “Imagination” by Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled junior from Nixa, MO. Bennett previously won the MOCOP competition for an orchestral work in the “high school” category in 2017, and also is a four-time award winner in Mizzou’s annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition for Missouri students in grades K-12.

The Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Columbia Chamber Choir to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP intends to showcase emerging talent of Missouri and share it with the world.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

The Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

Mizzou composers Libby Roberts, Niko Schroeder
featured in Columbia Daily Tribune

From left: Roberts, Schroeder

Mizzou composers Libby Roberts and Niko Schroeder both were featured recently in stories published by the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Roberts, a second-year masters student in composition who also serves as the pianist for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, was the subject of a story by features editor Aarik Danielsen under the headline “Whole notes: MU student unites mind, body and soul in musical pursuits.”

She is one of three Mizzou composers taking part in this year’s program of readings by musicians of the St. Louis Symphony and resident conductor Gemma New, and will have the work she composed for the Symphony read for the second time in a public event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Schroeder, who’s in his first year working toward a masters in composition, was profiled by the Tribune‘s Elena K. Cruz in a story headlined “Art and craft: Sinquefield Prize winner combines history with theory and simplicity.”

As the winner of this year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize, Mizzou’s highest honor for a student composers, Schroeder is writing a new, original work for the University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Barry Ford, which will premiere it as part of the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works
from MADSM competition, Mizzou and more
on Sunday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform four new student works plus two pieces from acclaimed contemporary composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Two of the student works were selected for the performance through the first-ever Collegiate Composition Competition co-sponsored this year by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM).

Ryan Jeschke, a senior composition major at Truman State University, won the MADSM competition’s undergraduate division with “Gunkanjima.” named for an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan that for nearly a century was a densely populated center for coal mining, then completely abandoned in the 1970s. The Ensemble will perform the work’s first movement, “The Shamisen.”

Daniel Vega, a first-year master’s student in composition at Mizzou, was the MADSM competition winner in the graduate division for “Natales,” which draws inspiration from the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

The other two student works were written by University of Missouri undergraduates. “Starry Night” by Ben Dawson, a junior working toward a composition degree at Mizzou, depicts “a cloudy, lonely night” with teasing fragments of a melody that is fully revealed at the end, while “A Dance Through Desire” by Holden Franklin, a freshman composition major, evokes feelings of a missed connection following a brief encounter.

Completing the program will be “à propos,” a work in four parts by French composer Fabien Lévy that was inspired by Arte Povera, an Italian artistic movement of the 1960s; and “Rising Tide,” written in 2015 by Nina C. Young, who will visit the Mizzou campus on November 30 and coach the Ensemble in preparation for the performance.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets, augmented for this performance by guest musicians Kassandra Ormsby, bassoon; and Morgan Owen, viola. Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor, and will conduct the performance of “à propos” at this concert.