Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Composers Festival spotlight: Christopher Mayo

A native of Toronto, Christopher Mayo is the first Canadian to be a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composer Festival.

A composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electronic music, Mayo (pictured) received his bachelor of music degree with honors at the University of Toronto, where he was awarded the Glenn Gould Composition Prize and the William Erving Fairclough Scholarship. He relocated to London in 2003 to study at the Royal College of Music, where he earned a master of music in 2004 and a Ph.D in composition in 2011.

His time there resulted in a number of opportunities, including appearing in the BBC Two television documentary Classic Goldie, helping UK drum and bass musician Goldie to write a commission for the London Symphony Orchestra. The LSO has gone on to record two of Mayo’s own works, releasing their version of “Therma” in 2013, and Mayo’s contribution to the multi-composer Panufnik Variations project in 2016. (While in London, Mayo also was a member of the Camberwell Composers Collective, which included 2012 MICF resident composer Charlie Piper.)

Since moving back to Toronto, Mayo has continued to collaborate occasionally with popular musicians, penning string arrangements for performers including Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake and Tanya Tagaq for the Polaris Music Prize awards ceremony, and writing orchestral arrangements of a number of Jepsen’s hits for her debut performance last month with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Other recent projects include “Streets become Liars,” which was premiered in March by Crash Ensemble at New Music Dublin 2017, and, of course, “Beast (for Hugo Ball),” the work Mayo has written for Alarm Will Sound to perform at the MICF’s “Eight World Premieres” grand finale on Saturday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre.

Characterized by a distinctive rhythmic language and a wide range of influences, Mayo’s music has been performed by orchestras including the LSO, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and others.

He has had chamber works commissioned by London Sinfonietta, MATA Festival, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble contemporain de Montreal +, Motion Ensemble, and more. His chamber music also has been played by new music groups including ACME, L’arsenale, Aurora Orchestra, Aventa and Land’s End Ensemble; at festivals including the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, the Cheltenham Festival, and the Marrakech Biennale; and at venues ranging from Le Poisson Rouge to Wigmore Hall.

Mayo’s vocal works include “Death on Three-Mile Creek,” commissioned in 2011 by Carnegie Hall, and “Under Dark Water,” commissioned by Esprit Orchestra.

He frequently collaborates with artists from other disciplines, and in recent years has created new dance scores for Rambert Dance Company, New Movement Collective, and for the English National Ballet’s performance at the Coronation Gala at Buckingham Palace. Mayo’s chamber opera “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered,” was cited as a “deft mix of documentary, pulsating drones, electric guitar and sparing percussion” in 2014 by BBC Music Magazine.

Christopher Mayo was interviewed by the Columbia Tribune‘s Aarik Danielsen for a feature story about the 2017 MICF, which you can read here. You can hear samples of Mayo’s music on his SoundCloud page and in the embedded players below.

“Pike and Shot” (2008), performed by Paul Widner (cello) and Philip Thomas (piano) at Continuum Contemporary Music’s performance on April 25, 2013 at the Music Gallery in Toronto.

Excerpts from various works

“First Screening” for orchestra and film, recorded September 25th, 2016 by the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Tania Miller.

Composers Festival spotlight: Amadeus Regucera

Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Amadeus Regucera is (along with Clare Glackin and Selim Göncü) one of three resident composers at this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival with a West Coast connection.

A native Californian, he earned his B.A. in music in 2006 from the University of California, San Diego and last year completed work on his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.

Regucera also has considerable experience in concert production, having served as production director of UC Berkeley’s Eco Ensemble, production and operations manager of the University of California, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and as artistic production director for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

Regucera (pictured) describes his compositions as engaged with “the embodied and acoustical energy of sound and its production, the erotics of performance, the musical vocabulary of popular music, and noise.”

For the MICF, he’s written a new work called “CRVD” that Alarm Will Sound will perform as part of the festival’s “Eight World Premieres” grand finale on Saturday, July 29.

Other recent projects include a new piece for Ensemble Linea for the 2017 Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France, and a new work for bassoonist Adrian Morejon.

Regucera’s music also has been performed by JACK Quartet, Ensemble Intercontemporain, EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Pamplemousse, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Duo Cortona, and more.

He has presented works at ManiFeste, Voix Nouvelles, the Resonant Bodies Festival and the SONiC Festival in New York, as well as at the Hong Kong Modern Academy; the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt, Germany; the Impuls Academy in Austria; June in Buffalo; and the Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts. Regucera also was part of the American Composers Forum artist delegation in 2015 to the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music.

In addition to music written for the concert stage, Regucera’s work intersects with visual and performance art, most notably in the piece “Communication,” which was featured in 2013 as part of the group show “Seelenwäsche” at the Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten in Graz, Austria; and “Schlachtfeld (a)”, performed by the composer in collaboration with Hong Kong-based choreographer Elysa Wendi.

You can hear samples of Amadeus Regucera’s music on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“Skin, stretched upon the frame”
Written for and premiered by David Milnes and the University of California, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in March 2017 at Hertz Concert Hall

“S A F E”
Written for EXAUDI vocal ensemble, featuring Natalie Raybould (soprano), Lucy Goddard (mezzo-soprano), Tom Williams (counter-tenor), Stephen Jeffes (tenor), Gareth John (baritone), and Simon Whiteley (bass), directed by James Weeks. Premiered at the 2016 Voix Nouvelles rResidency at Abbaye-Royaumont in Asnières-sur-Oise, France.

“SKRWL”
Written for the soloists of Ensemble Intercontemporain – Alain Billard (clarinet, bass clarinet), Benny Sluchin (trombone), Hidéki Nagano (piano), Claire Merlet (viola), Pierre Strauch (cello) – and premiered at the 2016 ManiFeste in Paris, France.

MICF on TV

The 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival has two different video spots running online, on central Missouri’s PBS affiliate, and on local and cable news in Columbia.

The videos were produced by Michael Boles and Nicholas Barwick of Mizzou’s Academic Support Center and by Dale H. Lloyd, working under the direction of Mizzou New Music Initiative managing director Jacob Gotlib.

You can see both spots in the embedded windows below.

Composers Festival spotlight: Dan Visconti

Dan Visconti

Dan Visconti, one of the two distinguished guest composers at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival, is known both for his music and for his work as a speaker, writer, and activist seeking “to address social issues through music by re-imagining the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.”

Visconti’s biography describes his compositions as “rooted in the improvisational energy and maverick spirit of rock, folk music, and other vernacular performance traditions,” and the Cleveland Plain Dealer has characterized his work as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.”

As a distinguished guest composer for the MICF, Visconti (pictured) will work with the eight resident composers and Alarm Will Sound, and give a public presentation on his music. The festival will include performances of two of his works – “Psychedelia,” a brand new piece composed for Alarm Will Sound that they’ll play during their concert on Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre, and “Fractured Jams,” which the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform on Friday, July 28.

Visconti recently completed three years as the California Symphony’s Young American Composer in Residence, during which he wrote works including “Tangle Eye,” a concerto for cello and orchestra inspired by folk recordings collected by Alan Lomax that debuted in May of this year, and 2016’s “Living Language,” a concerto for guitar and orchestra featuring Grammy-winning soloist Jason Vieaux.

Other recent projects include “Amplified Soul,” a showpiece written specifically for Venezuelan piano virtuoso Gabriela Martinez; “ANDY: A Popera,” an opera/cabaret hybrid commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and inspired by the life, work, and philosophy of pop artist Andy Warhol; and the interactive video game opera “Permadeath,” a collaboration with acclaimed Pulitzer-winning librettist Cerise Jacobs and director Michael Counts.

Visconti also has written commissioned works for the Kronos Quartet, Branford Marsalis, Eighth Blackbird, the JACK Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, Silkroad percussionist Shane Shanahan, soprano Lucy Shelton, and many others.

His honors include the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize, and awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress, Fromm Foundation, Naumburg Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to his composer residency with the California Symphony, he recently completed a multi-year residency with opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival as recipient of the Douglas Moore Fellowship in American Opera.

Visconti’s music has been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, London’s Barbican Theatre, and Sydney Opera House.

He currently serves as director of artistic programming at Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble, and works with young musicians at the ensemble’s annual Fresh Inc Festival on cultivating musical careers in line with their own unique vision and values. Visconti also recently was named artistic advisor at Astral Artists, a nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians.

A sought-after speaker on music and social topics, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the conference’s thirtieth anniversary. Other recent appearances include speeches at the Clinton School for Public Service, the National Archive, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and his writing also has appeared in NewMusicBox, ArtsJournal, Medium, The 21st-Century Musician, and Symphony magazine.

Dan Visconti was interviewed last week on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can listen to that conversation here. For more, read his 2016 interview with 21cm.org, and watch the accompanying video of his talk about “Music and Community” at DePauw University.

You can hear samples of Visconti’s music on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“Lonesome Roads” performed in May 2017 by Fifth House Ensemble.

“Black Bend” from “Hitchhiker’s Tales,” performed by Sybarite5, with Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney (violins), Angela Pickett (viola), Laura Metcalf (cello), and Louis Levit (double bass), for the 2013 International Society of Double Bassists Convention at the Eastman School Of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

“Amplified Soul,” written for and performed by Gabriela Martinez on her first album.

“Fractured Jams,” recorded by Scharoun Ensemble Berlin.

Robert Sirota to discuss “Three Nocturnes” in pre-concert talk on Thursday, July 27

Composer Robert Sirota will discuss his new work “Three Nocturnes” in a pre-concert talk before Alarm Will Sound’s world premiere performance of it for the Mizzou International Composers Festival on Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre. Sirota’s talk will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Sirota (pictured) will be joined by artist Simon Dinnerstein, whose drawings “Night,” “Night Scene I,” and “Purple Haze” provided inspiration for “Three Nocturnes”; and Alex Barker, director of Mizzou’s Museum of Art & Archaeology, where the exhibition “The Lasting World – Simon Dinnerstein and the Fulbright Triptych” will be presented starting July 25 through December 22.

A native New Yorker who now splits his time between New York City and Maine, Robert Sirota has been called “a quintessentially American composer” by ClassicalLite. Over the past 40 years, his chamber, orchestral, and liturgical works have been performed all over the world, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, and many others.

As a teacher, he served as director of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, chairman of the department of music and performing arts professions at New York University, director of Boston University’s school of music, and from 2005 to 2012, president of Manhattan School of Music. Sirota’s “Three Nocturnes” was commissioned by Alarm Will Sound specifically for the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Admission to the pre-concert talk is included in the ticket price for the concert. Single tickets for all Mizzou International Composers Festival concerts are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Composers Festival spotlight: Eli Lara

Cellist Eli Lara will make her Mizzou International Composers Festival debut this year, performing as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, November 28 at the Missouri Theatre.

Lara (pictured) joined the Mizzou faculty last fall as assistant professor of cello and the newest member of the Esterhazy Quartet.

For the MICF, she’ll perform a program of works dedicated to iconic Swiss conductor Paul Sacher, including “Trois Strophes sur le Nom de Sacher” by Henri Dutilleux, and several pieces composed as part of the “Mystery Variations” project celebrating the 50th birthday of Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen.

As an ensemble and solo musician, Lara has performed across North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. She is co-founder of Trio Séléné and was formerly cellist of the Calla Quartet and the Franklin String Quartet.

Lara has worked with many contemporary composers, including Fernando Buide, Krzystof Penderecki, Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, and Jeffrey Wood. She has performed and/or premiered new works in numerous concerts and festivals including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and Summergarden at the New York MoMA.

She is a graduate of Yale University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and an M.M. in cello performance. As a recipient of a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship, Lara then completed her D.M.A. at The Juilliard School

Before coming to Mizzou, Lara taught at Austin Peay State University in Nashville, where she also performed as co-principal of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, guest principal of the Paducah Symphony, and in the Nashville Opera Orchestra.

While in the Nashville area, she also worked frequently as a studio musician, recording with Willie Nelson on his album For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, as well as performing on video game soundtracks for Insomniac, Oculus Rift, and Electronic Arts (including Madden 16).

Lara also has been heard on NPR, at major venues such as New York’s Alice Tully Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall and at festivals including Birdfoot, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota, Banff, and Festival Pablo Casals (France).

Shortly after moving to Columbia last year, Lara was a guest on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can hear that interview here.

Trio Séléné, featuring Eli Lara (cello), Mingzhe Wang (clarinet), and Ilya Poletaev (piano), performs Fauré’s “Clarinet Trio, op. 120” in February 2017 at Austin Peay State University’s Mabry Hall.

Composers Festival spotlight: Charles Peck

It’s been a busy year so far for Charles Peck. In addition to being one of the eight resident composers for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival, in the past two months he was selected for the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composers Institute, and also won the Boston New Music Initiative‘s annual commissioning competition.

Just this week, Peck’s oboe and tape piece “Fade” was performed at the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, a couple of days after his audiovisual work “Ferrous” was featured at the Caz Counterpoint Festival in Cazenovia, NY.

In addition, in June the Albany Symphony performed Peck’s “Mosaic” during the American Music Festival at EMPAC Concert Hall in Troy, NY as part of their Composer to Center Stage program. And in May, he had the debut performance of his work at Carnegie Hall, as members of the New York Youth Symphony played his new piano quartet “Sunburst” at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.

With all this going on, Peck (pictured) also found time to complete “Vinyl,” which Alarm Will Sound will perform as part of the MICF’s “Eight World Premieres” grand finale on Saturday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre.

A Philadelphia native, Peck currently is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, where he has received the Otto R. Stahl Memorial Award in composition. Previously, Peck earned a bachelor’s degree in music industry from Drexel University, and a master’s in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

His works have been performed by groups and soloists including the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, the New York Youth Symphony, the JACK Quartet, Sandbox Percussion, ensemble mise-en, the Locrian Chamber Players, sTem, Derek Bermel, Ji Hye Jung, Rachel Calloway, Xak Bjerken, and Holly Roadfeldt.

Peck’s music also has been featured at the Aspen Music Festival, the Lake George Music Festival, the New Music Gathering, and the highSCORE Festival.

His honors and awards include winning the Lake George Music Festival’s Composition Competition, the NC New Music Initiative’s Orchestral Composition Competition, the Frame Dance Music Composition Competition, and the Symphony in C’s Young Composers’ Competition; taking part in the Castleton Festival’s Young Composer’s Forum; and winning grants from the McKnight Foundation, the American Composers Forum, and the Cornell Council for the Arts.

You can find out more about Charles Peck in the interview he did a couple of weeks ago on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can listen to his music on his SoundCloud page and in the embedded players below.

“Rift & Shade” performed by the JACK Quartet

“Mosaic,” world premiere performance by Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra on September 18, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, CA.

“Fade” for oboe and tape, performed by Mattie Peck

Composers Festival spotlight: Selim Göncü

Born in Turkey and educated in Hungary and Austria, Selim Göncü is one of four resident composers at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival who originally comes from outside the USA.

He currently is pursuing a PhD in composition at University of California, Berkeley, studying with Franck Bedrossian and Ken Ueno, and the Bay Area is just the latest stop in an itinerary that already has included some prestigious destinations.

Göncü (pictured) started taking piano lessons at the age of eleven, and began his higher education with a year of study at the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary.

He moved to University Mozarteum of Salzburg in Austria, studying with Reinhard Febel and focusing on electronic music. Göncü also served as an assistant in Mozarteum’s composition department for two years before graduating in 2012.

From Salzburg, it was on to Graz, as Göncü then attended the famous Kunstuniversität Graz, studying with Clemens Gadenstätter and graduating with the highest distinction.

As part of his musical education, he also has taken part in workshops and seminars with other notable composers including Francesco Filidei, Franck Bedrossian, Beat Furrer, Philippe Leroux, Klaus Huber, Aaron Cassidy, Isabel Mundry, and Dieter Ammann.

Göncü’s works have been performed and recorded in festivals and concerts in Austria, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Turkey and the USA. In 2016, he participated in IRCAM’s ManiFeste Festival, where his work “dimINNUENDO” was premiered by Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Other honors include being selected for the 2013 Firenze Suona Contemporanea festival; a special mention in Risuonanze 2013; and a Kunstuniversität Graz Jahresstipendium fellowship.

For the 2017 MICF, Göncü has written a new work called “post-pandemonium” that will be performed by Alarm Will Sound as part of the festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 29.

Other recent projects include a small ensemble work for L’Instant Donné, a duo for electric guitar and accordion for Ensemble Cairn soloists, a new work for Ensemble Proton Bern, and a concerto for keyboard and ensemble for Berkeley’s ECO Ensemble.

You can hear Selim Göncü talk about his music in the interview he did earlier this summer with KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” Program, and you can listen to samples of his work on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“damplification” (2014-15), US premiere recording performed by Kate Campbell and Anne Rainwater.

Works for Ensemble playlist

“SISYPHEAN S(T)EIN” (2015), recorded at the world premiere at the 2015 Etchings Festival, performed by by Ecce Ensemble, with Vasko Dukovski (clarinet) Diamanda La Berge Dramm (violin), László Hudacsek (percussion), and Nicholas Isherwood (bass baritone), conducted by Jean-Philippe Wurtz.