Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project chooses works
by Clark, Strobel and Williams for performance on Sunday, March 16

For a composer of orchestral music, getting a new work performed by a live orchestra represents not only the culmination of many hours of hard work but also the realization of a dream.

Now, three Missouri composers will see their work rewarded and hear their dreams realized, as the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of three orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert on Sunday, March 16 in Columbia.

The winning compositions were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). Each winner will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The works chosen for 2014 in the Open category are FE 700° C by Patrick David Clark and From the Book of the Dead by Robert Strobel. Clark, a native of St. Louis who now lives in Columbia, earned both a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s in composition from the University of Missouri. Strobel, also a resident of Columbia, is working on a master’s in composition at Mizzou.

The winning composition in the High School category is Firelight by Alex Williams, an 18-year-old senior at Neosho High School in Neosho.

The winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO.

All three winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 16 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers St. in Columbia.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students, and can be purchased in advance online at http://cco.missouri.org/ or at the door.

The concert also will include the Overture from Mizzou professor and CCO music director Stefan Freund’s forthcoming Civil War Oratorio; American Sojourn by Kevin Hartnett, a former winner in the statewide Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition for student composers; and Mutaciones I by Mizzou student José Martínez, which won the $6,000 National Prize for Culture in Martínez’ native country of Colombia.

Freund will conduct the orchestra’s performances of his Overture and of Martínez’ work, while Patrick Clark will conduct his own work and Robert Strobel’s composition. Brian Silvey, assistant professor of music education at Mizzou, will lead the performance of Hartnett’s American Sojourn, and MU junior Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will conduct Williams’ Firelight.

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 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community.

Patrick David Clark

Robert Strobel

Alex Williams

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Fox, Cypret, Henderson, Hoercler and Herd on Sunday, March 9 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present their first concert of 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 9 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will include new works from four current Mizzou composition students plus one by the late Frederick Fox, former professor of composition at Indiana University.

Described as “a dark sonic fantasy” employing innovative instrumental techniques and creative percussion writing, “Devils Tramping Ground,” was written in 1991 by Fox, a jazz-influenced composer and teacher who in the mid-1970s founded the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

The other four works on the program will be premiere performances. “Lament for a Bird,” was written this year by Kay Cypret, a first year master’s student studying composition at Mizzou. It tells the story of the life and tragic death of a bird featuring lyric chorales and percussion that imitates gunshots.

“Inception, Conception, Create,” written in 2013 by Luke Henderson, was inspired by Oliver Sacks’ book “Musicophilia,” and portrays the process of composition from start to finish. Henderson is a freshman at Mizzou, studying for degrees in both music education and composition.

“Adventures in Anarchy,” a 2013 work by freshman composition major Erin Hoerchler, offers “a quick, wild ride featuring syncopated rhythms and explosive dynamics.”

Travis Herd’s “Meditation,” also composed in 2013, uses repetition and pantonality to create an ethereal and relaxed mood, interrupted by moments of dissonance. Herd is a junior music education major in his first year of composition studies.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.  They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Alarm Will Sound to perform free concert on Friday, February 7 at Missouri Theatre

Alarm Will Sound, the acclaimed chamber orchestra dedicated to contemporary classical music, is returning to Columbia to perform a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 7 at the Missouri Theatre.

The group (pictured) has served since 2010 as the resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, which takes place each year in July, but this will be their first performance here during the regular academic year. The February 7 concert is presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music, and is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature seven works written or arranged specifically for Alarm Will Sound, including five that will be part of their next album. According to managing director Gavin Chuck, it’s a program that shows off the group’s established ability to translate music between idioms while also exploring human performance of sounds originally made by technology.

Two of the pieces they’ll play – Matt Marks’ arrangement of the Beatles’ “Revolution 9,” heard previously as part of the multi-media show 1969; and Evan Hause’s arrangement of Edgard Varèse’s “Poème électronique” – use traditional acoustic instruments to realize music originally created using tape machines and electronic manipulation.

A different form of interaction between man and machine is explored in Alarm Will Sound’s renditions of music by Conlon Nancarrow, whose works for player piano are essentially impossible for any human pianist to perform. The February 7 concert at the Missouri Theatre will include Nancarrow’s “Study 2A,” arranged by Gavin Chuck, and “Study 3A,” arranged by Derek Bermel, which were recorded for the group’s 2008 album a/rhythmia.

The three other works on the program destined for Alarm Will Sound’s next CD are “Big Spinoff,” from the esteemed American composer Charles Wuorinen; “Will Sound,” from Wolfgang Rihm, one of Germany’s most prolific contemporary composers; and “Zoetrope,” written by the young British composer Charlie Piper for the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

St. Louis Symphony performs Stephanie Berg’s “Ravish and Mayhem”

Mizzou alumna Stephanie Berg‘s composition “Ravish and Mayhem” was performed by the St. Louis Symphony on January 10 and 11 at Powell Hall in St. Louis to standing ovations from the audiences and rave reviews from local critics.

Writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, classical music critic Sarah Bryan Miller found “Ravish and Mayhem” to be “a really delightful work…It’s a fun, creative piece, and (guest conductor Andrey) Boreyko and the orchestra rendered it with accuracy and elan.” Miller also called Berg “a promising new compositional voice,” concluding, “We can trust that this won’t be the last we hear from Berg.”

Meanwhile, in his review on the website of KDHX (88.7 FM), critic Chuck Lavazzi noted that the performance “drew enthusiastic ovations for both the orchestra and—when Mr. Boreyko persuaded her to appear on stage—Ms. Berg as well.”

“This unabashedly cinematic and vivid piece was a delight from the opening Coplandesque fanfares and melismatic woodwind figures to the brass glissandi near the end that conjured up images of trumpeting elephants,” said Lavazzi.

Berg (pictured), who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mizzou and won the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize, wrote “Ravish and Mayhem” to be performed by Alarm Will Sound at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival. It’s the first work created under the auspices of the Mizzou New Music Initiative to be performed by a major symphony orchestra.

(It’s also one of two pieces the St. Louis Symphony played this season from composers involved with the 2012 MICF; in September, they performed “Rapture” by Patrick Harlin of the University of Michigan, who also was a resident composer for the festival that year.)

The reviews culminated a week of media attention for Berg, in which she was interviewed on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis’ “Friday With the Arts” and St. Louis Public Radio/KWMU’s “Cityscape”; appeared on KSDK’s “Show Me St. Louis” and the mid-day news broadcasts on KTVI and KPLR; and was the subject of articles in St. Louis magazine, Alive magazine and the weekly South County Times and Webster-Kirkwood Times newspapers.

Berg also was interviewed during the intermission of KWMU’s broadcast of the Symphony’s concert on January 11. You can listen to that interview, and see the SLSO program notes for the entire concert, here.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2014

With resident composers originally from Australia, Colombia, South Korea, Taiwan, and across the USA, the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will bring a world of music to mid-Missouri next year.

Scheduled for Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia, the fifth annual MICF will present world premieres of new works from eight resident composers who were announced today by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Ian Dicke, Riverside, CA
* Holly Harrison, Sydney, Australia
* Texu Kim, Bloomington, IN
* José Martínez, Columbia, MO
* Nicholas Omiccioli, Kansas City, MO
* Michael Lee Schachter, Ann Arbor, MI
* Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Urbana, IL
* Christopher Weiss, Ann Arbor, MI

The eight resident composers were chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 215 entries from around the world, a new record for the MICF.

Four of them were born outside the USA. The University of Missouri will be represented by José Martínez, who is a native of Colombia working on a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou and the winner of the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The other international representatives among the resident composers will include Australia’s Holly Harrison, a candidate for the Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney; Texu Kim, who’s originally from South Korea and currently is studying for his doctorate in composition at Indiana University; and Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, a native of Taiwan currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Illinois.

The group also includes another Missouri resident, Nicholas Omiccioli, an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City who currently is a resident with the Charlotte Street Urban Culture Project in Kansas City and production coordinator of newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

The 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events.

The Festival’s guest composers for 2014 will be Beat Furrer, professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna; and Nico Muhly, a Juilliard graduate and protégé of Phillip Glass known for composing an eclectic range of works for classical and pop musicians, ballet, opera, and more.

The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the MICF began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Furrer and Muhly; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give public presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the MICF and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Ian Dicke

Holly Harrison

Texu Kim

José Martínez

Nicholas Omiccioli

Michael Lee Schachter

Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang

Christopher Weiss

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform five new works by student composers on Monday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s second concert of the 2013-14 season will take place at 7:30 p.m., Monday, December 2 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will include a new work from 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize winner José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano, plus encore performances of four compositions written by Mizzou students for the recent collaboration between the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Stephens College dance department.

Martinez’ “Canciones de la Ausencia” (“Songs of Absence”) is a 2013 composition that evokes and explores different aspects of absence and longing. The three sections of the work are named after poems by the 20th century writers Xavier Villaurrútia (of Mexico), Jorge Gaitán Durán (Colombia), and Mariano Brull (Cuba).

The four works created for the Mizzou-Stephens collaboration also were all written in 2013.  Trey Makler’s “Southern Portraits” draws on influences including Aaron Copland and Bela Fleck in an effort to capture the essence of Okeechobee, Florida, hometown of choreographer LeeAnn Davis. “Phoenix,” by Haley Myers, was written for a dance choreographed by Samantha Bennett.  It deals with the theme of creation and destruction, and integrates imagery of the mythological bird that gives the work its title.

David Witter’s “Visions of Progression” was composed in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Samari Jackson Preston, and is meant to suggest a passing of seasons or journey under the watchful eye of a guiding spirit. “Blank Slate,” written by Shaun Gladney while working with choreographer Kramer Pruitt, “works to encapsulate the rise and fall of human emotions.”

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 and associate professor. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets. For this concert, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest performers Sam Jennings, guitar; Nathan Ward, tenor; and Shaun Gladney, percussion.

Ninth annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition
offers prizes, recognition for Missouri student composers

2013 C.O.M.P. winner HyunJun Yoo gets his award from Jeanne SInquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation

Whether it ends up being played on a synthesizer, a Stratocaster or by a symphony orchestra, every piece of music begins with an idea from a composer – and every composer needs a place to begin.

Helping young composers find that place is the purpose of the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.), an annual statewide competition now in its ninth year.

Sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, C.O.M.P. recognizes Missouri students in grades K-12 who compose original music in a variety of styles.

Information has been mailed this month to music teachers across the state inviting students to participate in the 2014 competition. The winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 19, 2014 on the Mizzou campus.

Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental Pieces. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Popular Music, Jazz, and Other.

All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.

Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though the submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.

Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest. The postmark deadline for submission of all compositions is January 10, 2014.

For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and an application for the 2014 competition, please visit the C.O.M.P website at http://music.missouri.edu/COMP/.

For students looking for additional guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.

Students can e-mail works in progress and ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2013-14 academic year is Justin Pounds, who can be reached by email at composerconnection@missouri.edu.

Mizzou composers, Stephens College choreographers
team up for performances November 15-17

Next month, student choreographers and dancers at Stephens College will perform a recital of new works set to original music written especially for them by student composers from Mizzou.

The six Mizzou composers taking part in the project are Benedetto Colagiovanni, Shaun Gladney, Trey Makler, Haley Myers, Justin Pounds, and David Witter.

To select their collaborators, the composers and choreographers got together this past summer for what amounted to a creative speed-dating session. After Mizzou’s William Lackey and Stephens’ Carol Estey set the scene, each composer spent a few minutes talking with each choreographer, and then all the participants ranked their preferences in potential partners.

The works resulting from those collaborations will be presented as part of Stephens’ Senior Dance Concert the weekend of November 15 through November 17 at Macklanburg Theatre on the Stephens campus. You can read more about the project in this article from Stephens’ Janese Silvey: http://www.sc-scene.com/2013/10/mu-composers-stephens-choreographers.html

(Photos by Stefan Freund.)