Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Kuang-Hao Huang to visit Mizzou for residency, concerts on February 24 & 25

Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang is coming to Mizzou later this month for a four-day residency that will include public performances on Saturday, February 24 and Sunday, February 25.

Huang (pictured) will perform with Mizzou faculty mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley in a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, presenting works by Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler, and Olivier Messiaen.

Then at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, Huang will accompany Mizzou students singing and performing in an all-Messiaen concert of chamber music.

Both performances will take place in Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus. Admission to Saturday’s concert is $5 for the general public, free to Mizzou students, staff and faculty with ID. Sunday’s concert is free and open to the public.

While he’s in Columbia, Huang also will give a talk to Mizzou student composers about contemporary piano techniques on Thursday, February 22 and coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in a rehearsal on Friday, February 23.

Known as an advocate of new music, Huang has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Notably, he gave the world premiere performances of solo works by Louis Andriessen and 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival distinguished guest composer Chen Yi at Weill Hall in New York City as part of Carnegie Hall’s “Millennium Piano Book” project.

Huang also has premiered numerous ensemble works, including pieces by Jacob Bancks, Mason Bates, Kyong Mee Choi, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg, James Matheson, and Laura Schwendinger.

His collaborative projects include membership in the Fulcrum Point New Music Project and work with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Composer Perspectives series, MusicNOW and CUBE Ensemble.
Born in Wisconsin, Huang has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Northwestern University. He currently lives in the Chicago area, where he teaches as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago.

In addition to teaching at the university level, Huang has presented educational outreach programs throughout the Chicago Public Schools on behalf of the International Music Foundation, and for a decade coordinated the piano program at Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute. He also has served as artistic director of Make Music Chicago, a day-long, citywide, DIY music festival held at the summer solstice that “celebrates the musician in us all.”

When in his home city, he performs in concerts and radio broadcasts with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. Huang also has been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians; has performed with the Avalon, Chicago, Spektral and Vermeer String Quartets; and can be heard in recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels.

You can hear two examples of Huang and Julia Bentley performing works by contemporary composers in the embedded audio players below.

“Southern Harmony, 6. WINTER” by Jacob Bancks, performed by Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano, and Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

David Dies’ setting of Rilke’s “An die Musik,” premiered at Roosevelt University in Chicago by Julia Bentley and Kuang-Hao Huang

Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing works
by Mobberley, Chen, Mincek and Bohman
on Monday, February 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s first concert of 2018 will feature works by three guest composers who will be visiting the University of Missouri campus this year, plus a piece by a new faculty composer.

The Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is $5 for the general public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff with ID.

Composer James Mobberley will coach the Ensemble and be present for the performance of his piece “Toccatas and Interludes” as part of a two-day residency at Mizzou. A winner of the prestigious Rome Prize and a Guggenheim Fellow, Mobberley officially retired from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2016 and now is a distinguished professor emeritus and adjunct professor at UMKC.

The concert also will include the Ensemble’s first performances of works by the two distinguished guest composers for this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival, each featuring an MU student as guest conductor.

“Near Distance” is by Chen Yi, who is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Chen also is a Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a former finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Her work will be conducted by Hans Heruth, a junior composition major at Mizzou.

“Portraits and Repetitions” was composed by Alex Mincek, who is an assistant professor of composition and music technology at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and a co-founder and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble. Mincek also is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as an Alpert Award and multiple honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s performance of his piece will include guest saxophonist (and School of Music admissions coordinator) Ben Harting, and will be conducted by Jesus Gomez, who’s in his first year of studies at MU for a master’s degree in music.

Completing the program will be “Spiral,” a composition by Mizzou adjunct faculty member Bret Bohman that originally was commissioned in 2015 by the Khemia Ensemble, a new music group based in Ann Arbor, MI who will be visiting the Mizzou campus in March. Bohman, who earned his doctorate in music at the University of Michigan, joined the Mizzou faculty in the fall of 2017 and teaches courses in electronic music composition and music theory.

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, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Ensemble’s members for the 2017-18 season are Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Libby Roberts, piano; and Brianna Trainor, percussion.

Missouri Composers Project selects four works
for Columbia Civic Orchestra concert on Sunday, March 11

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2018 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its seventh 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 2018 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 11 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Pictured from left: Mencher, Sharpe, Bollin, Thibodeau

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “Antrios” by Aaron Mencher, and the winning choral work is “Clap Your Hands” by Carlyle Sharpe.

Mencher is a junior composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou and the winner of the 2018 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s top award for a student composer.

Sharpe is a professor of music at Drury University in Springfield who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and a DMA in composition from Boston University.

In the high school categories, the winning orchestral work for 2018 is “The Fall of Númenor” by Devon Bollin, a 2017 graduate of Fort Zumwalt East High School who lives in St. Peters, MO.

The winning choral composition is “Silence” by Brandon Thibodeau, a student at Kearney High School in Kearney, MO. Thibodeau previously has won three first-place awards and a second-place award in Mizzou’s annual Creating Original Music Project competition for Missouri students in grades K-12, and for the last two years has been a participant in the university’s Summer Composition Institute.

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.

Mikkel Christensen wins grand prize in ShoutHouse call for scores

Mizzou’s Mikkel Christensen has won the grand prize in a worldwide open call for scores from the ensemble ShoutHouse in New York City.

Christensen (pictured) is in his first year of work toward a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, studying with Stefan Freund. A native of Lockhart, TX, he earned his undergraduate degree in music and technology at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.

Formed in 2012, ShoutHouse is a 14-member chamber orchestra of classical, hip-hop, and jazz musicians that describes their style as combining “the freedom and lyricism of jazz, the poetry of hip-hop, and the structures and textures of contemporary art music.”

They chose Chistensen’s work “Outsider” as the grand prize winner from among nearly 200 submissions, and will perform it at one of their concerts this year in New York, date and location to be announced.

Aaron Hynds to perform Wednesday, January 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Aaron Hynds, a tubist, composer, and audio engineer with a penchant for new music, is coming to Mizzou to present a guest artist recital and lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the MU campus.

The program will include “Dyadic Affinities’ by Asha Srinivasan (who was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival), plus one of Hynds’ own compositions, as well as works by Hong-Da Chin, Asia Ahmetjanova, Elise Roy, and Doug McCausland. The concert is free and open to the public.

Hynds (pictured) has been a featured performer at new music events and venues including the Omaha Under the Radar Festival; the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany; the Null Point music series in Buffalo, NY; Constellation in Chicago; the 2016 and 2017 New Music Gatherings, in Baltimore, MD and Bowling Green, OH, respectively; the Bowling Green New Music Festival; and the Vanguard New Music Series at Kent State University.

As part of his ongoing efforts to promote new music for tuba and euphonium, he has commissioned and performed works by composers such as Kurt Isaacson, Nicholas Deyoe, Eliza Brown, Ruby Fulton, and Monte Weber, with more collaborations currently underway with Kari Besharse, Louise Fristensky, Ray Evanoff, and Mizzou’s own Jacob Gotlib.

Hynds is in the process of recording his first solo project, “Colossus: New Music for Tuba, Vols. 1 & 2,” featuring 13 of the works that he has commissioned. He also has recorded with Ensemble Dal Niente, ambient group The Midwest Hackers, and in a doom metal/jazz trio with Jordan Snow and Danny Hynds.

In addition to performing, Hynds is a composer and new media artist, with recent premieres including “Choke (Radio Edit),” for bass clarinetist Gunnar Hirthe and electronics; “Sediment,” for three bass drums and electronics, performed by Ensemble Knox; and “SID 6581” for amplified violin and computer, premiered by Abdel Anzaldua at the SPLICE Institute.

Originally from Decatur, IL, Hynds currently is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Bowling Green State University,  having previously earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since the fall of 2017, he also is the sound production coordinator and events technician for the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, serving as primary audio engineer for the department and supervising the Sound Recording Technologies minor.

You can hear samples of Aaron Hynds’ music via his pages on Bandcamp and SoundCloud.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2018

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia, the ninth annual MICF will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Oren Boneh, Berkeley, CA
* Christine Burke, Iowa City, IA
* Viet Cuong, Philadelphia, PA
* Amanda Feery, Princeton, NJ
* Douglas Osmun, Columbia, MO
* Gemma Peacocke, Princeton, NJ
* Igor Santos, Chicago, IL
* Peter Shin, Los Angeles, CA

The resident composers are chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 244 entries from 22 different countries. Applications were received from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Three of the resident composers selected for 2018 are originally from outside the US: Amanda Feery, a native of Offaly, Ireland; Gemma Peacocke, who’s from Hamilton, New Zealand; and Igor Santos, born in Curitiba, Brazil.

Douglas Osmun, a graduate student working toward a master’s in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Osmun was the winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer. Resident composer Peter Shin also has a Missouri connection, as he was born and raised in Kansas City.

The 2018 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 distinguished guest composers for 2018 will be Chen Yi, a native of Guangzhou, China who is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Alex Mincek, an assistant professor, composition and music technology at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and a co-founder and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble.

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 Chen and Mincek; 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 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit

Mizzou International Composers Festival gets submissions from around the world

With a flurry of last-minute activity, a total of 244 composers from around the world applied for the eight resident composer spots at the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Submissions were received from 22 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2018 MICF is scheduled for July 23 – 28 on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, and will feature Chen Yi and Alex Mincek as distinguished guest composers and Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble. The eight resident composers selected to take part in the festival will be named in January.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble presenting “Words and Music”
and more on Sunday, December 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will premiere new works by seven different Mizzou composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is $5 for the general public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff with ID.

The full Ensemble (pictured) will present the premiere performances of “notfromme” by Mikkel Christensen, a first-year master’s student; “Night Blossoms,” by senior composition major Ben Colagiovanni; “If you have nothing nice to say [say it softly],” by Libby Roberts, also a first-year master’s student and the pianist for the Ensemble; and “Good Vibes,” by freshman composition major Nick Williams.

The concert also will feature four songs created this fall as part of “Words and Music,” a collaborative project between the School of Music and the Department of English.

Overseen by post-doctoral fellow Carolina Heredia and assistant teaching professor Julia Bentley from the School of Music, along with Gabriel Fried, assistant professor of English, the “Words and Music” project involved three teams, each including an MU student poet, composer, singer, and a Mizzou New Music Ensemble member.

The new works they created to be performed at this concert are:

“Katabasis,” with words by Mary Clare Agnew and music by Libby Roberts, which will be performed by Briana Bennett, mezzo-soprano, and Kelariz Keshavarz, flute;

“The Wanderer,” with words by Hannah Cajandig and music by Adam J. Cohen, a sophomore composition major, to be performed by soprano Morgan Owen and percussionist Brianna Trainor; and

“Transience,” with words by Bryn Bartel and music by sophomore composition major Ethan Forte, performed by Matt Ahn, baritone and Daniel Keeler, cello.

In addition, as an example for the students, Gabriel Fried and Carolina Heredia worked together to write “Schoolyard Blessing,” which will be performed at the concert by Julia Bentley with Libby Roberts on piano.