Archive for the ‘ Mizzou New Music Initiative ’ Category

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge and open to the public.

At 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 23, guest composer Steven Stucky will present a master class with the vocal ensemble Voices of Prometheus at McKee Auditorium on the MU Campus.

Presentations by the Festival’s guest resident and faculty composers also will be open to the public. All the composer presentations will take place in the Fine Arts Building’s Room 145.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. and 1:45 – 3:50 p.m. on Monday, and from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Guest composer Donnacha Dennehy will offer his presentation at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:30 p.m. by MU faculty composer Stefan Freund. Then on Wednesday evening, Steven Stucky will present at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney discussing his work at 8:30 p.m..

If you’d like to get a close-up look at how new compositions are prepared for performance, the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured) will hold several open rehearsals during the week. Here’s the schedule of open rehearsals, which will be held in room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

Tuesday, July 24:
12:45 p.m – 4:00 p.m – Resident composers
4:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m – Steven Stucky

Wednesday, July 25:
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Steven Stucky
10:45 a.m. – 12 15 p.m.- Donnacha Dennehy
1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

Friday, July 27:
9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Resident composers
1:45 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival website.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Donnacha Dennehy

It is a privilege and a pleasure to have Donnacha Dennehy as one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.  Along with fellow guest composer Steven Stucky, Dennehy will instruct and mentor the Festival’s eight resident composers during their week in Columbia.

He’ll also oversee the world premiere of the first part of The Hunger,  a large work-in-progress that will be performed by resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound and the Festival’s guest artist, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, as part of the concert on Thursday, July 26.

Born in 1970 in Dublin, Dennehy is considered one of Ireland’s leading contemporary composers. He recently has earned worldwide acclaim for his 2011 album Grá Agus Bás, which made NPR Music’s list of Top 50 Albums of 2011 (in all genres), and was included in year-end best-of lists from critics Alex Ross and Paul Griffiths and in WNYC’s New Sounds top ten list of the year.

He has received commissions from musicians, ensembles and musical organizations from all over the UK, USA and Europe. Dennehy’s music has featured in festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can in New York, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, WNYC’s New Sounds Live, Sonic Evolutions Festival at Lincoln Center, EXPO, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, Fuse Leeds, the Saarbrucken Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the State of the Nation at the South Bank in London and the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam.

After studying abroad at the University of Illinois, IRCAM in France and in the Netherlands, in 1997 Dennehy returned to Dublin to found the Crash Ensemble, a renowned new music group that has premiered many of his best-known works.

You can hear Dennehy talk about the Crash Ensemble, Grá Agus Bás, and much more in this interview recorded in April, 2011 for NPR, and this one recorded the following month for radio station WNYC. In the embedded video windows below, you’ll find three samples of the Crash Ensemble playing Dennehy’s music, as well as a brief interview with him.

An excerpt from Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás, performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre by Crash Ensemble and Afro Celt Soundsystem’s Iarla Ó Lionáird

Crash Ensemble performing Dennehy’s Junk Box Fraud as part of their tenth anniversary show “Shindig”

Crash Ensemble and Iarla Ó Lionáird perform another Dennehy piece, Aisling Gheal

A 2010 interview with Dennehy, in which he discusses some recent compositions, working with texts and his interest in vocal music.


Summer Festival Spotlight: David Crowell

While some of the resident composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival are recent graduates or still studying for advanced degrees, saxophonist and composer David Crowell already is well along in his professional career.

He has a very active schedule as a performer, touring with the famed Philip Glass Ensemble and leading his own band, and his compositions have been performed frequently in New York City and by various student and professional ensembles across the US.

In fact, Crowell (pictured) will have two major performances of his works on the same night this month.  On Saturday, July 28, Alarm Will Sound will play his new piece Fallout for the grand finale of the MNMSF, and his composition Waiting in the Rain For Snow (originally written for and recorded by the Now Ensemble) will be performed as part of the Bang on a Can Summer Marathon at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

He has issued two CDs as a leader on the Innova Recordings label, 2009’s Spectrum, and Eucalyptus, which features a new work for multiple saxophones and electronics and was released in April of this year. Crowell’s music has received radio play on national and international stations, including New York City’s classical station WQXR and public radio station WNYC, with features on WNYC’s “New Sounds with John Schaefer.”

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Crowell also has performed with the N.Y. Philharmonic, the L.A. Philharmonic, Signal Ensemble, Asphalt Orchestra, L’Arsenale, at the Bang on a Can Marathon and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. In addition to his solo CDs, he has recorded with the Philip Glass Ensemble, Signal Ensemble, Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, William Brittelle, and Ken Thomson and Anti-Social Music. And when he’s not composing or performing, Crowell also teaches saxophone, flute, clarinet and composition at the Bloomingdale School of Music and various other locations around New York City.

You can read a review of Eucalyptus from the website Sequenza21 here, and hear more samples of Crowell’s music in the embedded video windows below.

The New York-based Jack Quartet performs David Crowell’s The Open Road (excerpt)

Crowell’s The Day After, Mvt. I performed by the Campbellsville University Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Chad Floyd

Columbia hotels offering discounts during Mizzou New Music Summer Festival

Planning on visiting Columbia for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival? If so, you should know that three local hotels are offering discounts for the nights of July 26, 27 and 28 to Festival attendees. They are:

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia (at the University of Missouri)
1225 Fellow’s Place (College Ave. & Stadium Blvd.), Columbia, MO 65201
Phone: 573-214-2222
$105/night + tax for a standard king or double room
Ask for “New Music Summer Festival”

Tiger Hotel

23 South 8th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Phone: 573-875-8888
$135/night + tax for a standard king room
Ask for “New Music Summer Festival”

Wingate by Wyndham
3101 Wingate Court, US 63 & I-70, Columbia, MO 65201
Phone: 573-817-0500
$78/night + tax for a standard king room
Ask for “New Music Summer Festival”

Please contact the hotel of your choice directly for information and reservations.

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival also is offering a discount on concert tickets for patrons who take advantage of these special prices on hotel rooms. To get the discount when purchasing tickets for the festival online or at the box office, use coupon codes Package12 (adults) and Package12S (students).

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival ticket information
Festival passes good for all three concerts are $40 for adults, $20 for students. Single tickets are priced at $16 for adults, $8 for students for all concerts. To purchase tickets by phone, call the MU Concert Series box office at 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, please visit http://newmusicsummerfestival.missouri.edu/tickets.html.

And if you’re coming to Columbia to attend the Festival, you also may find some of these links useful:

Visitor information
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
Columbia Regional Airport
“Virtual tour” of Columbia
I Heart Columbia
Vox Magazine’s guide to Columbia restaurants
Mid-Missouri Dining Guide

Media
Columbia Tribune
Columbia Missourian
Columbia area radio stations
KOMU-TV (NBC)
KMIZ-TV (ABC)
KRCG-TV (CBS)

National Weather Service forecast for Boone County

Summer Festival Spotlight: Stephanie Berg

Today, let’s get acquainted with one of the resident composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Stephanie Berg. She’s one of eight individuals to earn that designation this year, chosen from nearly 150 applicants from countries around the world, including Israel, France, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Russia, England, Thailand, Canada and China.

As a Missouri native and Mizzou graduate, Berg (pictured) is something of a local favorite at this year’s Festival. She grew up in the Kansas City suburb of Parkville, graduating from Park Hill South High School, and earned her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Mizzou in 2008. This May, she completed her Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition at Mizzou.

Berg was the recipient of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize, which resulted in the commissioned work Motive and Reflection for full orchestra. In 2011, she won the award in the “Young Artist” category of the Missouri State Division of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition. She was recognized for her piece “Of Air Sweet and Water Deep,” composed in 2010 for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and premiered at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis as part of a tribute to the Garden’s President Emeritus, Dr. Peter Raven.

In addition to her work as a composer, Berg has performed in the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the University Philharmonic, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra, playing B flat, A, E flat, and bass clarinets. She also has served for three years as project manager for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Program (C.O.M.P.), a statewide competition for young composers in Missouri elementary, middle and high schools.

Earlier this year, Berg was the subject of a feature story in the Columbia Daily Tribune, which you can see online here. You can hear her award-winning composition “Of Air Sweet and Water Deep” and her piece “Paper Guns,” created for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’ Great Rivers Biennial 2010, in the embedded audio players below.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Alarm Will Sound

Continuing with our series of posts focusing on various participants in the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, today we shine out spotlight on Alarm Will Sound.

As the resident ensemble for the Festival, AWS plays an essential role in bringing to life the new works created by the resident composers. Not many groups would be willing or able to take on the challenge of premiering eight new pieces in one night with limited rehearsal time, but Alarm Will Sound has accomplished the task each year of the MNMSF with consummate skill and panache.

Former in 2001 by former students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Alarm Will Sound (pictured) is a 20-member ensemble “dedicated to the creation, performance, and recording of today’s music. It is an advocate for innovative work by established and emerging composers, especially works that incorporate theatrical and multimedia elements by choreographers, visual artists, designers, and directors. It fosters the education and professional development of young musicians through residencies, master classes, readings and workshops. With the goal of cultivating a diverse and sophisticated audience, the ensemble brings intelligence and a sense of adventure to the rich variety of musical expression in the contemporary world.” You can read a detailed history of the group here.

Alarm Will Sound is connected to the University of Missouri School of Music via Stefan Freund, associate professor of composition and music theory at Mizzou who’s also the cellist for AWS. They’ve been the resident ensemble for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival since its inception, and maintain an active touring schedule throughout the year.

For example, since appearing in Columbia last summer, they’ve had a variety of musical adventures, starting with a trip to Europe in the fall of 2011 to give concerts in Poland and Italy. During the 2011-12 academic year, AWS performed in New York City, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington state. Most recently, they’ve been involved in a series of multimedia presentations of John Cage’s “Song Books” in Ireland, the Netherlands and, this coming weekend, back in New York.

This year in Columbia, in addition to premiering eight new pieces at the Festival’s finale on Saturday, July 28, Alarm Will Sound also will perform a completely different program on Thursday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre. That concert will feature works by Oliver Knussen and Caleb Burhans, as well as pieces written by the 2012 Festival’s guest composers Steven Stucky and Donnacha Dennehy.

AWS will perform Stucky’s Etudes, a concerto for recorded and orchestra featuring Erin Lesser as soloist, as well what are being described as “scenes from Hunger, a work in progress” by Dennehy that will spotlight guest artist, mezzo-soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird.

Down below, you can see and hear Alarm Will Sound in action in some of videos posted recently to their YouTube channel.

You also can hear most of the music they’ve premiered at the past two Mizzou New Music Festivals via SoundCloud. Audio files from the 2010 MNMSF are here, while the tracks from 2011 are here.

Alarm Will Sound plays Caleb Burhans’ oh ye of little faith… (do you know where your children are?)

Aphex Twin’s “Cliffs,” arranged by Caleb Burhans with staging by Nigel Maister. Recorded March 28, 2012 at Bowling Green State University.

A Song for Wade (This is Not That Song), composed by Matt Marks with lyrics by Royce Vavrek.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Steven Stucky

Guest composers play an important part at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, teaching and mentoring the resident composers, and we are most fortunate to have Steven Stucky as one of our guest composers for the 2012 MNMSF.

Called by BMI “a towering figure in contemporary classical music,” Stucky (pictured) perhaps is best known for his Second Concerto for Orchestra, which was commissioned and premiered in 2004 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2005. He is a professor of music at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1980, and also maintains a busy schedule as a conductor, writer and lecturer.

For more than 20 years, Stucky enjoyed the longest relationship on record between a composer and an American orchestra, serving as Composer-in-Residence and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also has written commissioned pieces for many other American orchestras, as well as for many other ensembles and for soloists including pianist Emanuel Ax, baritone Sanford Sylvan, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and cellist Elinor Frey.

Stucky also was co-artistic director, conductor, and one of the co-founders of Ensemble X, a new music group of Cornell and Ithaca College faculty members that performed from 1997 to 2006.

More recently, in February 2012 his orchestral work Silent Spring received both its world and New York premieres by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he currently serves as Composer of the Year. Later this year, Stucky’s Son et lumière will be performed by both the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

You can view some scores of Stucky’s music at the website of his publisher, the Theodor Presser Company. The embedded video windows below feature three recent performances of Stucky compositions for small ensembles, followed by a pre-concert talk that Stucky gave earlier this year before the premiere of Silent Spring.

The LA Piano Quartet (Xak Bjerken, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; and Steven Doane, cello) performs Steven Stucky’s Piano Quartet:

Trio América (Penélope Quesada, flute; Kevin Ames, saxophone; and
Liz Ames, piano) performs Stucky’s composition Varianti:

A student percussion ensemble plays Stucky’s piece Refrains:

Steven Stucky speaks before the world premiere of Silent Spring:

2012 Missouri Summer Composition Institute
to conclude with concert on Saturday, June 23

The Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Missouri Summer Composition Institute will wrap up this year’s session with a concert at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 23. The concert will take place at Whitmore Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, and is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature two resident ensembles giving world premiere performances of sixteen new works created by student composers participating in the Institute. The students will be on campus beginning next Monday, July 18. They will spend the week receiving composition lessons from MU composition faculty and graduate composition students; networking and exchanging ideas with their peers; and composing their pieces.

The Missouri Summer Composition Institute is open to all students in grades 9 –12 and entering college freshmen in Missouri. Eight advanced division composers and eight intermediate division composers are selected each year through a portfolio application process.