Archive for the ‘ Mizzou International Composers Festival ’ Category

Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 26 – 31, 2021;
applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will take place starting Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31.

Reprising their roles from the online-only 2020 edition of the MICF, Chen Yi and David T. Little (pictured) will serve as the festival’s two distinguished guest composers for 2021, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Little also has written a new commissioned work specifically for the festival.

The week-long MICF will feature concerts of music from contemporary composers, along with workshops, master classes, and other events. Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

For 2021, MNMI will select four resident composers to take part in the festival. These four composers will be featured along with the eight composers who were chosen for the 2020 MICF, but whose works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured as an online event.

Because the COVID pandemic makes future conditions difficult to predict, MNMI will have several contingent plans for the 2021 MICF if safety concerns, University policy, or state or local laws make it impossible to present the festival “in-person” on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Those plans may include (but are not limited to) an online-only festival, a limited in-person experience, or some combination of online and in-person activities.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 11:59 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 20, 2020. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Chen Yi is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Along with many orchestral works, Chen has written numerous choral works and pieces of chamber music, including works written for traditional Chinese instruments. A violinist as well as a composer, Chen Yi earned bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University.

Chen received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Ensembles and soloists commissioning her work have included the Cleveland Orchestra, Mira Wang and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Seattle Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma and the Pacific Symphony, Evelyn Glennie and the Singapore Symphony, the Women’s Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.

Chen’s music has been recorded and released on more than 20 different labels, including New Albion, CRI, Angel, Koch International Classics, Delos, New World, and Naxos.

David T. Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

Little’s music has been presented by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, Holland Festival, and Opéra de Montréal, with upcoming engagements at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. He is the founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, and recordings of his music can be heard on labels including New Amsterdam, Innova, Sono Luminus, Centaur, and National Sawdust Tracks.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates, and venues for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

A look back at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival online

Mizzou International Composers Festival going online for 2020,
will take place Monday, July 27 – Saturday, August 1

Clockwise from top: Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Responding to the restrictions on live events imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mizzou International Composers Festival is going online for 2020.

The 11th annual edition of the MICF is set for Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, with events streamed online from the Facebook pages of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and resident ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Khemia Ensemble, and from the YouTube channels of the University of Missouri School of Music, Alarm Will Sound, and Khemia Ensemble.

At 9:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 31, the MICF will present “Under Twilight,” a multimedia event curated by Mizzou professor Carolina Heredia that will take place both online and for an in-person, “drive-in” audience.

For the “drive-in” audience in the parking lot of the Sinquefield Music Center on the Mizzou campus, videos will be projected on an array of special outdoor 3D screens, while accompanying music is simulcast on radio station KMUC (90.5 FM). At the same time, the online audience will be able to see the program via Facebook and YouTube.

“Under Twilight” will include music and video by Maria Chavez and Flying Lotus, with soundtracks recorded by the composers; and a work by Joel Thompson, with music recorded by Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Choir, conducted by Eugene Rogers.

The evening also will include pieces by former MICF distinguished guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and former resident composer Charlie Piper, as recorded by Alarm Will Sound; a work by Melissa Dunphy, recorded by Khemia Ensemble; and compositions from Carolina Heredia and Mizzou senior Ben Dawson, recorded by the composers and Mizzou students.

Then at 8:00 p.m. CDT Saturday, August 1, the festival’s finale will feature members of Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing a concert program including works by famed composers Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, plus new music from Mizzou student Daniel Fitzpatrick and 2020 master’s graduate Niko Schroeder.

Alarm Will Sound will perform Monk’s “Anthem,” which also is the first work in their new series VIDEO CHAT VARIATIONS, showcasing remotely performed new works that respond to the quirks of video chat platforms.

Also on Saturday, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present Fitzpatrick’s “Ancient Echoes,” a concertino for banjo and ensemble that features the composer as banjo soloist; and the Khemia Ensemble, led by MU faculty composer Carolina Heredia, will present the world premiere of Schroeder’s “Moves” for ensemble and video.

The final piece on the program will feature members of all three groups coming together to perform Oliveros’ “Buffalo Jam,” which is scored with text instructions for any number and instrumentation of performers. The musicians, who were dispersed across the country, rehearsed and recorded the performance using the Jamulus platform, which enables transmission of audio with virtually no latency.

Along with the performances, Saturday’s event also will include interviews with the composers and a post-concert discussion open to audience members. The discussion will be led by Mizzou professor and MNMI and MICF artistic director Stefan Freund, Alarm Will Sound artistic director and conductor Alan Pierson, and Mizzou professor and Khemia Ensemble executive director Carolina Heredia.

Both Friday and Saturday night’s events are free and open to the public, but audience members are asked to register in advance using Eventbrite. To register for Friday’s event, either to view the event online or to “drive in” in person, go to https://micf2020undertwilight.eventbrite.com.To register for Saturday, go to https://micf2020finaleconcert.eventbrite.com.

In addition to the two weekend events, the festival also will include public online presentations from the eight resident composers and two distinguished guest composers who had been announced previously as participants in the 2020 MICF. All of the composer presentations will be available for public viewing online via the Mizzou New Music Initiative Facebook page.

Resident composers Pascal Le Boeuf, DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez), Niko Schroeder, and Celka Ojakangas will make individual presentations on their music starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT Monday, July 27, with Felipe Tovar-Henao, Shuying Li, Andrew Tholl, and Yu Kuwabara presenting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 28.

Distinguished guest composers David T. Little and Chen Yi will be the final presenters, starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 29.

A complete schedule of events, times and dates for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the MICF website at https://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2020

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1 in Columbia, the eleventh annual MICF (http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/) will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Yu Kuwabara – Tokyo, Japan
* Pascal Le Boeuf – New York, NY
* Shuying Li – Boston, MA
* Celka Ojakangas – Los Angeles, CA
* DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez) – New York, NY
* Niko Schroeder – Columbia, MO
* Andrew Tholl – Los Angeles, CA
* Felipe Tovar-Henao – Bloomington, IN

The resident composers were chosen from among 346 entrants – a record for the MICF – from 24 countries. Four of them are originally from outside the US: Yu Kuwabara was born in Japan; Shuying Li is a native of China; and Felipe Tovar-Henao and DM R both are from Colombia.

Niko Schroeder, who will be in his second year of study for a masters in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Schroeder was the winner of the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer. Resident composer Celka Ojakangas also has a Missouri connection, as she was raised in Springfield and earned her bachelor’s degree at Drury University.

The 2020 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 2020 will be Chen Yi and David T. Little. Chen is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

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 Little; 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 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival gets
record number of resident composer submissions

A total of 346 composers from around the world have applied for the eight resident composer spots at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival, a new record for the MICF.

Submissions were received from 24 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2020 MICF will be held Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1 on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, and will feature Chen Yi and David T. Little 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 International Composers Festival set for July 27 – August 1, 2020; applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the 11th annual Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will take place starting Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, 2020 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Chen Yi and David T. Little (pictured) will serve as the festival’s two distinguished guest composers for 2020, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensembles. Little also will write a new commissioned work specifically for the festival.

The week-long MICF features concerts of music from contemporary composers, along with workshops, master classes, and other events. Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 11:59 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 15, 2019. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Chen Yi is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Along with many orchestral works, Chen has written numerous choral works and pieces of chamber music, including works written for traditional Chinese instruments. A violinist as well as a composer, Chen Yi earned bachelor and masters degrees in music composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University.

Chen received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Ensembles and soloists commissioning her work have included the Cleveland Orchestra, Mira Wang and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Seattle Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma and the Pacific Symphony, Evelyn Glennie and the Singapore Symphony, the Women’s Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.

Chen’s music has been recorded and released on more than 20 different labels, including New Albion, CRI, Angel, Koch International Classics, Delos, New World and Naxos.

David T. Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

Little’s music has been presented by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, Holland Festival, and Opéra de Montréal, with upcoming engagements at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. He is the founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, and recordings of his music can be heard on labels including New Amsterdam, Innova, Sono Luminus, Centaur, and National Sawdust Tracks.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates, and venues for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

A look back at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Donnacha Dennehy

Donnacha Dennehy returns to the Mizzou International Composers Festival in 2019 as a distinguished guest composer, having previously served in the same capacity in 2012, and thereby making MICF history by becoming the only composer to play that role twice.

Considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, Dennehy (pictured) is a founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. His music has been featured at major festivals and venues around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival; Carnegie Hall; the Tanglewood Festival; the Kennedy Center; The Barbican, Wigmore Hall, and the Royal Opera House in London, and many others.

In recent years, Dennehy has concentrated especially on large-scale musico-dramatic works, including his first opera “The Last Hotel,” which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015 and was released on an album earlier this year by Cantaloupe Music; and “The Second Violinist,” which won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera, premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival, and was presented in September 2018 at the Barbican in London.

Then there’s “The Hunger,” which was performed first as a work-in-progress at the 2012 MICF, subsequently co-produced in completed form by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre St. Louis, and presented in 2016 at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

The work follows the story of an American who went to Ireland during the Great Famine when so many were fleeing, and shows through text and music her transformation “from clerical observer to empathetic participant.” Now in its completed form, “The Hunger” will be released as an album in CD and digital formats on Friday, August 23 by Nonesuch Records.

For the MICF, Alarm Will Sound, soprano Katherine Manley, and sean nós singer Iarla O’Lionáird will perform the complete concert version of “The Hunger” as part of AWS’ concert on Thursday, July 25 at the Missouri Theatre. In addition, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform Dennehy’s “The Blotting” as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

Other recent projects of Dennehy’s include “Surface Tension,” premiered by Third Coast Percussion in February 2016 and released last month as part of an album on the New Amsterdam label; “The Weather of it” for the Doric String Quartet, co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall and premiered at Wigmore Hall in July 2016; a piece for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series; and “Broken Unison” for So Percussion, co-commissioned by the Cork Opera House and Carnegie Hall.

In addition to the above, Dennehy has received commissions from Bang On A Can, Contact Contemporary Music (Toronto), Dawn Upshaw, Fidelio Trio, Joanna MacGregor, Kronos Quartet, Icebreaker, Nadia Sirota, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orkest de Volharding (Amsterdam), Percussion Group of the Hague, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg), Wide Open Opera (Dublin), and many others.

Along with the forthcoming album of “The Hunger,” Dennehy’s music can be heard on a number of recordings. Grá agus Bás, his 2011 release on Nonesuch featuring Crash Ensemble and singers Dawn Upshaw and Iarla O’Lionáird, was named as one of NPR’s “50 favorite albums’’ for the year.

RTE Lyric FM in 2014 issued a portrait CD of Dennehy’s orchestral music, and his works also have been heard on other releases include a number by NMC Records in London, Bedroom Community in Reykjavik, and Cantaloupe Music in New York. A recording of “Tessellatum,” a piece for Nadia Sirota and viol consort, came out on Bedroom Community in August 2017, and Surface Tension / Disposable Dissonance, with performances by Crash Ensemble and Third Coast Percussion, was released in June 2019 on New Amsterdam records.

For more about Donnacha Dennehy, listen to the interview he did recently with KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and read the interview with him published last month in The Journal of Music. You can hear some of his music via the embedded players below.

Donnacha Dennehy, director Tom Creed, and singers Iarla Ó Lionáird and Katherine Manley are interviewed about the 2016 production of “The Hunger” at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York

“Broken Unison,” performed by So Percussion on January 19, 2019 at Koerner Hall in Toronto

“Stainless Staining,” performed by Isabelle O’Connell (piano) with electronics on March 30, 2017 at SARC, Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland

“Bulb,” recorded in 2014, featuring Vicky Chow (piano), Ashley Bathgate (cello) and Todd Reynolds (violin)

“The weather of it,” performed by Isaac Allen (violin), Bram Goldstein (violin), Angela Choong (viola) and Alex Greenbaum, (cello) on October 16, 2018 at Historic Old St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco