Archive for the ‘ Mizzou International Composers Festival ’ Category

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.

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 http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

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.

Chen Yi to serve as distinguished guest composer
for 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will welcome Chen Yi as a distinguished guest composer at the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), scheduled for Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Chen (pictured) 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.

Next July in Columbia, she’ll join Alex Mincek, who was named in October as the MICF’s other distinguished guest composer for 2018. The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from 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 Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline for submitting an application is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 17, 2017. For more information or to apply to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

The 2018 MICF will be Chen’s second visit to Columbia under the auspices of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. She previously came to Mizzou in 2015 for a brief residency during which the University Singers presented the world premiere of her composition “The Beautiful West Lake.”

In addition, her husband Zhou Long, also a professor of composition at UMKC’s conservatory and winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for music, was one of two distinguished guest composers at the 2013 MICF, making them the only married couple who both have served in that capacity.

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.

She 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. Other honors include first prize from the Chinese National Composition Contest, Lili Boulanger Award, NYU Sorel Medal Award, CalArts/Alpert Award, and many more.

Chen has won fellowships and commissions from organizations including the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Koussevitzky, Fromm, Ford, Roche, and Rockefeller foundations; Meet The Composer, Chamber Music America;, the BBC Proms; the China National Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center Festival, and Carnegie Hall.

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 is published by Theodore Presser Company, and has been recorded and released on more than 20 different labels, including New Albion, CRI, Angel, Koch International Classics, Delos, New World and Naxos.

2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 23 – 28; applications for eight resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is now accepting applications for eight resident composers to take part in the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Alex Mincek (pictured) will serve as one of the MICF’s two distinguished guest composers, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. The second distinguished guest composer will be announced at a later date.

The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the 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 Mizzou faculty, 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 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 17, 2017. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

A Florida native turned New Yorker, Alex Mincek earned his master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and his DMA from Columbia University. Currently an assistant professor, composition and music technology at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, he is a recipient of honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alpert Award, multiple awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and more.

Mincek’s music has been performed at major venues and international festivals including Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, Wigmore Hall, Strasbourg Musica, Darmstadt (IMD), and many others, and he has collaborated with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Linea, Talea, Dal Niente, Yarn/Wire, and the JACK Quartet.

A saxophonist and bass clarinetist, Mincek is a co-founder and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble, a group that, starting in 1998, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous works by contemporary and emerging composers. They have collaborated with artists such as George Lewis, Evan Parker, Christian Wolff, and members of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and introduced NYC audiences to the work of European composers including Peter Ablinger, Mathias Spahlinger, and Beat Furrer.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2018 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 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Georg Friedrich Haas

Georg Friedrich Haas, one of the two distinguished guest composers at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival, is known and respected internationally as one of the major European composers of his generation.

Considered to be a leading exponent of “spectral music” and sometimes compared to György Ligeti for his use of microtonality, Haas has lectured and taught courses on the subject, but also has said he’s uncomfortable being pigeonholed, noting simply that, “I am a composer, not a microtonalist.”

As a distinguished guest composer for the MICF, Haas (pictured) will work with the eight resident composers and resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and will give a public presentation on his music.

Two of his works will be played during the festival. Alarm Will Sound will perform Haas’ “Remix” as part of their concert on Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play his “…aus freier Lust…verbunden” during the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 28.

Haas’ compositions range from chamber pieces, including seven string quartets, to orchestral works, operas, and concertos. His hour-long “in vain,” written in 2000 for 24 musicians, has been called “path-breaking” and is regarded as one of the most important new compositions of the 21st century.

Another notable recent work by Haas is “limited approximations” for orchestra and 6 microtuned pianos, which won SWR Symphony Orchestra Composition Prize in 2010. Haas’s opera “Morgen und Abend,” with a libretto by the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, was jointly commissioned by the Royal Opera House in London and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and premiered on the main stage of the Royal Opera House in November 2015.

Haas’ music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras all over the world, and his works have been part of festivals including Wien Modern in Vienna, Musikprotokoll in Graz, Witten, Huddersfield, Royaumont, Venice Biennale, and Festival d’Automne in Paris, as well as at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse and the Salzburg Festival 2011.

He has received many national and international awards, including the 2007 Grand Austrian State Prize for Music, the country’s highest artistic honor; the Music Award of the City of Vienna in 2012, the Music Award Salzburg in 2013, and numerous others.

Haas, who will turn 64 next month, was born in Graz, Austria and grew up in Tschagguns, a village in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. He studied composition, piano, and music pedagogy at the Musikhochschule in Graz, and then did post-graduate study at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha, who’s been described as “the doyen of Austrian composers.” He also participated in the Darmstädter Ferienkurse in 1980, 1988 and 1990, and the computer music course at IRCAM in 1991.

He began teaching in 1978 at the Musikhochschule, and in 2005 also started lecturing at the Hochschule in Basel, Switzerland. In 2013, he was appointed MacDowell Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York City, where he continues to teach.

For more about Georg Friedrich Haas, watch this video interview from 2015, and read Alex Ross’ 2010 piece about him in The New Yorker and this 2014 article about him from the New York Times. You can hear some of Haas’ music in the embedded players below.

“In Vain” performed by Ensemble Dal Niente, recorded at the Chicago premiere on February 28, 2013 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

“ATTHIS” (2009), performed for the St. Petersburg International New Music Festival by Ensemble for New Music Tallinn, with Merje Roomere and Eva-Maria Sumera (violins), Talvi Nurgamaa (viola), Jarkko Launonen (cello), Kristin Kuldkepp (double bass), Helena Tuuling (clarinet), Sabina Yordanova (bassoon), Jürnas Rähni (horn), and Rainer Kohlberger, visuals and real-time animation, conducted by Arash Yazdani. Recorded on Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg.

“Sayaka” performed by Radar Ensemble, with Jonathan Shapiro (percussion) and Felix Kroll (accordion).

“Neues Werk für 8 Posaunen (Octet for eight trombones),” world premiere performance by Trombone Unit Hannover recorded September 10, 2015 at the Basler Münster in Basel, Switzerland

MICF in the news

With the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival set to start on Monday, July 24, the MICF has been in the news.

The website I Care If You Listen, which has an international following among composers, musicians, and new music enthusiasts, offered extensive coverage of the festival with “5 Questions for Stefan Freund,” which included several photos and a SoundCloud playlist of the 2016 MICF’s eight world premieres.

Freund – the artistic director of the MICF and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, professor of composition at Mizzou, and cellist for Alarm Will Sound – used the opportunity to tell ICIYL’s worldwide audience all about the festival and how it fits into MNMI’s array of programs for composers at all stages of their careers.

On Sunday, July 16, the Columbia Daily Tribune published a feature story, “Face the Music,” previewing the MICF. The article by the Tribune‘s Aarik Danielsen, which was the cover story of the paper’s “Sunday Blend” section (pictured), featured interviews with resident composers Carolina Heredia and Christopher Mayo.

The Tribune and Danielsen followed up that story with three sidebars published online: one profiling the MICF’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, one featuring a wide-ranging Q&A about the festival with MNMI managing director Jacob Gotlib, and one touting the MICF’s “can’t miss” moments.

Gotlib also was interviewed by Connor Lagore of the Columbia Missourian for that newspaper’s preview of the MICF, “Composers descend upon Columbia for new-music festival,”

On Tuesday, July 25, Columbia’s NBC affiliate KOMU aired a story about the festival by reporter Nick Allen, “Mizzou International Composers Festival begins eighth annual showcase.”

In addition, over the past few weeks the festival’s resident and distinguished guest composers all have talked with KMUC’s Trevor Harris for the station’s weekly “Mizzou Music” program, which airs at 6:00 p.m. every Wednesday. Those interviews have been archived on KMUC’s website.