Archive for the ‘ Mizzou International Composers Festival ’ Category

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2015

The Mizzou New Music Initiative has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 20 through Saturday, July 25 in Columbia, the sixth 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 (from top left):
* Thomas Dougherty, Houston, TX
* Emily Koh, Waltham, MA
* Andrew McManus, Chicago, IL
* Justin Pounds, Columbia, MO
* Alessandro Ratoci, Lausanne, Switzerland
* Christopher Stark, St. Louis, MO
* Anthony Vine, Brooklyn, NY
* Conrad Winslow, Brooklyn, NY

The resident composers are chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 231 entries from around the world, another new record for the MICF.

This year’s international representatives are Emily Koh, a native of Singapore currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition and theory at Brandeis University in Boston; and Alessandro Ratoci, who was born in Tuscany, Italy and now teaches computer music at the Haute Ecole de Musique (HEMU) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Justin Pounds, a St. Louis native working on a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. The 2015 group also includes another current Missourian, Christopher Stark, who grew up in Montana and now is an assistant professor of composition at Washington University in St. Louis.

The 2015 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 2015 will be Hans Abrahamsen, a Danish composer whose spare yet lyrical works reflect his involvement in the “New Simplicity” movement of the 1960s; and Andrew Norman, a Los Angeles-based composer and teacher at the USC Thornton School of Music.

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 Abrahamsen and Norman; 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 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Relevant Tones two-part radio special about
Mizzou International Composers Festival now available online

Last Saturday, the syndicated radio program “Relevant Tones” broadcast the second part of a two-hour special about the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Now, both episodes about the MICF can be streamed online. You can hear part one of the special here, and part two here.

Originating from WFMT (98.7 FM) in Chicago, “Relevant Tones” also is heard on nearly 40 other NPR, public, and commercial stations, plus 150 “translator” frequencies, in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Mizzou International Composers Festival gets
record number of resident composer applicants for 2015

With all the applications for 2015 submitted and logged, the Mizzou International Composers Festival has set another new record this year for the number of submissions from prospective resident composers.

The MICF got a total of 231 applications for the 2015 festival, including 82 returning applicants and 149 who applied for the first time.

Fifteen percent of the submissions came from outside the US, with applications arriving from composers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Last weekend, festival organizers met in St. Louis to review the submissions and decide which composers to invite for 2015. The working group included Mizzou New Music Initiative co-artistic directors Stefan Freund and W. Thomas McKenney and managing director William Lackey, as well as resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound‘s conductor/music director Alan Pierson and pianist John Orfe. They looked at applications, studied scores, listened to hours of music, and discussed it all extensively before compiling their final list.

The results of their deliberations will be revealed on Monday, January 5, when we announce publicly the names of the eight resident composers who will take part in the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

To stay current with all the latest news from the MICF and MNMI, keep watching this space. Also, please follow us on Twitter at @MizzouNewMusic, and “like” the Missouri New Music Facebook page.

Tom McKenney and Alan Pierson look at a score

MNMI managing director William Lackey coordinated the application process

John Orfe and Stefan Freund listen intently

Mizzou International Composers Festival to be featured
on “Relevant Tones” radio program December 6 and December 13

The 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be the subject of two upcoming episodes of the syndicated radio program “Relevant Tones,” which originates from WFMT (98.7 FM) in Chicago.

The two episodes will feature the world broadcast premiere of music from the 2014 MICF, plus interviews with many of the participating composers. Part one will air on WFMT at 5:00 p.m. Central time this coming Saturday, December 6, with part two to follow at the same time on Saturday, December 13.

You can listen to a live stream of the broadcasts at http://www.wfmt.com/streaming. Once they’ve aired, episodes also are archived online at the program’s website.

In addition to the broadcast on WFMT, “Relevant Tones” can be heard on nearly 40 other NPR, public, and commercial stations, plus 150 “translator” frequencies, in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.  These affiliate stations air “Relevant Tones” at a day and time of their choosing, so to see if and when your local NPR or public station carries it,  check their program guide.

Launched in 2011, the weekly program “celebrates the dynamic and diverse musical creations of modern-day composers from around the world.” To put together the MICF episodes, host Seth Boustead and producer Jesse McQuarters came to Columbia for a week last July to take in the various events, talk with participating musicians and composers, listen to rehearsals and performances, and record the interviews used on the show.

MNMI alumni in the news

Several Mizzou composition alumni have been in the news this fall:

* Grant Fonda, who earned his master’s degree at Mizzou in 2012, was featured as a “composer to watch” as part of ASCAP’s “Composer Spotlight.”

Fonda (pictured) was selected earlier this year to take part in the the organization’s Film Scoring Workshop in Los Angeles.

* Michael Anderson, who graduated and won the Sinquefield Composition Prize in 2012, had a new work, “The Heart of A Land” premiered by the combined forces of the Parkville Symphonic Band and the Platte City Community Band at their joint concert on October 26. A native of Platte City, Anderson wrote the piece on commission for the concert celebrating the 175th anniversary of Platte County.

* Stephanie Berg, who’s originally from Parkville, also had a piece on the same concert, as the Parkville Symphonic Band played her work “Pick Up Your Sword and Follow Me!” The band also will play Berg’s “Summoning Fire” at their spring concert on April 12.

Berg, who earned her master’s degree in 2013, currently is finishing up an original score for a theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol!” that will run from December 12 through December 21 at  the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO. She also learned recently that the Quincy (IL) Symphony Orchestra Association will be performing her work “Ravish and Mayhem” as part of a concert on April 18.

And if all that weren’t enough, the DDG Trio has scheduled several performances of Berg’s woodwind trio “The Featherlight Ballet.”  They’ll play the work in Conway, AR on a concert series called “Under the Dome” on January 25; at Harding University on February 12; and as part of the Arkansas Symphony’s chamber series River Rhapsodies on March 3. You can hear their recording of the piece in the embedded SoundCloud player below.

2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 20 – 25;
Hans Abrahamsen, Andrew Norman named as guest composers

The 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will be held Monday, July 20 through Saturday, July 25 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, and will feature Hans Abrahamsen and Andrew Norman as guest composers.

The 2015 MICF will include a series of public concerts presenting music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events.

Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will feature the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers, with the acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

Hans Abrahamsen

Hans Abrahamsen was born in Copenhagen and attended the Royal Danish Academy of Music. A published composer beginning at age 16, Abrahamsen in the early part of his career was considered part of the “New Simplicity” movement that began in the mid-1960s as a reaction to the perceived over-complexity of avant-garde music. Some of his best-known early works include “Winternacht” (1976-78); “Nacht und Trompeten” (1981); and “Zwei Schneetänze” (1985).

Befriending and studying with György Ligeti during the 1980s, Abrahamsen received the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1989 and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1998. After a hiatus from composing, he re-emerged in the new century with a series of major compositions including the extended chamber work “Schnee” (2008), a Double Concerto for violin, piano and strings (2010-11); and “Let me tell you,” for soprano and orchestra, premiered in 2013 by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman is a Los Angeles-based composer and teacher at the USC Thornton School of Music. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Yale, Norman “draws on an eclectic mix of instrumental sounds, notational practices, and non-linear narrative structures.” His work has been noted by the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors” and by the Los Angeles Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit.

Norman has been the recipient of numerous commissions, prizes and awards, and his symphonic works have been performed by orchestras including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. His chamber music has been featured in the Wordless Music Series at Le Poisson Rouge and at the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Green Umbrella Series, and the Aspen Music Festival.

With the 2015 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the MICF through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the week of the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Abrahamsen and Norman and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of his or her work.

The application process for resident composers begins Thursday, October 23, 2014, and the deadline for submitting an application is Monday, November 24, 2014. To help composers save on printing and mailing costs, the MICF this year has moved to an online application process. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/application.html.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2015 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 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Here’s a comprehensive look back at this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival via news coverage and social media:

Even more media coverage of the 2014 MICF

With the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival now over, there still are a few items of media coverage of the festival to share.

In addition to their preview story on the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival (linked here), Vox magazine sent writer Caleb O’Brien to the festival’s grand finale on Saturday night, and his recap of the evening can be read online here.

If you’d like to get a pictorial look behind the scenes of the 2014 MICF, resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound has posted on their Facebook page two albums of photos from the week. (The photo of resident composer José Martínez and AWS music director and conductor Alan Pierson accompanying this post is from the first set.)

Meanwhile, Seth Boustead and Jesse McQuarters, respectively the host and producer of the radio program Relevant Tones, were in Columbia for several days during the festival, recording material for an episode about the MICF that will air sometime this fall. The program is broadcast weekly at 5:00 p.m. Saturdays on WFMT (98.7 FM) in Chicago, and also can be heard online and on other subscribing stations around the country.

In addition to gathering material for later, the Relevant Tones crew also put together five short “Mizzou Minute” podcasts covering different aspects of the MICF. You can hear all five of them via the embedded SoundCloud players below.