Archive for the ‘ Mizzou International Composers Festival ’ Category

Zhou Long to serve as guest composer
for 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival;
Beat Furrer unable to attend for medical reasons

The Mizzou New Music Initiative announced today that Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who had been scheduled to be one of the guest composers later this month at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, will be unable to attend the festival due to medical reasons.

In place of Furrer, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, has agreed to serve as a guest composer for the 2014 MICF.

“We regret that Beat Furrer won’t be able to participate in this year’s festival, as his doctor has advised him not to travel, and we hope he’s feeling better soon,” said William J. Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “However, we feel extraordinarily fortunate that a composer of Zhou Long’s stature happened to have space in his schedule at this time, and we are most grateful that he has agreed to join us in Columbia on such short notice.”

Zhou (pictured) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011 for his first opera, Madame White Snake. Born in 1953 in China, he first came to the United States in 1985 to study music at Columbia University, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993.

He has taught at UMKC since 2001, and has received awards, fellowships and commissions from major organizations and musical ensembles all around the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Cary Trust, and the Copland Fund for Music.

For MICF ticket buyers, the change in guest composers means that they’ll hear a different program during the concert by Alarm Will Sound on Thursday, July 24 at the Missouri Theatre, as the festival’s resident ensemble will perform Zhou’s Bell Drum Towers in place of one of the Furrer compositions previously scheduled. That concert also will include music by Nico Muhly, the MICF’s other guest composer this year.

For the festival’s eight resident composers, Zhou’s participation in the festival will give them a chance to study and interact with a composer and teacher who has been recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West.

A pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms, Zhou served as music director for the presenting organization Music From China for more than a decade while living in New York. During the MICF, he will give a public presentation about his music; instruct and interact with the eight resident composers in individual and group sessions; and work with Alarm Will Sound on the performance of Bell Drum Towers.

To buy tickets for the Mizzou International Composers Festival online, or to see a complete listing of events, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound

It’s been a busy year for Alarm Will Sound since the last Mizzou International Composers Festival.

For starters, the MICF’s resident ensemble (pictured) recently completed a year-long residency at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing there four times during the 2013-14 presenting season.

The concerts at the Met included “Permanent Collection,” revisiting key works written for the sinfonietta throughout musical history, in October; an all-Steve Reich program in November; a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham in February; and “I Was Here I Was I,” a music and theater piece composed by Kate Soper with a libretto by Nigel Maister, in June.

AWS over the past year also presented their second season of performances in St. Louis, playing three different programs at the Sheldon Concert Hall and making their debut at the top rock venue The Pageant with music from Aphex Twin, Steve Reich and Tyondai Braxton.

As part of their effort to get more involved in St. Louis, members of Alarm Will Sound conducted an ongoing series of workshops with students at the Community Music School of Webster University, culminating with selected students from CMS joining AWS on stage to perform in season’s final concert at The Sheldon. The program’s eventual goal, according to AWS managing director Gavin Chuck, is to form a student ensemble  – sort of an “Alarm Will Sound Jr,” if you will – to give CMS students continuing opportunities to learn and perform music by living composers.

And as if all that weren’t enough, AWS also managed to travel to Europe twice, to perform last September at the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland, and in November to play at the Cresc Biennale in Frankfurt, Germany.

Other 2014 performances included a concert at NYC’s Carnegie Hall in June, featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Kate Moore, Kaki King, and Richard Ayres; and Alarm Will Sound’s Chicago debut over the Independence Day weekend in a concert at Millennium Park.

Last but certainly not least, AWS managed to make it to Columbia for the first time during the academic year, playing February 7 in a free concert at the Missouri Theatre.

Looking ahead, this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival once again will feature two performances by Alarm Will Sound at the Missouri Theatre.  On Thursday, July 24, they’ll present a program including music from 2014 guest composer Nico Muhly, John Adams’ “Scratchband,” and more.

Then for the Festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 26, AWS will will perform eight world premieres of works written especially for them by this year’s eight resident composers. Tickets for both concerts are on sale now.

For the latest from Alarm Will Sound, you can follow them on Twitter and/or “Like” them on Facebook.

You also can hear some of the music Alarm Will Sound has premiered at past Mizzou International Composers Festivals via SoundCloud. Audio files from 2010 are here; the tracks from 2011 are here; and 2012’s files are here.

Twinned: Alarm Will Sound/Dance Heginbotham
Recorded February 20, 2014 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alarm Will Sound at the Community Music School of Webster University

Ives “Ragtime Dance No. 4”
Recorded October 11, 2013 during the “Permanent Collection” performance at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Audio of the complete “Permanent Collection” concert

If you’re coming to Columbia…

If you’re planning coming to Columbia for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, you can get advance tickets online for all three concerts, which will be presented again this year at the Missouri Theatre:

Thursday, July 24: Alarm Will Sound
Friday, July 25: Mizzou New Music
Saturday, July 26: Eight World Premieres

Also, you may find these links useful for planning and/or during your visit:

Visitors information
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
University of Missouri Visitors Guide
Columbia Regional Airport
Vox Magazine’s guide to Columbia restaurants
City of Columbia official site
2013-2014 Columbia Missouri Visitor & Area Guide

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

National Weather Service forecast for Boone County, Missouri

Tickets now on sale for 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival
concerts on July 24, 25 & 26 at Missouri Theatre

Alarm Will Sound

Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival’s concerts on Thursday, July 24; Friday, July 25; and Saturday, July 26.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2014, the Mizzou International Composers Festival will take place starting Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia. Already considered one of the most noteworthy contemporary music events in the Midwest, the MICF attracts attention from composers, musicians, music educators, and media around the world.

Once again, the grand finale of the week will feature the world premieres of eight new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured, top left).  That concert will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St.

Beat Furrer

The festival’s other two public performances will feature Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24 at the Missouri Theatre; and “Mizzou New Music,” featuring works by MICF guest composers Beat Furrer and Nico Muhly, and by MU faculty and student composers, performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 25 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival passes good for admission to all three concerts are on sale for $80 for the VIP package, which includes reserved premium seating; $40 for an adult general admission pass; and $20 for a student general admission pass.

Nico Muhly

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781*. To buy tickets online, or to see a complete listing of Mizzou International Composers Festival events, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

In addition to these three concerts, the MICF also will feature several free events, including open rehearsals and presentations by the participating composers. A complete schedule of those events will be released at a later date.

The eight resident composers were selected from more than 200 applicants from the USA and overseas to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. They are:
* Ian Dicke, Riverside, CA
* Holly Harrison, Sydney, Australia
* Texu Kim, Bloomington, IN
* José Martínez, Columbia, MO
* Nicholas Omiccioli, Kansas City, MO
* Michael Lee Schachter, Ann Arbor, MI
* Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Urbana, IL
* Christopher Weiss, Ann Arbor, MI

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from guest composers Beat Furrer (pictured, center left), professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna; and Nico Muhly (pictured, below left), a Juilliard graduate and protégé of Phillip Glass known for composing an eclectic range of works for classical and pop musicians, ballet, opera, and more.

The resident composers also will take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

*A $2.00 service fee and Missouri sales tax of 7.35% already are included in the price of each ticket. An additional fee of $3.00 per ticket will be charged for online purchases.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works
by Furrer, McKenney, and five student composers
on Sunday, April 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present their final on-campus concert of the 2013-14 academic year at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 27 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will include new works from five Mizzou students, plus music from Mizzou professor W. Thomas McKenney and from Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who will be one of two guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Furrer’s “Aer,” written for clarinet, cello, and piano, is described as “an exploration of breathy sounds created through extended techniques on the instruments,” while McKenney’s “The Rising of the Moon” is based on the Irish ballad of the same name by John Keegan Casey and recounts the battle between the United Irishmen and the British Army during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

“About the Others,” by graduate composition student José Martínez, was inspired by poet Octavio Paz’ “Sunstone” and incorporates lively percussion ostinatos surrounded by energetic rhythms in the instruments.

Completing the program will be four new works by Mizzou composition students that were commissioned for an upcoming Forest Park Forever member event in St. Louis: “Elysium” by Trey Makler; “Structural Symbiosis” by Matt Stiens; “A Leaf on the Wind” by Justin Pounds; and “Forest Park Rhapsody” by Benedetto Colagiovanni.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinet.

The Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. As the repertory group for the Initiative, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou International Composers Festival 2014 launch event
on Tuesday, April 22 at Ragtag Cinema to feature
live music, film, and a chat with composer Nico Muhly

The Mizzou International Composers Festival will launch ticket sales for 2014 with a FREE public event on Tuesday, April 22 at Ragtag Cinema featuring live music, refreshments, a film screening, and a live-by-Skype video chat with Nico Muhly, who will be a guest composer at this year’s festival.

Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., and single tickets and festival passes for the 2014 MICF will be on sale at special discounted prices throughout the event.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will perform at 5:45 p.m., followed a screening of the film “Choking Man,” an 2008 independently produced drama with a musical score composed by Muhly that also includes Mandy Patinkin and a pre-“Breaking Bad” Aaron Paul in supporting roles. (You can see the trailer for “Choking Man” in the embedded video window below.)

When the screening is over, Muhly will appear live via Skype to take questions and discuss his work with the audience.

Admission is free, but because seating is limited, tickets will be required. Distribution of free tickets for the event will begin at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 22 at the Ragtag box office, 10 Hitt St. in downtown Columbia. Each ticket admits one person, and includes one free beer or soda and one free small popcorn.

The 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will take place Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia, with Muhly and Swiss national Beat Furrer as guest composers; Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble; and eight resident composers selected from more than 200 applicants from around the world.

MICF resident composers in the news

Here’s the latest news and updates from some of the resident composers at past Mizzou International Composers Festivals:

* Jeremy Podgursky, MICF 2010, is one of six winners this year of a Charles Ives scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The $7,500 scholarships are awarded to composition students of great promise, as selected by a committee of academy members including MICF 2010 guest composer Martin Bresnick, Joan Tower, Samuel Adler, Mario Davidovsky, John Harbison, Stephen Hartke, Tania León, and Tobias Picker. The Ives scholarships and the academy’s other awards in music will be presented at a ceremony in May.

* Asha Srinivasan, MICF 2012, (pictured) is having compositions performed at three major events this month.  She was the featured composer and her works “Dviraag” and “Bapu” were played at the Western Illinois University New Music Festival, March 4 in Macomb, IL.  Srinivasan’s “Keerthanata” will be played at the Region V conference of the Society of Composers, Inc., held March 27-29 at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, and  her tuba and fixed media work “Dyadic Affinities” will be played at the national conference of SEAMUS, aka the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States which takes place the same weekend  at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

* A new oboe trio composed by Stephanie Berg, MICF 2012 and a Mizzou almuna who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MU, will be performed next year as part of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra‘s chamber music series.

* David Crowell, MICF 2012, was the subject of a recent profile in the Huffington Post. The accompanying audio samples include “Fallout,” which Crowell wrote for Alarm Will Sound and the MICF. His new percussion work “Celestial Sphere” will be performed by Ian David Rosenbaum and a consortium of percussionists on March 23 at the Philips Collection in Washington D.C., while Crowell and his band Empyrean Atlas will play March 24 at Roulette in Brooklyn.

* Speaking of Alarm Will Sound, they’ve been using David Biedenbender‘s “Schism,” composed for the 2011 MICF, as part of their work in St. Louis with students at Webster University’s Community Music School. AWS and the CMS students will perform the piece together on Friday, May 30 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The video below shows them working side-by-side on “Schism,” while the audio player contains AWS’ recording of it from the MICF.

Alarm Will Sound to perform free concert on Friday, February 7 at Missouri Theatre

Alarm Will Sound, the acclaimed chamber orchestra dedicated to contemporary classical music, is returning to Columbia to perform a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 7 at the Missouri Theatre.

The group (pictured) has served since 2010 as the resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, which takes place each year in July, but this will be their first performance here during the regular academic year. The February 7 concert is presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music, and is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature seven works written or arranged specifically for Alarm Will Sound, including five that will be part of their next album. According to managing director Gavin Chuck, it’s a program that shows off the group’s established ability to translate music between idioms while also exploring human performance of sounds originally made by technology.

Two of the pieces they’ll play – Matt Marks’ arrangement of the Beatles’ “Revolution 9,” heard previously as part of the multi-media show 1969; and Evan Hause’s arrangement of Edgard Varèse’s “Poème électronique” – use traditional acoustic instruments to realize music originally created using tape machines and electronic manipulation.

A different form of interaction between man and machine is explored in Alarm Will Sound’s renditions of music by Conlon Nancarrow, whose works for player piano are essentially impossible for any human pianist to perform. The February 7 concert at the Missouri Theatre will include Nancarrow’s “Study 2A,” arranged by Gavin Chuck, and “Study 3A,” arranged by Derek Bermel, which were recorded for the group’s 2008 album a/rhythmia.

The three other works on the program destined for Alarm Will Sound’s next CD are “Big Spinoff,” from the esteemed American composer Charles Wuorinen; “Will Sound,” from Wolfgang Rihm, one of Germany’s most prolific contemporary composers; and “Zoetrope,” written by the young British composer Charlie Piper for the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival.