Archive for July, 2010

Zhou Juan, Christopher Dietz win faculty appointments

While the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival was going on, two of our resident composers got some good news regarding their academic careers.

Christopher Dietz has won a one-year appointment as a full-time composition instructor at Bowling Green State University, home of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. Dietz’ music was performed at BGSU in 2008 and 2009 as part of the the university’s annual new music festival.

Meanwhile, Zhou Juan (pictured) has been appointed to a full-time teaching position in the composition department of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

She hasn’t had much time to savor the news, though, because upon leaving Columbia, Zhou went to NYC to take part in the The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute,  presented by The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and the American Composers Orchestra. The event  “brings together jazz musicians from across the country to explore the challenges of writing for the symphony orchestra.”  You can see a short video interview with Zhou talking about her music here, and read more about the Institute here and here.

More coverage of Mizzou New Music Summer Festival

With the first-ever Mizzou New Music Summer Festival now officially part of history, we’ll have photos, audio and video from the inaugural fest available here very soon.

In the meantime, a few more news items about the Festival also have hit our inbox in recent days:

The MNMSF was featured in the July 22 edition of the online alumni news publication Mizzou Weekly, with a photo of Stefan Freund prominently displayed.

The Festival also recently got a mention in the context of Columbia’s overall arts scene from an aspiring young journalist taking part in one of Mizzou’s summer journalism programs, and was the subject of a brief item on the widely read blog Avant Music News.

A nod from Nonesuch

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival and resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound are mentioned today in a journal entry on the website of AWS’ record company, Nonesuch, which is known for its support for adventurous music of all sorts.

You can read the item here.

Alarm Will Sound profiled in Columbia Missourian

Alarm Will Sound is the subject of a short feature story written by Emily Lynn for today’s Vox magazine, the arts and entertainment section of the Columbia Missourian. AWS is the Festival’s resident ensemble this year, performing in both the opening concert this past Monday and in the finale coming up on Sunday.

You can read the Missourian article online here.

Lisa Moore featured on Tribune’s Art Axis blog

Pianist Lisa Moore, who will perform in tonight’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival concert at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, is featured today in a post on the Columbia Daily Tribune’s Art Axis blog.

You can read Tribune writer Aarik Danielsen’s missive about Moore here.

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival also is mentioned briefly today on The Rest is Noise, the blog of New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. You can see that item here.

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival featured on MizzouWire, KDHX

The University’s online news service MizzouWire has a feature up now about the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. You can read the article “Sounds of Summer: Mizzou New Music Summer Festival resonates with aficionados” by Nancy Moen here.

Also, Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield (pictured), founder and funder of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and head of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, recently was interviewed on the St. Louis community radio station KDHX (FM 88.1). You can listen to her talk about the Initiative and the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival with KDHX’s Nancy Kranzberg here. (Note: The embedded audio player is just below the photo on the linked page.)

See the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s promotional video

Check out the short promotional spot for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival in the embedded video window below:

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes free events

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

For those who’d like to get an inside look at how brand new compositions are prepared for performance, our resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured) will hold several open rehearsals during the week.

Here’s the schedule of open rehearsals and their locations:

Tuesday, July 13: 1:45 p.m – 5:00 p.m, Loeb Hall 201
Wednesday, July 14: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Loeb Hall 201
Thursday, July 15: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Loeb Hall 201
Friday, July 16: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts

Presentations by the Festival’s resident and faculty composers also will be open to the public. They’ll take place from 8:45 AM – 12:15 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Fine Arts Building’s Room 145.  MU associate professor Stefan Fruend’s presentation at 7:30 p.m. Saturday also will take place in Fine Arts 145, and is open to the public.

In addition, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, several members of Alarm Will Sound will present a free lecture and recital titled “Composers as Performers”; and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, members of Alarm Will Sound will give a free presentation on extended instrumental techniques. Both of these events will take place at Whitmore Recital Hall, which is located in the Fine Arts Building.

Spotlight on Stefan Freund

Cellist and composer Stefan Freund is a big part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. As associate professor of composition and music theory, Freund teaches young composers at Mizzou and directs the Creating Original Music Project (COMP). He’ll be busy during the inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, too, both as a teacher and as a performer with Alarm Will Sound, the Fest’s resident ensemble.

A native of Memphis, TN, Freund received a BM with High Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music and an MM and a DMA from the Eastman School of Music. His primary composition teachers included Pulitzer Prize winners Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner as well as Augusta Read Thomas, Frederick Fox, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, and Don Freund, his father. He studied cello with Steven Doane, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Peter Spurbeck and others.

Freund is the recipient of numerous prizes, including multiple awards from BMI and  ASCAP, a Music Merit Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Howard Hanson Prize. He was selected as the 2004 Music Teachers National Association-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year, and in 2006 was awarded the MU Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award.

Freund also has received many commissions as a composer, and his music has been performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, NPR’s St. Paul Sunday Morning, the National Gallery of Art, the Aspen Music Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Glinka Hall (St. Petersburg), Queen’s Hall (DK), the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, and other concert halls in Austria, Germany, and Greece. His works have been recorded on the Innova, Crystal, and Centaur labels.

As a cellist, Freund has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, the Hermitage Theatre (RU), the Muzikgebouw (ND), the World Financial Center, and Miller Theatre.  He has recorded on the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, and I Virtuosi labels as well as Sweetspot Music DVD.

Previously an assistant professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, Freund also has served as a faculty member of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and presently is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

For more about Freund, check out “The next sound: A new initiative supports aspiring composers, ” a feature story written by Dale Smith for the summer 2010 issue of Mizzou magazine.

In the first embedded video window below, you can see and hear Freund conducting the Columbia Civic Orchestra in a performance of his composition “Cyrillic Dream,” created in 2009 and inspired by a visit to Russia and the omnipresence there of the Cyrillic alphabet.  In the second window, you can check out Freund and Alarm Will Sound performing their rendition of “Revolution 9″ by the Beatles in July 2009 at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

Alarm Will Sound’s Alan Pierson interviewed by Columbia Daily Tribune

The Columbia Daily Tribune’s Aarik Danielsen continues his coverage of the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival today via an interview with Alarm Will Sound artistic director, conductor and keyboardist Alan Pierson (pictured).

You can read the interview posted on the paper’s Art Axis blog here.