Archive for July 2nd, 2010

About the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts

The venue for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s public performances will be the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, an historic, newly restored former movie palace at 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

First opened in 1928, the MTCA had a six-decade run as the city’s most prominent movie house, but by the late 1980s, the single-screen theater had fallen out of favor with moviegoers as new multi-screen cinemas were built in Columbia.

The building was purchased in 1988 by the Missouri Symphony Society to serve as the home of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra. However, the once-grand facility was in dire need of renovation and restoration. Plaster was crumbling; seats were worn; the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems were outdated; and the stage, backstage and wing spaces were inadequate for a modern performing arts facility.

After some major fund-raising, extensive construction and remodeling work, the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts celebrated its grand opening in May 2008 with a concert by singer Tony Bennett.  The MTCA now serves as artistic home for the  Missouri Symphony Society and the Columbia Art League; presents performances by a variety of local, regional and touring performers; and offers arts education programs for the community’s youth and adults.

You can take an online “virtual tour” of the restored Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts here.

As the performance venue for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, the MTCA is handling ticket sales for all Festival concerts. Festival passes good for admission to all four concerts are on sale now for $35 for adults, $20 for students. Single tickets are priced at $10 for adults, $5 for students for the concerts on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; and $15 for adults, $10 for students for the final concert on Sunday.

Tickets can be charged by phone by calling the Missouri Theatre box office at 573-875-0600 or purchased online at www.motheatre.org. (There is a $2 per ticket fee for online purchases; phone purchases will not be charged a fee.)

Spotlight on Moon Young Ha

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Moon Young Ha (pictured) combines classical instruments, video and electronics to create ethereal contemporary concert music.

His work has been presented at festivals and concerts in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States, including the International Computer Music Conference, Bang on a Can Marathon, Vilniaus Veidai Festival, NoiseFloor Festival, KoMA Festival, the Society of Composers Inc. conference and others.

Recently,  Ha has collaborated with visual artist/composer Dennis Miller, and his music also has been performed by the LOOS Ensemble, Eric Mandat, Florida International University Symphony Orchestra and the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble. Ha also is the founder of MEANS, a contemporary music ensemble that performs new music by young composers.

He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and this fall he will be starting his Ph.D in Music Composition/Theory at New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science. You can hear some samples of Moon Young Ha’s music on his website.

Also, you can see two performances of Ha’s music in the embedded video windows below. The first clip is from 2008, and shows Ha conducting a “pickup choir” of fellow University of Illinois students in a performance of “Wild Nights,” a musical setting composed by Ha for an Emily Dickinson poem.

The second clip is a performance of Ha’s composition “The Island,” recorded in June, 2009 at Etchings: A New Festival for Contemporary Music in Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France. Once again, Ha conducts his own composition, as played by The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), featuring Beth Wiemann, clarinet; Florence Cooke, violin; and James Barralet, cello.