Archive for July 16th, 2012

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge and open to the public.

At 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 23, guest composer Steven Stucky will present a master class with the vocal ensemble Voices of Prometheus at McKee Auditorium on the MU Campus.

Presentations by the Festival’s guest resident and faculty composers also will be open to the public. All the composer presentations will take place in the Fine Arts Building’s Room 145.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. and 1:45 – 3:50 p.m. on Monday, and from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Guest composer Donnacha Dennehy will offer his presentation at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:30 p.m. by MU faculty composer Stefan Freund. Then on Wednesday evening, Steven Stucky will present at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney discussing his work at 8:30 p.m..

If you’d like to get a close-up look at how new compositions are prepared for performance, the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured) will hold several open rehearsals during the week. Here’s the schedule of open rehearsals, which will be held in room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

Tuesday, July 24:
12:45 p.m – 4:00 p.m – Resident composers
4:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m – Steven Stucky

Wednesday, July 25:
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Steven Stucky
10:45 a.m. – 12 15 p.m.- Donnacha Dennehy
1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

Friday, July 27:
9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Resident composers
1:45 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival website.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Donnacha Dennehy

It is a privilege and a pleasure to have Donnacha Dennehy as one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.  Along with fellow guest composer Steven Stucky, Dennehy will instruct and mentor the Festival’s eight resident composers during their week in Columbia.

He’ll also oversee the world premiere of the first part of The Hunger,  a large work-in-progress that will be performed by resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound and the Festival’s guest artist, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, as part of the concert on Thursday, July 26.

Born in 1970 in Dublin, Dennehy is considered one of Ireland’s leading contemporary composers. He recently has earned worldwide acclaim for his 2011 album Grá Agus Bás, which made NPR Music’s list of Top 50 Albums of 2011 (in all genres), and was included in year-end best-of lists from critics Alex Ross and Paul Griffiths and in WNYC’s New Sounds top ten list of the year.

He has received commissions from musicians, ensembles and musical organizations from all over the UK, USA and Europe. Dennehy’s music has featured in festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can in New York, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, WNYC’s New Sounds Live, Sonic Evolutions Festival at Lincoln Center, EXPO, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, Fuse Leeds, the Saarbrucken Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the State of the Nation at the South Bank in London and the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam.

After studying abroad at the University of Illinois, IRCAM in France and in the Netherlands, in 1997 Dennehy returned to Dublin to found the Crash Ensemble, a renowned new music group that has premiered many of his best-known works.

You can hear Dennehy talk about the Crash Ensemble, Grá Agus Bás, and much more in this interview recorded in April, 2011 for NPR, and this one recorded the following month for radio station WNYC. In the embedded video windows below, you’ll find three samples of the Crash Ensemble playing Dennehy’s music, as well as a brief interview with him.

An excerpt from Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás, performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre by Crash Ensemble and Afro Celt Soundsystem’s Iarla Ó Lionáird

Crash Ensemble performing Dennehy’s Junk Box Fraud as part of their tenth anniversary show “Shindig”

Crash Ensemble and Iarla Ó Lionáird perform another Dennehy piece, Aisling Gheal

A 2010 interview with Dennehy, in which he discusses some recent compositions, working with texts and his interest in vocal music.