Archive for October, 2012

Mizzou International Composers Festival extends application deadline

This just in: Due to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Sandy, the deadline for applications to be a resident composer at the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival has been extended to Wednesday, November 7.

For details on the Festival and how to apply, please visit

David Witter wins 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative are pleased to announce that David Witter is the winner of the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Witter, who holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from Mizzou, submitted his piece “Garden Music” to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2013 competition were:
* Mara Gibson, director of the Community Music and Dance Academy and a member of the composition faculty at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City;
* Eric Honour, professor of music at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO; and
* Ingrid Stölzel, an instructor at Park University, composer with newEar contemporary chamber ensemble, and program manager for the Youth Symphony of Kansas City.

As winner of the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize, Witter now will have the opportunity to write an original work for Mizzou’s University Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, March 11, 2013 at the Chancellor’s Concert in Columbia. With the commission, he also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts, and will have his work recorded.

David Witter, born in 1978, is a composer, trombonist, improvisor, and educator originally from Holts Summit, MO. Now living in Columbia, he holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the University of Missouri, where he studied with W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund. Witter (pictured) also was a finalist for the 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize for his piece “Water Music”.

Witter’s compositions have been performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Garden, and he has led performances of the MU Creative Improvisation Ensemble at conferences in Ann Arbor, MI and Paterson, NJ. Witter is a member of the Gamma Gamma chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, and currently is pursuing a Missouri teaching certification for K-12, after which he will teach elementary and middle school music.

The other finalists for the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Justin Pounds and Joseph Hills.

“Music and New Media at the Crossroads”
scheduled for Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19

Next week, the University of Missouri will host an interdisciplinary symposium and festival, “Music and New Media at the Crossroads,” on Thursday, October 18 and Friday October 19.

Described as “an exploration of the profound ways in which new media and technologies are changing the way we create, disseminate, receive, and comment about music,” the event is presented by the School of Music and School of Journalism in partnership with the University Concert Series and includes four public programs.

At 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, composer Tod Machover (pictured), head of the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future group, will deliver the keynote presentation, speaking about and illustrating his unique, multimedia operatic compositions. The program will be held in Jesse Auditorium, and admission is free.

At 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening, cellist Matt Haimovitz will present a solo recital in Jesse Auditorium that will include works by Machover. Tickets for the concert are $19 and $15, and are available at

At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, there will be a panel discussion, “New Media and the Future of Classical Music,” held at the Fred Smith Forum in the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

The panel will feature music journalists Tim Page, a Pulitzer Prize winner, formerly of the Washington Post and now a faculty member at the University of Southern California); and Greg Sandow, blogger and freelance critic for the Wall Street Journal and other publications, and faculty member at the Juilliard School; as well as Machover, Haimovitz, and members of eighth blackbird. Admission is free.

At 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, the multiple Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird will return to Columbia for a concert at Jesse Auditorium combining acoustic and electronic works. Tickets are $19 and $15, and are available at­blackbird/.

For more information on “Music and New Media at the Crossroads,” visit the website at

In the embedded video window below, you can see Tod Machover speaking in 2010 on “The Future of Music” as part of a presentation to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble opens 2012-13 season with concert on Monday, October 15 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will open their 2012-13 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 15 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.

For the season opener, the Ensemble (pictured) will perform five recent pieces by composers associated with the University, along with two parts of Daniel Kellogg’s extended work Divinum Mysterium. Kellogg, an associate professor of music at the University of Colorado, will be one of the guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Penrose Staircase, written in 2012 by Mizzou sophomore percussion major Matthew Stiens, is a soundscape of a mathematically inspired drawing by M.C. Escher.

Source and Refraction was composed in 2004 by Patrick David Clark, who graduated from Mizzou in May, 2012 with a master’s degree in conducting. It’s described as “a thoughtful, soft piece for piano, cello, violin, and guitar, wherein the piano is the source. The other instruments color, or refract the piano’s melody.” For this piece, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest musician Paulo Oliveira on guitar.

Bhairava, a 2012 composition by Justin Alexander Pounds, explores the Eastern sounds of India through a modern lens. Pounds is a senior studying composition at Mizzou.

Dan Cox’s I’m back at my cliff, also written in 2012, is a musical depiction of the Native American tradition of a “vision quest.” Cox graduated from Mizzou in May, 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in music.

pendulum and present was composed by Michael Ward, a senior pursuing a degree in vocal performance at Mizzou. The 2012 work is “a study on time featuring rigid and mechanical rhythmic motives.”

The concert will conclude with the prelude and first movement of Daniel Kellogg’s Divinum Mysterium. Commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird, the five-movement work is based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.” With Patrick David Clark conducting, the Ensemble will play different parts of the work at each of their concerts this year in preparation for a full performance during the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The six-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students and recent alumni under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. They serve 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.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2012-13 season are Rachel AuBuchon, piano; Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Mary Jamerson, flutes; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; and Matthew Pierce, cello. 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.

Sinquefield Charitable Foundation commissions new works from Mizzou composers to celebrate The Sheldon’s 100th anniversary

The famous German composer Robert Schumann once said, “In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.” While that may be true, getting that new composition performed and heard once it is written can be another matter entirely. For an emerging composer writing music inspired by the classical tradition, performance opportunities can be few and far between.

To give some of those composers a chance to be heard, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation have joined forces to commission a series of new works to commemorate The Sheldon’s centennial. Five composers associated with the University of Missouri will create new short works to be performed at five different concerts at The Sheldon during the hall’s historic 100th year.

Stefan Freund

The first piece comes from Mizzou music professor Stefan Freund, who has written a string quartet to be performed by St. Louis Symphony concertmaster David Halen and three of his SLSO colleagues as part of The Sheldon’s centennial gala on Thursday, October 11. The piece will be accompanied by a slideshow of 100 photographs taken to celebrate the hall’s 100th anniversary.

“One of the goals of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation is to find and grow composers,” said Jeanne Sinquefield. “This new Sinquefield inititative of working with The Sheldon and Mizzou composers is a perfect musical storm.”

The other four commissioned compositions, which range in length from five to seven minutes, will be played during subsequent concerts during the 2012-13 season.

Stephanie Berg

On Friday, November 9, the ArtSounds benefit featuring singer Sylvia McNair and pianist Kevin Cole will include a new work for piano and clarinet written by Stephanie Berg, a Kansas City native who earned her master’s in music from Mizzou earlier this year. Berg’s piece will underscore a slide show of 200 celebrity caricatures by Al Hirschfeld, the famed artist and St. Louis native whose work currently is the subject of a major exhibit in the Sheldon Art Galleries.

Patrick David Clark

Then on Tuesday February 5 and Wednesday, February 6, 2013, pianist Peter Henderson will perform a new work by composer Patrick David Clark as part of The Sheldon Coffee Concerts “Piano Classics” program. Clark, who grew up in St. Louis, earned his undergraduate degree at Mizzou, and just received his master’s degree in conducting from the University earlier this year.

Next, Mizzou undergrad Grant Bradshaw will perform his new composition for piano as part of the “Pianopalooza” concert featuring Peter Henderson, Alla Voskoboynikova, Daniel Schene and Martin Kennedy on Wednesday, February 27. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, currently is studying viola and composition at the University, and also is assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory.

Michael E. Anderson

Michael E. Anderson

The fifth and final work in the series is a composition for brass quintet by Michael Anderson, which will be performed by the Clarion Brass on April 10, 2013 as part of their “Springtime Brass Spectacular.” Anderson, who grew up in Platte City, MO, was the 2012 recipient of the University of Missouri’s Sinquefield Composition Prize and graduated from Mizzou in May with a degree in composition.

All five works will be recorded so they can be shared later online here on the Mizzou New Music Initiative website, as well as on the Sheldon’s website.

Augusta Read Thomas, Daniel Kellogg named as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Continuing its emerging tradition of pairing an acknowledged master and a rising star, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has named Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Formerly known as the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, the MICF will be held from Monday, July 22, 2013 through Saturday, July 27 on the campus of the University of Missouri. As in the past, the 2013 Festival will feature a series of public concerts featuring music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble.

Thomas currently is professor of composition at the University of Chicago. She formerly taught at Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and served as composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2006. Thomas was called “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music” on the occasion of her induction in 2009 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has had her music performed by major orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and prizes for her compositions.

Kellogg is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the Yale School of Music. He currently works as assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado. Kellogg has been called “one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic,” by the Washington Post.

With the 2013 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the Festival through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the Festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Thomas and Kellogg; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

The deadline for submitting an application is November 1, 2012. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit