Archive for February, 2013

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Muñiz, Kellogg, Colagiovanni, and Makler on Sunday, March 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will present the third concert of their 2012-13 season at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 3 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 the world premiere of “Duende,” a new piece by Spanish-American composer Jorge Muñiz. Inspired by the sounds and traditions of Flamenco, “Duende” was commissioned specifically for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. Muñiz, an associate professor of music composition and theory at Indiana University South Bend, currently is teaching at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO.

The concert also will include two pieces written by Mizzou freshman composition students. “Winter Reflections” by Benedetto Colagiovanni is an exploration of jazz rhythms and harmonies, while “Reflections” by Trey Makler is an introspective work featuring solo sections for each instrument in the Ensemble.

The MNME will complete the program by performing the third and fourth movements 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.”

The Ensemble is playing 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. Kellogg, an associate professor of music at the University of Colorado, will be one of the guest composers for the 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, flute; 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.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2013-14 season
to include works from Mizzou New Music Initiative composers

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra music director David Robertson, Stephanie Berg and Jeanne Sinquefield

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday that it will perform new works by two young composers associated with the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) as part of its 2013-14 season. The announcement came during a “town hall” event at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis as the orchestra unveiled its entire season schedule for next year.

The SLSO will play Stephanie Berg’s Ravish and Mayhem as part of a concert program scheduled for Friday, January 10 and Saturday, January 11, 2014 at Powell Hall. The performances will be the first times that a work composed under the auspices of MNMI will be played by a major American symphony orchestra.

Berg, a native of Parkville, MO, earned her master’s degree in composition last year at the University of Missouri and now lives in Columbia. Chosen in 2012 as one of the resident composers for what now is known as the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), she wrote Ravish and Mayhem, which then was premiered last July during the festival by the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound. The piece subsequently has been re-arranged and expanded into a score for a full symphony orchestra, which will be played for the first time in March 2013 by the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

The SLSO also will perform Patrick Harlin’s Rapture during its concerts on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28, 2013. Harlin also was one of the eight resident composers at last summer’s MICF, and currently is studying for a doctorate in composition at the University of Michigan. Both his work and Berg’s were selected from among a list of four compositions chosen by 2012 MICF faculty members Steven Stucky, Donnacha Dennehy, W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund for submission to the SLSO’s artistic staff.

As a graduate teaching assistant on full scholarship, a member of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, and past winner of the annual Sinquefield Composition Prize, “Stephanie has benefited from being a part of many programs established by the Mizzou New Music Initiative,” said Stefan Freund, associate professor of music at Mizzou and co-director of the Initiative. “The selection of Ravish and Mayhem for performance by the St. Louis Symphony demonstrates the broad impact the MNMI is having by providing young composers with amazing opportunities, including those on the very highest levels.”

“Our goal always has been to provide opportunities for composers at all stages of their development, from grade school to grad school and then on into their professional lives,” said Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, which funds the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “When outstanding young composers like Stephanie and Patrick are able to have their works played by a top orchestra like the St. Louis Symphony, it shows that we’re well on the way to reaching that goal.”

You can hear a recording of Stephanie Berg’s Ravish and Mayhem at https://soundcloud.com/stephanie-berg, and a recording of Patrick Harlin’s Rapture at http://www.patrickharlin.com/#!music.

For information on purchasing tickets for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and a complete season schedule for 2013-14, visit the SLSO’s website at http://www.stlsymphony.org/.

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project selects works
by Stephanie Berg, Dustin Dunn for performance in March

Stephanie Berg

Continuing their collaborative efforts to spotlight the work of Missouri composers, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of two orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert in March.

The two winning pieces were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). The winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The work chosen in the Open category is Ravish and Mayhem by Stephanie Berg, a native of Parkville who earned her master’s degree in composition from the University of Missouri last May and now lives in Columbia. The winning composition in the High School category is Appalachian Rhapsody by Dustin Dunn, a 16-year-old junior at South Iron R-1 High School in Ironton.

Dustin Dunn

The winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO. The judges also awarded Honorable Mentions to Nicholas S. Omiccioli of Kansas City for his work flourishes, and to Patrick David Clark of Columbia for FE 700° C.

Both winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia. Tickets are $15 for individuals, $40 for a group of up to five, and can be purchased in advance online at http://www.columbiachorale.com/ or at the door.

The concert also will spotlight several contemporary works for chorus, including the world premiere of La Terra Illuminata by Mizzou adjunct assistant professor Paul Seitz, a new piece commissioned specifically for CCO and the Columbia Chorale by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Also on the program are Music, When Soft Voices Die, written by Mizzou senior composition major Justin Pounds and performed by the MU Concert Chorale; and two works by Jerry Custer, a renowned choral music composer and educator. Custer teaches at Wayne State University in Michigan and will be guest lecturing that week at Mizzou. His new piece Chamber Music will be premiered by the Columbia Chorale and pianist James Kelly, while the CCO and MU Concert Chorale will perform his setting of the Stabat Mater Speciosa.

CCO music director Stefan Freund will lead the orchestra in the works by Berg and Seitz, while Marci Major, assistant professor of music education and assistant director of choral activities at Mizzou, will conduct the pieces by Custer and Pounds. MU sophomore Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will conduct Dunn’s work.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

Columbia Chorale is a mixed voice classical community choir located in Columbia, MO. It has existed in one form or another since 1978. Its mission is to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting rich, vital, varied musical programs that appeal to a wide cross-section of Columbia residents.

The Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community.

St. Louis Beacon spotlights Mizzou composers’ new works
for Sheldon Concert Hall’s 100th anniversary season

The St. Louis Beacon today published an article by Terry Perkins about the new works commissioned from Mizzou composers by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation that are being performed at the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries as part of the hall’s 100th anniversary season.

The third commission in the series, Patrick David Clark’s “Snow Coming,” will be premiered next Tuesday, February 5 by pianist Peter Henderson at one of the Sheldon’s “Coffee Concerts.” You can read the Beacon article here.