Archive for July, 2013

Mizzou International Composers Festival in the news

In case you’ve missed out, here’s a recap of some of the press coverage so far of the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

In the past week, there was an extensive feature story in the Sunday, July 21 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune, as well as a preview of the Festival in the St. Louis Beacon.

The Columbia Missourian also ran a feature story on the Festival (although it may have disappeared behind the paywall, and thus be inaccessible to non-subscribers, by the time you read this).

Brief mentions of this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival also have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and in School Band & Orchestra magazine.

On a related note, resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound once again this year has shared on their Facebook page some albums of photos from their pre-Festival rehearsals:

Alarm Will Sound rehearsals, Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

Composers Festival Spotlight: Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

We end our series of profiles of the resident composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival with Jason Thorpe Buchanan, who’s currently working on his Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music, studying composition with Robert Morris and serving as a graduate TA at the Computer Music Center.

Buchanan began studying music at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA, later attending San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While working for his master’s degree at UNLV from 2008 to 2010, he taught courses in composition and music theory.

He has studied composition with Allan Schindler, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as additional studies with Takayoshi Suzuki and Brad Lubman in conducting, and at Darmstadt with Georges Aperghis, Brian Ferneyhough, and Raphaël Cendo.

Buchanan spent 2010-2011 living in Hamburg, Germany, where he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater as a visiting scholar. He studied with Peter Michael Hamel, Manfred Stahnke, Georg Hajdu, and Sascha Lino Lemke while conducting research and interviews in regard to compositional process and aesthetics.

Buchanan has received awards from ASCAP, ACF, MPE, the NEON and Brevard Music Festivals, UNLV, SJSU, the Eastman School of Music, the American Prize, and the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival. Recordings of his music are commercially available on the Melos Music label in the United States and the Windstream label in Japan.

He is the founder of Melos Music, a composer’s consortium for which he served as director from 2007-2012, as well as their annual New Music Concert series. During this past academic year, he served as assistant conductor for Eastman’s new music ensemble Musica Nova, as well as a board member of Ossia, coordinator for the Graduate Composers’ Sinfonietta, and co-founder/conductor of Eastman’s brand new Electroacoustic Initiative, the [Switch~ Ensemble].

You can see and hear Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s music being performed in various clips on his YouTube channel, and in the embedded video windows below.

Buchanan’s “Asymptotic Flux: First Study in Entropy,” performed in October 2012 at Eastman School of Music by the [Switch~ Ensemble], featuring Madison Greenstone, amplified bass clarinet; Lauren Cauley, amplified violin; Kelsey Farr, amplified viola; and Julia Nilsen, amplified cello.

“Amplified Box” Improvisation 1.0 (Study for Percussion Quartet) is an
improvisation with a homemade instrument built for Buchanan’s first percussion quartet.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Daniel Kellogg

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is pleased to welcome Daniel Kellogg as one of the two guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Kellogg originally is from Wilton, CT and has served since 2005 as assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado, He has been lauded by the Washington Post as “one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic.”

After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Kellogg earned a masters of music and a D.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. He was chosen as Young Concert Artists composer-in-residence in 2002, and also has served as composer-in-residence for the South Dakota Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, and the University of Connecticut.

Kellogg has had works premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Takács Quartet with the University of Colorado Wind Symphony, Aspen Chamber Orchestra; South Dakota Symphony, the United States Air Force Academy Band, and the choirs of Yale University.

His music has been performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and broadcast on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “St. Paul Sundays” among others.

Kellogg’s honors and awards include a Charles Ives Fellowship and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, six ASCAP Young Composer Awards, the BMI William Schuman Prize, and the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Award.

His extended work Divinium Mysterium was a highlight of eighth blackbird‘s 2004 album Beginnings, and will be performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26.

Here’s a time lapse video of Kellogg composing in his studio, with one hour compressed to 60 seconds.

Kellogg’s “Sim Shalom,” subtitled “A Hebrew Prayer for Peace,” sung by the combined choirs at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kellogg on his beginnings as a composer

Kellogg’s “Canticle of the Earth” for 14 Bassoons, in a world premiere performance recorded in February 2011 by the University of Colorado College of Music Bassoon Studio, directed by Yoshi Ishikawa. The ensemble, conducted by Allan McMurray, from left: Kent Hurd, Yahaira Nieves, Michael Christoph, Amanda Hoffer, Shih-han Chiu, Kaori Uno, Patty Fagan, Michelle Jones, Matt Cullen, Kristen Gogan, Brian Jack, Cody Dean, YoonJoo Hwang, and Ben Cefkin

Kellogg’s “Winter Lullaby: A Dirge” performed by Cornell University Glee Club and Choral Voices of Finland in April 2010 in Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.

An excerpt from the world premiere of Kellogg’s “O Greening Branch,” performed by the Wheaton College Symphonic Band and choirs at the 150th anniversary concert for the college in November 2010.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Ryan Chase

Ryan Chase

Before being selected as one of the resident composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival, Ryan Chase has had his music performed “in venues ranging from dive bars to Carnegie Hall.”

A native of Albany, NY, Chase earned a bachelor’s degree from the Mannes College of Music in 2008 and a masters degree from Indiana University in 2010. He currently is pursuing a doctorate at Indiana, where he also teaches undergraduate courses in post-tonal ear training and theory.

With conductor Ben Bolter and composer Jeremy Podgursky (who was a resident composer at the 2010 MICF), Chase also recently helped to founf Holographic, a new music collective in Bloomington.

His works have been performed by ensembles including Alaria, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, CIRCE, Contemporaneous, the IU New Music Ensemble, members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Chelsea Symphony, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, violinist Colin Sorgi, and new music soprano Ariadne Greif.

Chase was a Ford and Schumann Fellow at the 2012 Aspen Music Festival, and his music has been recognized with awards including a 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, two consecutive BMI Student Composer Awards (including the 2011 William Schuman Prize for Most Outstanding Entry), and the Audience Choice Award from the 2012 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings. His other awards include first prize in the 2011 National Association of Composers USA Young Composers’ Competition, the Jean Schneider Goberman Award, and the Bohuslav Martinú Award.

He currently studies at IU with Don Freund – father of Mizzou’s Stefan Freund – and also has studied with Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Keith Fitch, Gabriela Ortíz, David Tcimpidis, George Tsontakis, Chen Yi, Jeffrey Hass, John Gibson, and Alicyn Warren.

Earlier this year, Chase wrote the soundtrack to Euclid’s Watch, a short movie created by Red Tape Films at Indiana University as part of Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival.

You can hear an interview with Ryan Chase from 2012 on the podcast No Extra Notes here, and listen to some samples of his music online here.

Ryan Chase’s “Gold Rush” for five violins, performed by Kay Stern, Robin Mayforth, Jeremy Preston, Michael Nicholas, and Jennifer Cho for Composers, Inc.

Chase’s chamber symphony “II,” performed as part of his graduate recital at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music’s Auer Hall.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Wei-Chieh Lin

Wei-Chieh Lin

Today’s featured resident composer from the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival is Wei-Chieh Lin, who was born in Taichung, Taiwan, and now lives in New York City.

Lin earned his BM, MM, and DMA degrees in composition at The Juilliard School under the guidance of famed composer and teacher, the late Milton Babbitt. His works range from solo instrumental music to orchestral compositions to vocal and choral pieces, as well as jazz and folk arrangements.

Those works have been performed at venues in the U.S. and abroad, including the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Centre Pompidou, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, and the National Concert Halls in Taiwan.

Ensembles that have played or commissioned Lin’s music include the Ensemble InterContemporain, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Insomnio Ensemble, Xasax Ensemble, Makrokomos Ensemble, The New Juilliard Ensemble, Juilliard Orchestra, Hudson Symphony Orchestra, New York Classical Players Ensemble, Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and Formosa Quartet, as well as members of eighth blackbird and Klangforum Wien.

Lin’s compositions have received a number of awards, including selection for the 2012 International Composer Pyramid Competition; Honorable Mention of the Gaudeamus Muziek Prize of 2011; two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards; first prizes in the 2009 and 2010 National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan Composition Competitions: three National Taiwan Symphony Composition Awards, and the Palmer Dixon Award from Juilliard.

He also has participated in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center, MusicX Festival, Académie musicale de Villecroze, Domain Forget, Asian Composers League Music Festival, Foundation Royaumont Music Festival and Manifeste/Acanthes@Ircam Composition Workshop, and been a resident at Cité International des Arts in Paris.

You can hear samples of Wei-Chieh Lin’s music in the embedded video window and audio player below.

Insomnio performing Lin’s “Tracing the Shadows of Broken Time” in September 2011 at Vredenburg Leeuwenbergh in Utrecht, Germany as part of Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2011.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Although resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound understandably attracts a lot of attention during the Mizzou International Composers Festival, let’s not forget that the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre will showcase the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s “home team,” the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble is directed by faculty composer and Alarm Will Sound member Stefan Freund. They serve as the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, collaborating with student, faculty and visiting composers throughout the year to perform a variety of new works.

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

During the academic year, the Ensemble performs a series of concerts on campus, and they also play off campus as well. In May, they presented a standing-room-only performance at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, playing original music by Mizzou composers Joe Hills, Haley Myers, and Robert Strobel written in response to Beyond the Humanities, an exhibition of work by St. Louis artist Bill Smith.

They’ve also performed in recent years at the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

For Friday night’s Festival program, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play music by Mizzou composers W. Thomas McKenney and Paul Seitz and guest composers Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg.

The Kellogg work, Divinum Mysterium, is an extended five-movement piece commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird and based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.” The Ensemble rehearsed Divinium Mysterium throughout the academic year, presenting individual movements at each of their on-campus concerts in preparation for performing the entire work at the Festival.

Each of those concerts also featured music from student composers at Mizzou, giving both composers and performers valuable hand-on experience in the process of developing new work. In the embedded audio players below, you can hear three examples of pieces that were written at Mizzou during the past year and given their first performances by the Ensemble.

“Reflections” by Trey Anthony Makler

“Penrose Staircase” by Matt Steins

“I’m Back at My Cliff” by Daniel Cox

Composers Festival Spotlight: Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

Continuing with our series on the resident composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival, today let’s get acquainted with Andrew Davis.

Though he shares a name with a famous British conductor, this Andrew Davis is a composer and electric guitarist from Columbia, MD by way of Texas. He earned a B.A. in music from Yale University in 2009, and then in 2012 completed his M.M. in composition at the University of Texas at Austin.

Davis’ early experiences in music included playing trombone in concert bands and guitar in rock bands, which have led him to explore a variety of different genres and musical aesthetics.

He has written both acoustic and electroacoustic music for a variety of media, and his works have been performed by groups including the JACK Quartet, the Argento Ensemble, counter)induction, the Boston New Music Initiative, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Yale Concert Band, the Florida State Wind Ensemble, and the University of Texas New Music Ensemble.

Davis’ music has been heard at a variety of festivals including the Festival of New Music at FSU, the Manchester New Music Mini-Festival, New Music on the Point, and SEAMUS, and he has received honors from ASCAP, Vox Novus, and ISCM-Texas,

You can hear samples of Andrew Davis’ music in the embedded video window and audio player below.

Davis’ “Open Airs” is a short work for string quartet commissioned in 2012 by the New Music on the Point Festival. It is performed here by the Skyros Quartet, the graduate string quartet-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mizzou International Composers Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge.

All the presentations by the Festival’s guest, resident and faculty composers are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 145 of the Fine Arts Building on the MU campus.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22 and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23.

Guest composer Augusta Read Thomas will discuss her work at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:30 p.m. by MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney.

Then on Wednesday, July 24, guest composer Daniel Kellogg will give his presentation at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer Stefan Freund to follow at 8:30 p.m.

If you’d like to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Festival’s eight world premieres and other new works are being prepared for performance, the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound will hold several rehearsals during the week that will be open to the public at no charge.

Open rehearsals will take place from 9:00 a.m to noon on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Missouri Theatre; and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and then again from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26 in Room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou International Composers Festival website.