Archive for September, 2013

Fifth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 21-26, 2014

The Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will celebrate its fifth year in 2014, and composers Beat Furrer and Nico Muhly will be among those attending the party. Furrer and Muhly have been named guest composers for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s signature event, which will be held Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The 2014 MICF once again will present a series of public concerts featuring music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, will serve as resident ensemble.

Beat Furrer is a Swiss native who studied music in his home country and in Vienna before co-founding one of Europe’s leading contemporary music ensembles, Klangforum Wien, which he still conducts. He has written a variety of critically acclaimed works, including operas and musical theater, and has received numerous awards and honors for his music in Europe.

Since 1991, Furrer has served as professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts, and he has been guest professor in composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt since 2006. In 2004 Furrer was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Vienna, and in 2005 became a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

Nico Muhly was born in Vermont and earned a master’s in composition at Juilliard studying with Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. He also worked for Philip Glass as a MIDI programmer and editor for six years.

Muhly has composed a wide scope of work for ensembles, soloists and organizations including the American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony, countertenor Iestyn Davies, violinist Hilary Hahn, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Paris Opéra Ballet, soprano Jessica Rivera, and designer/illustrator Maira Kalman.

With the 2014 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 Furrer and Muhly and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of their work.

The application process for resident composers begins September 26, 2013, and the deadline for submitting an application is Friday, November 15, 2013. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/application.html.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project seeks
recent works for performance in March

The Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is looking for recent orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to be performed at a concert in March, 2014.

Now in its third year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort to spotlight the work of Missouri composers that involves the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. 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.

Each year, works are selected through a competitive, blind judging process – one from the High School category and three from the Open category – to be performed by the CCO at a concert in Columbia. The compositions must be written for symphony orchestra and can be up to 10 minutes in duration. The works also must have been composed within the past 10 years, while the composer was living in Missouri.

Each selected composer will be awarded a $500 honorarium, and the four works chosen will be performed by the CCO in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers St. in Columbia.

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.

The concert also will feature a performance of “American Sojourn,” by former Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) winner Kevin Hartnett, and the world premiere of the overture from Stefan Freund’s upcoming “Civil War Oratorio,” which was commissioned by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in honor of patron Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield.

Composers who wish to submit their work to MOCOP can find details on instrumentation and complete application materials online at http://mizzounewmusic.missouri.edu/project.html. Applications must be postmarked no later than December 13, 2013.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to open 2013-14 season
on Friday, October 11 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will open their 2013-14 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 11 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 works by the acclaimed contemporary composers Daniel Asia and Nico Muhly, as well as the world premieres of four pieces written by composers affiliated with Mizzou.

Daniel Asia’s ”Breath in a Ram’s Horn” (2003) is a song cycle based on five poems by writer Paul Pines, described as “imbued with images of family and Judaism, and their intertwining…filled with the difficulties and anguish of a life as it is really lived.”

”I Know Where Everything Is,” written by Muhly in 2007 on commission from the Seattle Chamber Players, “is a cycle of chords in a pile. Each chord has a series of possible voicings, and a series of possible quick ornamentations,” which begin with the most moderate and progress through a series of variations to a vigorous conclusion.

“Rhetoric and Drama in Ahuan Tones,” a brand new work by Mizzou alumnus Patrick David Clark, is a musical manifestation of twilight colors, using soft, delicate sounds and establishing “a feeling of free space and suspended time.”

Completing the program will be three works composed this year by current Mizzou students. Matthew Stiens’ “Rituals of Ancient Voices” is “a musical depiction of a druidic ceremony as I saw it,” utilizing extreme registers of each instrument in the ensemble and unusual techniques. “#YOLO” by Trey Makler is described as “energetic and exciting, heavily influenced by rock and popular music,” while Justin Pounds’ “Electric Brain,” is ”a fast-paced piece focused on a series of mixed-meter grooves inspired by the progressive rock genre.”

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble serves 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. 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.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.