Archive for July 17th, 2014

Composers Festival Spotlight: Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang

Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang

Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang is another of the resident composers helping to put the “international” into this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

A native of Taiwan, Ashley comes to the MICF via the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she’s studying for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Ashley also holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and SooChow University, and her work draws on an eclectic musical palette, ranging from Western and non-Western classics to jazz and pop.

In a statement on her website, she says she seeks to “capture the transience of momentary beauty and individual identity through the juxtaposition of musical oppositions and through constant transformation and flow, revealing complexity within simplicity.”

Ashley’s composition “Illusional Control” will be one of eight new pieces from this year’s resident composers to get a world premiere from Alarm Will Sound at the festival’s grand finale.

Some of her other recently performed works include “Antares Falling,” which was played by the Locrian Chamber Players in May at Riverside Church in New York City, and is set to be performed again in October during the 35th annual Bowling Green New Music Festival; and “Meta-Meta,” commissioned by Nicolas Horvath and performed in April as part of the GlassWorlds Homage Project at the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris, France. Also, her composition “Lost Touch With Oneself,” was played in June at the Errant Bodies project space in Berlin, Germany.

Ashley’s music has been performed across North America, Europe, and Asia at venues including Carnegie Hall, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Aspen Music Festival, MASS MoCA, Logos Foundation, Herz Jesu-Kirche, Kitara Hall, and Hong Kong Arts Centre. She has collaborated with performers such as Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, MIVOS Quartet, conductors David Gilbert, Brad Lubman, Paul Chiang, and visual artists Alice Grassi and Takeshi Moro.

Ashley has been a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Composit Music Festival, MusicX Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, June in Buffalo, Pacific Music Festival, Tutti New Music Festival, Bang on a Can Music Festival, Festival of Women Composers, and the Society of Composers National Conference, and an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Her honors and awards include the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music competition, 21st century piano commission, Look and Listen Festival Composition Prize, an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum, and a Composer Assistance Program of New Music USA Award, among others. Her music has been recorded on the ArpaViva Foundation Inc label and received radio airpaly on WQXR, and WNYC, and her scores are available on BabelScores.

You can hear Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang’s music on her website, and see a performance of “Antares Falling” in the video window below.

“Antares Falling,” recorded February 12, 2014 at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts in Urbana, IL, featuring Ya-Wen Wang (piano) and Melody Chua (flute).

Composers Festival Spotlight: Nicholas Omiccioli

Nicholas Omiccioli

Although this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival is in one sense the most international to date, with resident composers who were born in Australia, Colombia, South Korea and Taiwan in addition to the USA, it’s also the first MICF with two resident composers currently living in Missouri.

One is José Martínez, who came to Columbia, MO from Colombia to study for his masters degree, and is representing Mizzou in this year’s festival. (More about him in this space soon.)

The other is Nicholas Omiccioli, who will be making the trip to Mizzou from Kansas City, where he currently is a resident with the Charlotte Street Urban Culture Project and production coordinator of newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

Born in Belleville, IL, Nick holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow, and Heidelberg University. A guitarist as well as a composer, he will have two works played during the 2014 MICF. In addition to “fuse,” the piece he wrote for Alarm Will Sound to play as part of Saturday night’s grand finale, the vocal ensemble Prometheus will perform his composition “a song of joys” at Friday’s “Mizzou New Music” concert.

“a song of joys” also was performed by KHORIKOS at the “A Breath of Fresh Air” concert in May at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Other recently performed works of Nick’s include “hommage à c. debussy,” by the COSMOS Trio at Ohio State University and at the American Harp Society’s Harp Carnivale 2014 in New Orleans; “push / pull,” at the ensemble mise-en music festival held in June at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City; and “funeral symphony,” which is being used this weekend and next by choreographer Erin Muenks for her show “Dwell” at the 2014 Kansas City Fringe Festival.

Nick’s music has has been performed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Lithuania, Thailand, New Zealand, China, Sweden, and the United States by groups such as the Jasper String Quartet, Calder Quartet, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Curious Chamber Players, DuoSolo, Ensemble Platypus, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and numerous others.

He has been commissioned by the Wellesley Composers Conference, Aspen Music Festival and School, Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, National Arts Centre in Canada, Third Angle Ensemble, and Animus Ensemble.

Nick’s awards and honors include being a finalist for the 2013 Rome Prize. two nominations for awards by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, plus many more.

You can read an interview with Nick, conducted by Patrick Neas in 2012 for the Kansas City Star‘s “Classical Beat” column, here, and listen to some of his music on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded videos below.

“Invisible Worlds” – Winner of the joint 2013 call for scores between Riot Ensemble & ECCE Ensemble, performed by Kate Walter (flute) and Adam Swayne (piano) for Transatlantic Collaborations 1 at The Forge, in Camden (London).

“Wild Nights”

“Danza di Fuoco,” performed by Omar Fassa (guitar) in 2011 at the highScore Festival in Italy.

A promotional video for KHORIKOS’ performance of “a song of joys.”