Archive for April, 2016

Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” to be performed
by St. Louis Symphony in concert on Friday, April 29

The St. Louis Symphony once again will feature music from a Mizzou composer as part of their subscription season when they perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” in a concert at 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Freund (pictured) is associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Missouri, co-artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and director of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. The Memphis native also is a cellist and founding member of the new music group Alarm Will Sound, and is the music director and principal conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

“Cyrillic Dreams” was composed in 2008 with a commission from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and was inspired by Freund’s trip to Russia that year. It was premiered in a performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra on March 24, 2009 in Vienna’s Minoritenkirche with the composer conducting, and subsequently has been played by orchestras including the Tennessee Tech University Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts.

The St. Louis Symphony will play the work on a program that also includes popular favorites such as Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The concert is part of the St. Louis Symphony’s “Music You Know” series conducted by music director David Robertson, which aims to connect listeners to classical music by presenting “familiar tunes we’re certain you know, and others that you’ll long to hear again and again.”

“Cyrillic Dreams” also is one of just eight works by living composers on the orchestra’s schedule this season. It’s the second time they’ve played a work by a Mizzou composer, having performed “Ravish and Mayhem” by Mizzou alumna Stephanie Berg in January, 2014 at Powell Hall.

“When I wrote “Cyrillic Dreams,” I imagined the rich acoustic of the three huge churches in Austria where the piece was to be performed,” said Freund. “I think it will sound equally glorious in the majestic setting of Powell Hall.”

Tickets for the St. Louis Symphony’s concert featuring the performance of “Cyrillic Dreams” can be purchased in person at the Powell Hall box office or via their website at stlsymphony.org.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to present
benefit performance of “The Sound of Chess”

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be the featured performers in “The Sound of Chess,” a benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Kingside Diner, 4651 Maryland Ave in St Louis’ Central West End.

The Ensemble will perform three new works written by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess: “Love Your Enemy,” composed by Henry Stewart; “Caution” by Luke Henderson; and “The Endgame” by Alex Williams. The concert also will include a performance of “Illegal Cycles,” written in 2015 by Mizzou graduate student José Martínez.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Tickets for “The Sound of Chess” are $50 in advance from the St. Louis Chess Club website or $60 at the door, and include the concert, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary valet parking. For more information, contact events@worldchesshof.org.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

Student Composers Concert set for Sunday, April 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The spring 2016 edition of the University of Missouri School of Music’s bi-annual Student Composers Concert will showcase new works written and performed by students at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus.

Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

The program will include:
“Four Jazz Moods” by Benedetto Colagiovanni
“That I Have Not Lived” by Dustin Dunn
“Ever Yours, l. Paris, 1 August 1890” by Travis Herd
“Musings of Sky” by Hans Bridger Heruth
“Ballroom Blues” by Erin Höerchler
“Instruction Manual” by José Martínez
“Solitude” by Aaron Mencher
“Crystalline” by Henry Breneman Stewart

Performers will include Jenna Braaksma, piano; Ben Colagiovanni, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Ross Dryer, piano; Jesús Gómez, violin; Erin Höerchler, soprano; Beverly Jones, baritone saxophone; Bria Jones, mezzo soprano; Mary Kettlewell, soprano; Renan Leme, violin; Sam McCullogh, tenor saxophone; Travis Meier, soprano saxophone; Gyumi Rha, piano; Joe Rulli, saxophone; Catherine Sandstedt, viola; Paola Savvidou, piano; Patrick Smith, bass baritone; Britney Stutz, violin; Matthew Vallot, alto saxophone; and Alex Williams, cello.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble making moves
with compositions inspired by chess in concert
Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Three new works by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess will be given a “sneak preview” in a concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

All three pieces were composed for the Ensemble’s upcoming concert on Saturday, April 30 at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

“Love Your Enemy” is by Henry Breneman Stewart, a first-year master’s student majoring in composition and winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Capturing the tensions found in both the competition of chess and the expression of the arts, Stewart’s work contrasts loud, aggressive, figures with bittersweet melodic lines.

“Caution,” composed by Luke Henderson, was inspired by a Ben Franklin quote about chess. It features carnival-like marches and improvised sections that convey the excitement and delight resulting from being passionate about an interest, like chess. Henderson is a senior at Mizzou majoring in composition and music education. His work “Routine Android” had its premiere performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in March 2016 as part of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project.

Alex Williams’ “The Endgame” is a programmatic work based on the notion of chess as warfare. Opening with a saxophone “call to battle,” it depicts the violence of war with rugged mixed-meter melodies, which then give way to a mournful alto flute solo and the climax. Williams is a sophomore Sinquefield Scholar majoring in composition at Mizzou.

In addition to the three new chess-inspired works, the concert also will include “B&E (with aggravated assault)” by Oscar Bettison, who will be a distinguished guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival. Performed with guest musician Robbie Lawson on electric guitar, “B&E (with aggravated assault)” is described as “an unabashed heavy metal rock tune,” complete with double-bass drum pedal fills, shredding electric guitar, and wailing bass clarinet.

Rounding out the program will be a special performance of “Off Pist,” a “delightfully jazzy” work by the eclectic Swedish composer and bassist Svante Henryson; and a set by the Mizzou Creative Improvisation Ensemble, directed by Rich Pellegrin.

The eight-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. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs positioning the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. In that capacity, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou’s fine arts departments to celebrate Shakespeare
at Chancellor’s Arts Showcase Monday, April 11 at Missouri Theatre

The fine arts departments at the University of Missouri will join together to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare at the annual Chancellor’s Arts Showcase, starting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 11 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in Columbia.

The event will feature the world premiere of “Sonnet 73: De Profundis,” a musical setting of a Shakespeare poem composed by this year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize winner, Henry Breneman Stewart (pictured), and performed by the University Singers.

In addition to the world premiere and other selections from the University Singers, the showcase also will include music from Mizzou’s Concert Jazz Band and Show-Me Opera; monologues and scenes from some of the Bard’s best-loved works, performed by students from the Department of Theatre; and art installations by MU students inspired by Shakespeare.

Tickets for the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase are $10 for adults, $8 for Mizzou faculty and staff, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Missouri Theatre box office or online via Ticketmaster, and also will be available at the door.